Academic journal article American Journal of Psychotherapy

The Mystified Fortune Teller and Other Tales from Psychotherapy

Academic journal article American Journal of Psychotherapy

The Mystified Fortune Teller and Other Tales from Psychotherapy

Article excerpt

GERALD AMADA: The Mystified Fortune Teller and Other Tales from Psychotherapy. Madison Books, New York, 1998, 155 pp., $24.95, ISBN 1-56833-099-5 (cloth).

"A therapist can sometimes get better results by pointing out to a client a common sense course of action than by imparting psychological interpretations of the client's behavior (pp. 33-34)." Such is Amada's conclusion about one of the cases he so clearly outlines. But don't let that mislead you. This is a book about psychotherapy, not about the giving of advice, and Amada is clearly a committed and relatively orthodox practitioner of psychotherapy. But Amada is not so orthodox as to be without surprises, some of which proved to be refreshing, some exasperating. Many of his tales (and they really are well-told tales) were variously touching, heartwarming, humorous, and some were even real adventures and had me wanting to look ahead to see what the outcome might be.

Amada's book is an unhurried one. It is a book that can be begun and set down and later picked up. The examples in this book are widely varied, yet sufficiently common as to evoke memories of patients I have known and treated. Amada's use of descriptive language is good, and I found myself drawn into the narratives (for that is his general style), which he supplements with regular asides that serve as teaching points. …

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