theraputicimaginationHolmes, J. (2014). The Therapeutic Imagination: Using Literature to Deepen Psychodynamic Understanding and Enhance Empathy.
Reviewed by: Michael Fiorini, New York University

If one were to summarize the perspective extolled within The Therapeutic Imagination, it would inarguably be that imagination is the key to effective psychotherapy. Imagination, here, is of the sort that is applied to empathetic definition, understanding, and potential conception of the thoughts and feelings of others. The book further explores the idea that those well versed in different forms of literature are resultantly gifted with a broad emotional and psychological framework they can use to understand the existential experiences of clients. Taking these principles into constant consideration, different forms of literature and select authors are looked at and explained as illustrative of certain central principles in therapy and psychological expression. Functioning as a sort of expansive thought experiment, the book attempts to define the necessary and essential aspects of therapy and explain them through literature. Concurrently, it argues that the ability to perceive fully the psychological and emotional ramifications of certain mental illnesses and therapy, one needs to be aware of outside conceptions. Throughout, the book points to understanding the thoughts and feelings of authors and poets as an avenue furthering more empathic clinical work.

Well-sourced and highly cognizant of the historical and contemporary foundations of psychiatry and psychotherapy, The Therapeutic Imagination is as much a theoretical work in its own right as it is a consolidation of what is already known about the therapeutic process. It can then be seen as a guide trying to reframe existing knowledge through relating necessary factors in therapy work with emotional and existential narratives derived from poetry and fiction. The process for explanation the book uses is broken into three parts. The first concerns the imagination of therapists, the ability for them to understand and express their own thoughts and feelings internally. The second is concerned with narrative style and how it plays a role in conveying the transformational and storytelling aspects of psychotherapy. The third part heavily draws upon literary accounts as illustrations of numerous psychiatric conditions. With the use of poetic examples, the final part shows the failure of psychiatry to serve its patients without the incorporation of psychodynamic creativity and imagination.

The Therapeutic Imagination, as a result of its focusing on multifaceted internal and intangible aspects of the psychotherapeutic process, might best serve as supplemental reading for individuals first learning how to conduct effective therapy. There is a definite slant towards student readers here, although the book by no means limits itself to that audience narratively or in attention to detail. Professional readership will also find the book useful for its captivation of the parts of therapy inexpressible outside of the artistic viewpoint. In exploring the imaginative capacity needed for the therapist to deepen their understanding and work with clients, those therapists experiencing difficulty in their work might find new meaning behind it. Because it sometimes reads like a textbook (speaking the author’s background in writing textbooks for psychotherapy), there is an intermittent dryness to some parts of this narrative, however this can be forgiven as these parts add greater theoretical and scientific background to the author’s discussion. While the certainty with which some of the concepts are discussed might be off-putting for those not already artistically inclined, the book nonetheless brings forth a wealth of interesting ideas that many will find highly intellectually stimulating.

Jeremy Holmes has worked for 35 years as a consultant psychiatrist and medical psychotherapist in the National Health Service (NHS). Currently, he is a visiting professor at the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom, conducting lectures nationally and internationally. An avid writer, his most recent works include The Oxford Textbook of Psychotherapy, Storr’s The Art Of Psychotherapy, and Exploring In Insecurity: Towards an Attachment-Informed Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy.

Holmes, J. (2014). The Therapeutic Imagination: Using Literature to Deepen Psychodynamic Understanding and Enhance Empathy. New York, NY: Routledge.
ISBN: 978-0-415-81957-2.
Hardcover. 200 pages. Includes index and references.

justonethingHanson, R. (2011). Just One Thing: Developing a Buddha Brain One Simple Practice at a Time.
Reviewed by: Michael Fiorini, New York University

Just One Thing: Developing a Buddha Brain One Simple Practice at a Time is a step by step guide aimed towards improving psychological well being in all aspects of personal, social, and emotional life. The book incorporates a mildly Buddhist-influenced perspective as it guides readers through a series of techniques aimed at improving the quality of human experience. Mindfulness is central to the narrative throughout, and steps are broken down so that the book, which is primarily concerned with self-help, can be as useful and accessible as possible. No single part or step is necessary here, either. The book stresses that one need not bog themselves down in the semantics and particularities of the provided guidelines and instructions if they feel there is a better means of achieving the book’s goals. There is also an intermittent psychological and neuroscientific presence and occasional explanation for the mindfulness process taught. Engaging the self to positively impact neuroplasticity through repetition and practice is the end goal, and through following the book, a diverse audience might benefit from its techniques and conceptual approach.

