Academic journal article American Journal of Psychotherapy

Book Reviews -- the New Language of Change: Constructive Collaboration in Psychotherapy Edited by Steven Friedman

Academic journal article American Journal of Psychotherapy

Book Reviews -- the New Language of Change: Constructive Collaboration in Psychotherapy Edited by Steven Friedman

Article excerpt

STEVEN FRIEDMAN, ED.: The New Language of Change: Constructive Collaboration in Psychotherapy. The Guilford Press, New York, 1993, 464 pp., $39.95.

The New Language of Change is more of a manifesto for our times than a book on psychotherapy. As its cover suggests, the professional grandchildren of Milton Erickson, now in the family therapy movement, are emerging from the ocean of traditional psychotherapy.

The editor, Steven Friedman, is kind enough to give a two-page guide to the "manifesto" at the beginning of the book. This is essential for the reader because each chapter can take, on average, one full hour to read and there are eighteen chapters in this volume. If the reviewer's task was daunting, the editor's was epic. He organized it into four sections according to the themes of the new movement: (1) Paths to Solution deals with solution-oriented psychotherapy techniques; (2) Narratives of Liberations shows how to coauthor the clients' self stories; (3) Reflexive Conversations suggests the use of reflecting teams, reflection and conversation as a medium out of which couple or family change may (or may not) occur and finally, The Postmodern Era: A Universe of Stories offers personal accounts of a therapist's journey to find his lost ancestry and a clinician's search for social direction as reflected in modern literature. More praise for the editor, he had each contributor include actual clinical dialogue, which really helps the reader get a feel for how the new theories apply and he provocatively questions the clinician at the end of each chapter. …

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