Creativity in Psychotherapy: Reaching New Heights with Individuals, Couples, and Families

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Creativity in Psychotherapy: Reaching New Heights With Individuals, Couples, and Families. D. K. Carson and K. W. Becker. Binghamton, NY: The Haworth Press, Inc. 2003. 237 pp. Hardcover ISBN: 0-7890-1578-1, $59.95; Paperback ISBN: 0-7890-1579-X, $34.95.

There are times when even seasoned psychotherapists seem to "hit the wall" in terms of providing opportunities for therapeutic change in their clients and become hard pressed to discover ways to get the therapeutic process back on track. With this book, it is the authors' intention to enable the reader to employ creative strategies to get unstuck when doing psychotherapy with individuals, couples, and families. As they note in a parallel article, "When lightening strikes: reexamining creativity in psychotherapy," (Journal of Counseling and Development, Winter, 2004, 111-115), it is when psychotherapy seems to grind to a halt that the greatest necessity and opportunity for creativity arises. Further, whereas it is the responsibility of the therapist to free the process from inertia, it is the opportunity of the therapist and the client to do that work in a cocreative manner.

The uniqueness of the book is that it addresses the issue of creativity in couples and family therapy, inasmuch as they present a different dynamic than individual therapy. The authors also expressly eschew favoring one "school" of therapy over another; rather, they seek to find opportunities for creative expression in a wide range of therapeutic modalities, from an "integrative and systemic," (p. 3) frame of reference.

Section I addresses the importance of creativity in individual, couple, and family therapies. Included in this section is a helpful discussion on the interplay of creativity and resiliency (pp. 58-62), a topic worthy of expansion. Section II offers the results of research done by the authors on the exercise of creativity in psychotherapy. They present their research tools and an expansive reporting of their data, with application for the reader. Section III supplies creative interventions for the practitioner, offering strategies for creative intervention in 10 contemporary schools of thought. …


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