The driving point in Just One Thing is that small changes in daily routine can have a large positive impact on stress, health, and overall emotional life. In its own words, the book aims to help you “be good to yourself, enjoy life as it is, build on your strengths, be more effective at home and work, and make peace with your emotions.” The way this is achieved is through the practice of the book’s series of fifty-two mindfulness exercises. Separated into five parts, the sections cover being good to yourself, enjoying life, building upon strengths, engaging the world, and being at peace, respectively. The design of the book is such that the basic exercises build upon one another so that when read in order readers become more engaged in their emotional awareness. The model followed here is aimed towards expanding conscious awareness and bears some degree of similarity to cognitive behavioral therapy. Since the narrative and presentation styles are designed like a self-help book with less overt psychological or scientific explanations, the book is accessible to a diverse crop of readership. Professionals will find the book especially useful for its different methods for increasing mindfulness that might help them direct their own instructions during therapy with clients. The lessons included are crucial to improving the human experience on a basic level while also avoiding being too dry or heavy handed in new-age thinking. This might help some readers to reinvigorate their therapeutic practice and reconsolidate goals. That there is a definite neuroscientific influence present in the book furthers its broad clinical efficacy.

A self-help book that combines the underlying principles of CBT with a new-age influenced outlook on mindfulness, Just One Thing is promising in its potential application. While at times quite simple, it is the book’s boiled down elements and easy to read style that make it most effective. Not meant to be followed strictly and not expecting the kind of dedicated consistency other contemporaries demand, it is made for the average reader to pick up and use as needed. Not dedicating more than a few pages per lesson makes this style maintain its point. Those who already have a background in mindfulness training will find this book helpful in honing goals and outcome expectancies, and those who do not will benefit from the gradual building process that it presents. Readers open to doing so will find that, even after a short read, they will be shown useful and practical techniques for the present moment.

Rick Hanson, PhD, is a neuropsychologist and Affiliate of the of the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California. He has been invited to speak at numerous universities, including Oxford, Harvard, and Stanford. He is also the author of Buddha’s Brain.

Hanson, R. (2011). Just One Thing: Developing a Buddha Brain One Simple Practice at a Time.
Oakland, CA: New Harbinger.
ISBN: 978-1-60882-031-3.
Paperback. 224 pages. Includes references.

buddasbrainHanson, R. (2009). Buddha’s Brain: The practical neuroscience of happiness, love, and wisdom.
Reviewed by: Anny Reyes, New York University

Neuroscience is being widely used to explain concepts and ideas that were once separated from science, such as religion, spirituality, and contemplative practices. Experts in these fields are utilizing basic neuroscience such as neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, and evolutionary biology to explain concepts and applications to their areas of expertise. Understanding our mind, how it functions, and how we can gain control over it has been one of the world’s most preeminent challenges. Some of the greatest philosophers, Descartes, Aristotle, and Locke, dedicated their lives to understanding the mystery of the mind and its relationship with the 3-pound organ that controls every mechanism in our body, the brain.

In the introduction Hanson outlines the format of the book, its purpose, and how it could be put into practice. He explains how neuroscience research supports the idea that you could use your mind to change your brain and ultimately change your life. The book is then divided into four parts: the causes of suffering, happiness, love, and wisdom, which are the central themes of Hanson’s Buddhist beliefs and framework. The first part of the book provides a comprehensive background on basic brain anatomy, brain mechanisms, and how our brains give rise to emotions. Hanson also provides evolutionary explanations for emotions and our reactions to everyday situations and to life’s more traumatic experiences. The research was relevant and the explanations as to the causes of suffering were very straightforward.

