Professional Books -- Practicing Therapy: Exercises for Growing Therapists by A. H. Rambo, A. Heath and R. J. Chenail

Article excerpt

In Practicing Therapy, Anne Rambo, Anthony Heath, and Ron Chenail have created an engaging book--actually, three books. Like three strong soloists, they chose to convey their thoughts one at a time, yet clearly in concert. The authors evidently decided that their strength as a writing team was in their differences. Of course not everyone will appreciate this decision. Some readers may prefer a single theme, presented succinctly in one voice, expanded with subthemes, then repeated in summary. After all, those were the rules most of us were taught, albeit somewhat painfully at times. Boldly, this trio decided to break the rules and offer us a collage of their intellect and experience, allowing the reader to interact more freely with their multiple ideas and styles. In fact, the authors take this invitation to interact with them a step further, giving considerable attention to the reader's ongoing thought processes as they present their ideas. There are 77 separate exercises designed to stimulate the reader's curiosity and self-awareness. The exercises are sprinkled through out the text and integrated in such a way that they cannot be skipped over as "fill." The exercises add considerably to the reader's impression that the authors are speaking directly to the reader, much in the manner of a concerned mentor.

Anne Rambo leads off with a delightful walk through the intellectual uncertainty that comes with more knowledge. Through an engaging recollection of her clinical experiences she makes the case for simple listening. She provides exercises aimed at helping the reader become better at listening, not so much as a skill but as an expression of empathy. Influenced by those who listen to family drama and hear stories, such as Harry Goolishian, Anne Rambo has developed a listening ear and a big heart. …