However, the later chapters follow a less evidence-based framework. This is an area where experts in a field outside neuroscience must be cautious not to make conclusions based on assumptions or personal opinions. Neuroscience follows an empirical framework and anything that’s not scientifically proven is not taken at face value, therefore when using neuroscience research to explain certain concepts, only evidence-based explanations should be provided. Overall the book is moderately well researched, some chapters more than others. Despite the lack of relevant research in certain parts of the book, Hanson provides a great overview of the different concepts and practices related to the three themes of the book, happiness, love, and wisdom.

Hanson, R. (2009). Buddha’s Brain: The practical neuroscience of happiness, love, and wisdom. ISBN: 978-1-57224-695-9.
Paperback. 251 pages.
Contains references, forward, and preface.

whensexhurtsGoldstein, A. (2011). When Sex Hurts: A Woman’s Guide to Banishing Sexual Pain.
Reviewed by: Michael Fiorini, New York University

When Sex Hurts: A Woman’s Guide to Banishing Sexual Pain is a medically informed self-help book directed at women who suffer severe and long term pain during sex, as well as general genital pain during contact with afflicted areas. Drawing from both a medical and psychological framework, the book breaks down the many reasons a person might be experiencing such pain. It makes clear that pain during sex is exceedingly common and often not well-understood or diagnosed, even by professionals. It also emphasizes that sex does not need to be painful, which is on its own a powerful notion for those who have always experienced such symptoms. Especially of note here is that the book is designed for women without any medical or psychological background, and a significant portion of what is covered is aimed at teaching, alleviating fears and insecurities, and helping readers develop comfort with their bodies. Primarily focusing on the medical and physical spectrum of the various potential and common causes of pain, the psychological influence of trauma, insecurity, intentions, communication, and comfort with sexual partners are present here but are not as emphasized narratively. For those therapists who wish to expand their own knowledge of the phenomenon, the book will bring them up to speed on the newest medical and psychological considerations in diagnosis and treatment.

When Sex Hurts is structured in three parts, essential background information, the root of the problem, and when pain is gone, each reflecting the healing process as part of a continuum. Readers first get an overview of the problem, the commonality of it, what forms it might take, and reasons it might be there. The book then moves on to discuss pain more generally and how to think about it medically and personally. The third chapter covers how best to address pain and symptoms you may have with your doctor, what terminology you should know, and explains that seeing different doctors might be necessary if what’s occurring isn’t being addressed effectively. The following chapter discusses how to contain damage to your relationship, with different avenues of communication and understanding discussed, as well as how to maintain a healthy romance in spite of pain. The next several chapters discuss the various specific causes of sexual pain, which comprises the majority of the book’s contents. Disorders, infections, the effects of childbirth, pelvic and nerve pain, and psychological influences among other things are covered here. It is all very detail-oriented in a way that is easy to digest for average readers. The final part of the book discusses how to pick up the pieces of your life once the pain is alleviated, and deals largely with interpersonal relationships, prognoses, and how to adjust into a truly fulfilling sex life.

Because it is such a pervasive factor in the lives of many women, it is highly likely that having an understanding of the problem of sexual pain will be useful for therapists and their clients. Because this is an issue that might come up in therapy, the problem warrants greater understanding so that informed guidance can be given. The portion of the book dedicated to the potential psychological roots of sexual pain are, admittedly, lacking in comparison to the far more expansive sections on medical and biological problems. In part, this is due to the authors being medical doctors, and also due to sexual pain having been inappropriately considered a primarily psychological problem for the last several decades. This is something the authors make clear does more harm than good and allows avoidance of effective steps towards symptom improvement. Ultimately, the book is significant because of the good that it can do for those women who experience this kind of pain and are not getting informed or proper advice on how to think about and address it. What that might entail informatively for professionals depends on their practice, and individual therapeutic considerations.

Andrew Golstein, MD, is the president of the International Society for Study of Women’s Sexual Health. Caroline Pukall, PhD., is a leading researcher of female sexual pain and dysfunction, and works as an associate professor at Queen’s University. Irwin Goldstein, MD, has performed patient care and research for sexual dysfunction for thirty years. All three also co-authored the influential textbook Female Sexual Pain Disorders, considered groundbreaking work on the topic.

Goldstein, A. (2011). When Sex Hurts: A Woman’s Guide to Banishing Sexual Pain. Cambridge, MA: Da Capo Press.
ISBN: 978-0-7382-1398-9.
Paperback. 250 pages. Includes glossary, notes, index, and references.

neurobiologytreatmentLanius, U. F., Paulsen, S. L., & Corrigan, F.M. (2014). Neurobiology and Treatment of Traumatic Dissociation: Toward and Embodied Self.
Reviewed by: Anny Reyes, New York University

One can agree that research findings on the neurobiological underpinnings of psychopathology could help aid in forming successful interventions and treatments. However, there is a gap between science and practice. It is difficult to find a comprehensive integration of both research and clinical interventions in many psychopathological conditions such as traumatic stress syndromes and dissociation disorders. Dissociation is often explained in a dichotomous fashion, either in a psychoanalytic context or purely neurobiological, with no implications of a common ground. Neurobiology and Treatment of Traumatic Dissociation provides 22 chapters of integrative research and clinical applications written by various experts in the fields of affective and cognitive neuroscience, animal research, psychology, and psychiatry, among others.

The text is divided into two parts: the first part is focused on the neurobiology of dissociation and the second is dedicated to treatment and interventions. The first part of the book is aimed at providing the neurobiological framework behind traumatic dissociation that informs clinical practice and treatment. One of the main goals of the authors is to provide well-grounded research that could further advance the understanding of traumatic dissociation and create the missing dialogue between researchers and clinicians. The material in the first part of the book is very dense in neurobiology, neuroscience, and neuroendocrine terminology, which could present an obstacle for clinicians who do not have any neuroscience background. However, the authors provide explanations and definitions of many of the general concepts explored and they make occasional references to clinical terminology and treatment. It is noteworthy that the book is targeted at clinicians and researchers who are looking to further expand their expertise in traumatic dissociation.

The second part of the book is focused on treatment and integrating the research previously discussed. For each concept explored several options for treatment and intervention are provided, along with case examples and vignettes. The authors focus on the theoretical background of the treatments and not on step-by-step guidelines. Therefore, further reading is recommended if a clinician is interested in incorporating these interventions into their clinical practice. The editors did an exceptional job at putting together a comprehensive source of emerging research in the neurobiology of traumatic dissociation and stress.

Lanius, U. F., Paulsen, S. L., & Corrigan, F.M. (2014). Neurobiology and Treatment of Traumatic Dissociation: Toward and Embodied Self.
ISBN: 978-0-8261-0631-5.
Paperback. 510 pages. Includes: Index. Keywords: traumatic dissociation, neurobiology, integrative research.

8 steps to pain freeGokhale, E. (2008). 8 Steps To A Pain-Free Back: Remember When It Didn’t hurt.
Reviewed by: Michael Fiorini, New York University

At first glance, 8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back would appear to be a fairly straightforward book about methods for back correction. To think this would not be entirely incorrect, as the bulk of the book’s contents and the point behind its principles revolve around posture correction to alleviate back pain. Where the book diverges considerably from contemporary guides is in explaining the origins of and corrections for back pain. The book is written by Esther Gokhale, an anthropologist with a background in integrative therapy. The perspective she undertakes came after studying the postures and physically involved routines of various cultures around the world. Her point in the book is that the rampant chronic back pain observed in western cultures and modern societies stems from our poor posture, and that our change in posture is related to specific sociocultural practices. It should be noted that the book is exclusively interested in explaining this phenomenon in biological, physical, and anthropologic terms. She observes that among certain cultures with seemingly more physically intense daily routines, various postures play a role in avoiding spinal strain. The book operates as a graphically detailed guide to adjusting posture and movement to improve or eliminate back pain, taking techniques from around the world in tandem with one another to accomplish this.

Because the central focus of the book is to improve back pain, each of the eight steps mentioned in its title explain through written guides and visual aids how to change posture and body orientation. Before this, the book shows how notions of proper posture in western society are incorrect and what biological ramifications our existing conceptions have on spinal and physical health. It then goes on to explain the immediate benefits of change for the body, and details how to approach the forthcoming lessons. The lessons themselves are organized by forms of posture change followed by the scenarios readers would practice them in. It starts with stretch-sitting, then stretch-lying on your back, stack-sitting, stretch-lying on your side, using your inner corset, tall-standing, hip-hinging, and glide-walking. It also includes at the end some optional exercises, diagrams of basic human anatomy, and a list of the sources used. In each step, as postures and techniques are explained, they are also accompanied by helpful and detailed diagrams that are simple to follow. Alongside this, numerous anthropological observations are given to explain how and when posture differences developed. This is also done with consciousness towards how posture changes over the lifetime and with outcome expectancies following correction, making the dialogue fairly cohesive for readers of any age.

Those readers looking to improve their posture and physical well-being will find 8 Step to a Pain Free Back intrinsically helpful through the techniques it incorporates and the presentation style that it employs. The written and diagrammed instructions are specific and detailed, and there is a strong biological and physical therapy influence in the solutions proposed. Additionally, having suggested corrections that come from an anthropologic framework may speak more to readership involved in studying and practicing in the social sciences. As a result, this book may have greater efficacy within this particular population of readers versus other books that use similar techniques but which lack the same theoretical explanations and narrative. This is, at its core, a book on posture correction, but for those interested in mindfulness and body therapy techniques, the book may be useful in expanding knowledge in this subject.

Esther Gokhale, L.Ac., has had a lifelong interest in integrative therapies. She has studied biochemistry at Harvard and Princeton, and later acupuncture at the San Francisco School of Oriental Medicine. Following her own experiences with crippling back pain and the ineffective treatments for it, she decided to find a more lasting solution. After studying at the Aplomb Institute in Paris, she performed long running anthropological research in Burkina Faso, Brazil, India, Portugal, and elsewhere to to develop the Gokhale Method, which she currently teaches and is most known for.

Gokhale, E. (2008). 8 Steps To A Pain-Free Back: Remember When It Didn’t hurt. Palo Alto, CA: Pendo Press.
ISBN: 978-0-9793036-0-9.
Paperback. 228 pages. Includes appendix, glossary, bibliography, and index.
Key words: back pain, physical therapy, anthropology, chronic pain, first-person, posture

recollectionofsexualabuseCourtois, C. (1999). Recollections of Sexual Abuse: Treatment Principles and Guidelines.

Reviewed by: Michael Fiorini, New York University

Recollections of Sexual Abuse: Treatment Principles and Guidelines is a widely encompassing diagnostic manual for practicing clinicians to assist, frame, and guide in the treatment of sexual abuse recollection. The book first covers the past and contemporary (as of 1999) historical context of sexual abuse that is remembered after the fact. From there, it details relevant knowledge pertaining to recollected sexual abuse and outlines that information for application in the clinical setting. It establishes a practical and theoretical framework for clinicians to work through and places it along a continuum of tailored treatment. Extensive research is cited throughout the book as well, and from a research perspective it can be extremely useful as a tool for guiding future or current research. A multifaceted approach, it is designed so that even those without any background in treating this particular kind of disorder will, by the end of the book, have an intricate knowledge of recollected sexual abuse and how it differs dynamically from her forms of affect, recollections, and abuse clinically. For those who already have some knowledge of the topic but wish to further expand what they know and can use in treatment, the book is equally invaluable.

Recollections of Sexual Abuse seeks to outline what is currently known about recollections of sexual abuse, how to consider it clinically, and how to treat it. All of this is done through a strict scientific and research foundation. The book first frames how the phenomenon has been handled in the past within the psychological community and details the adverse ramifications mishandling it had for how sexual abuse and clinical treatment were approached on a macro scale. It then frames the present context and the controversies behind false memories. After the socio-historical portion of the book, the structure of the rest of the book becomes topical. It explores trauma and memory interactions, child sexual abuse and memory, the philosophy and principles of practice and the evolving standards of care, and the evolving consensus model of post-trauma treatment focused on symptom relief and functioning. After this, the book centers largely on clinical guidelines. It covers guidelines for risk management, for assessment and diagnosis, for working with memory issues, and explains countertransference issues and a treatment decision model within a framework for different clinical memory scenarios. The book closes with extensive appendices and references that comprises a quarter of the book’s total content.

Essentially an expansive textbook for explaining the clinical intervention and consideration of sufferers of sexual abuse recollection, Recollections of Sexual Abuse contains a wealth of information for professional clinicians of all levels of experience in the topic. Detailed, conscious, and considered in its means of framing clinical scenarios and underlying goals in treatment, the book could be considered required reading for those working with patients who have reported experiencing recollected sexual abuse. Strictly clinical and very dense, it can serve as a jumping off point for the treatment process and for those looking to expand their expertise in treating traumatic experiences either real or imagined.

Christine Courtois, PhD, is a psychologist in private practice and serves as clinical director of The CENTER: Post-Traumatic Disorders program in the Psychiatric Institute of Washington. She conducts national and international workshops on the treatment of incest and of forms of sexual abuse and trauma. She has also authored Healing the Incest Wound: Adult Survivors in Therapy and Adult Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse. Appointed a member of several APA investigate groups studying child abuse and family violence, she was also the recipient of the APA award for distinguished professional contributions to applied psychology as a professional practice in 1996.

Courtois, C. (1999). Recollections of Sexual Abuse: Treatment Principles and Guidelines. New York, NY: W. W. Norton.
ISBN: 978-0-393-70397-5.
Paperback. 437 pages. Includes appendix, index, and references.
Key words: sexual abuse, rape, recollection, memory, trauma, diagnostic tools, treatment guidelines


Meck forgot to rememberMeck, Su & de Vise, Daniel. ( 2014) I Forgot to Remember: A Memoir of Amnesia. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster. 281 pages. ISBN: 9781451685817.

Reviewed by Kristina Flemming, Columbia University

(SPT) The events that happened in Su Meck’s life seem as if they were contrived as the plot of some drama filled film. Her initial accident and life thereafter is bewildering, especially when noting that she suffers from an unusual case of retrograde amnesia and she’s immediately thrust back into a world where her understanding of it is still very elementary. In Meck’s memoir, I Forgot to Remember, we see her frustration with life after her brain injury and her attempts to piece together everything she’s forgotten.

More than twenty years after a ceiling fan falls on Su Meck’s head, she writes about how she feels not being able to recall the first two and half decades of her life. Many of the events she describes are from secondary sources. Even though the memoir is primarily written in the author’s voice, other characters take over when they are quoted in the retelling of a story. This can be a bit confusing, but it’s definitely an interesting and different way to format a memoir. It’s structured in such a way that the readers feel like Meck interviewed her family members about her own life. Unable to recount it with any certainty, readers are able to feel the author’s frustration with never being able to know who she was and her personal beliefs about anything. This is a side of amnesia that I’ve never thought of. Of course, most people know that amnesia involves a loss of memory. However, I never included a person’s life goals as a part of his or her memory. It seems unimaginable to lose your closely held beliefs or to forget your aspirations completely.

Another major recurring theme throughout the memoir is the author’s dissatisfaction with her early premature release from the hospital. She consistently draws attention to discrepancies in the hospital records during her stay. Although the notes from the doctors, nurses, therapists, and social workers show the breadth of work that go into recovering from a traumatic brain injury, they also show inconsistencies in her symptoms and the decision to let her leave the hospital early.

A person writing a memoir when they can’t remember their own life seems like an incredibly steep challenge. Through stories from friends and family as well as looking into medical documents from her hospital stay, Meck has assembled her life story. I Forgot to Remember is a heart wrenching and inspiring book that truly illustrates what it’s like to live with a traumatic brain injury.

Meck, Su & de Vise, Daniel. (2014) I Forgot to Remember: A Memoir of Amnesia. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster. ISBN: 9781451685817.
Hardcover. 281 pages. Includes index and references.
Key words: retrograde amnesia, traumatic brain injury, memoir, healthcare

Knipe emdr toolboxKnipe, J. (2014). EMDR Toolbox: Theory and Treatment of Complex PTSD and Dissociation. New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company. ISBN: 9780826171269.
Paperback. 256 pages. Includes index and bibliography.
Key words: EMDR, trauma, states, adaptive information processing.

EMDR Toolbox: Theory and Treatment of Complex PTSD and Dissociation provides a framework for employing supplementary Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) techniques to treat more complex disorders involving psychological defenses and dissociative symptoms, such as complex post-traumatic stress disorder. The book is meant to introduce additional techniques to therapists with prior experience in performing standard EMDR therapy.

Experienced practitioners can quickly and effectively treat clearly-recalled, single-incident traumas with standard EMDR procedures. However, many patients present with conditions that indicate internally discordant personality structures such as anxiety and depression. Distinct states of minds are activated at different times by certain memories, specifically the young emotional part (EP) and apparent normal part (ANP). The ANP attempts to maintain a sense of normality, while the EP is intrusive, recalling the fearful ego state at the time of the traumatic event.

EMDR therapy is founded on the adaptive information processing (AIP) model, which assumes that there is a human mechanism for processing and resolving disturbing life experiences that is natural and physical. The AIP model states that these memories, even if disturbing, are subject to the natural tendency of the mind to move away from a reactive response and towards “realistic” consideration. The book explains how AIP applies to the treatment in three parts, regarding complex PTSD, psychological defenses, and dissociative personality structure.

Author Dr. Jim Knipe, a practicing psychologist, has been using EMDR since 1992. Knipe, throughout the book, offers anecdotes from his practice, many pictorial aids, and even two patient session transcripts, thereby personalizing and clarifying the material. The professionalism and transparency in these details is important because, as Knipe writes, “this process is not primarily cognitive but occurs naturally, ‘off the radar’”.

EMDR Toolbox: Theory and Treatment of Complex PTSD and Dissociation is a valuable resource, inviting and informative, for psychotherapists already trained in standard EMDR that desire to expand their practice and better treat complex patient cases.

Hefferon positive psychologyHefferon, Kate. (2013) Positive Psychology and The Body: The Somatopsychic Side to Flourishing. New York, NY: Open University Press. 254 pages. ISBN: 9780335247714.

Review by Kristina Flemming, Columbia University

According to Kate Hefferon, most of the literature on positive psychology doesn’t give fair mention to the body’s role in this field. Hefferon hopes to address this issue and illustrate how the two go hand in hand in her book, Positive Psychology and the Body. By integrating several perspectives to give an overarching view, she provides a clearly organized text introducing positive psychology and its relationship with various other fields of study.
Each chapter has a specific layout, which is succinctly explained in the preface of the book. There are mock essay questions located at the beginning of each chapter which hints that the book is mostly designed for students. The essay questions are only one example of the interactive content throughout the book. Case studies, fun facts, and suggested resources are just some of the many learning boxes within the text. These allow the readers to pause and really think about the material.
The first half of the book is practically an introductory course in psychology. It’s great if you want a refresher on a topic or be able to see the grand scheme of things as Hefferon connects everything to positive psychology and the body. I don’t think this text can stand alone, but I also don’t believe it was meant to. It’s a great supplementary text and definitely provides all the tools necessary for learning about positive psychology. The book is less about being introduced to new topics; it’s mostly about seeing how all the pieces connect together in a new and engaging way. Nevertheless, don’t be too quick to think that there’s nothing new the book has to offer. You might find a bit of information totally foreign to you. For example, I was introduced to health psychology and positive health.
Positive Psychology and the Body: The Somatopsychic Side to Flourishing is not supposed to be an all encompassing text.. Hefferon presents the relevant topics and provides a starting point. Now you have to do the heavy lifting and research it for yourself. Hefferon offers a lot of new topics to the conversation. She also notes the value that positive psychology holds for research in other unexpected fields. The purpose of the book may be not only to inform, but also to spark interest; something valuable to everyone not just the novice.

Hefferon, Kate. (2013) Positive Psychology and The Body: The Somatopsychic Side to Flourishing. New York, NY: Open University Press. ISBN: 9780335247714.
Paperback. 254 pages. Includes index and references.
Key words: positive psychology, the body, health, sexuality

Geller psychotherapist therapyGeller, J.D., Norcross, J.C., Orlinksy, D.E. (2005). The Psychotherapist’s Own Psychotherapy: Patient and Clinical Perspectives. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. 429 pages. ISBN:987-0-19-513394-3.

Reviewed by: Alexa D’Angelo, Hunter College

Edited by Jesse D. Geller, John C. Norcross and David E. Orlinsky, The Psychotherapist’s Own Psychotherapy tackles the topic of the psychotherapist as a patient. More specifically, the editors have gathered nearly thirty essays, written by a number of professionals in the field of psychotherapy, which explore the subjects of the psychotherapist’s experience in psychotherapy, as well as the impact and importance of therapy for the practicing psychotherapist or analyst. The Psychotherapist’s Psychotherapy is organized into three parts. The first is dedicated to “The Therapist’s Therapy in Different Theoretical Orientations”, the second discusses the therapist as a patient, while the third part is focused on the experience of the therapists’ psychotherapist (x-xii). Editors Geller, Norcross and Orlinksy have compiled a body of work that is deeply informative on the topic of the psychotherapist’s psychotherapeutic experience.
Chapter I, presents readers with a comprehensive introduction to the topic of the psychotherapist’s therapy, as well as the implications for both their personal and professional life. This includes the role of the psychotherapist’s therapist, as well as the largely limited guidelines and literature that refer to this relationship. The authors identify individual therapy as an important tool, which should be utilized by practicing psychotherapists “as the symbolic core of professional identity” (3). While personal experience in individual therapy is obligatory in clinical psychology programs in many European countries, the United States often does not require any experience in psychotherapy (with the exception of psychoanalytic training)(5).
Part II presents readers with autobiographical essays, which recount the psychotherapeutic experiences of several psychotherapists in differing theoretical orientations. Jesse D. Geller, a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, recalls his time with five different psychotherapists in his essay, “A Patient in Five Psychoanalytic Psychotherapies” ((81). He delves into the successes, failures and difficulties he experienced in psychotherapy, beginning with his first psychotherapy experience at New York’s, City College (82). Geller offers a great deal of insightful and relevant information relative to his varying experiences in psychotherapy throughout his academic and professional life.
Geller, Norcross and Orlinksy have compiled a group of theoretically diverse essays that tackle the topic of the therapist’s psychotherapy from both the viewpoint of the therapist-patient, as well as the therapist’s therapist. Through various insightful and informative essays, readers are offered a great deal of information on the subject, as well as an emphasis on the importance of psychotherapy for the practicing psychotherapist.

Geller, J.D., Norcross, J.C., Orlinksy, D.E. (2005). The Psychotherapist’s Own Psychotherapy: Patient and Clinical Perspectives. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. ISBN:987-0-19-513394-3.
Hardcover. 429 pages. References and Index included.
Keywords: Psychotherapy, Patient Perspectives, Autobiography

by Ilana Rubenfeld (Author), Joan Borysenko (Foreword)

The Rubenfeld Synergy Method is an elegant, powerful system that integrates bodywork, intuition, and psychotherapy. Memories and emotions stored in our bodies can result in energy blocks and imbalances. Rubenfeld Synergy utilizes talk, movement, awareness, imagination, humor, and compassionate touch as gateways — contacting and melting frozen tensions and emotions, freeing the body from pain and the mind from suffering.

The Listening Hand includes:

• Body-mind exercises designed to awaken awareness, free breathing, and reveal the body metaphors that tell your life story

• Guided steps that break through inner barriers and lead to concrete improvements in your daily life and relationships

• Energy explorations for contacting the energy field in yourself and others — and how you can use it to heal

• Experiments for couples that gently increase communication, intimacy, and sexual openness

• Practices that enable helpers to avoid physical, emotional, and spiritual burnout

• A complete 7-day Mind Your Muscles program for tension release, body alignment, and enhanced flexibility