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Resource List 06: Reviewed Psychotherapy Books

A COLLECTION OF RECENT ENGLISH-LANGUAGE PSYCHOTHERAPY BOOK REVIEWS

Compiled under the direction of Jacqueline A. Carleton Ph.D. (and her interns) for the IJP (April, 2015).  


Ackerman, D. (2014). The Human Age: The World Shaped By Us.

Allen, D. (2015). Getting things done: The art of stress-free productivity

Banks, A. (2015). Four Ways to Click: Rewire Your Brain for Stronger, More Rewarding Relationships

Bongiorno, P. (2015). Holistic Solutions for Anxiety & Depression in Therapy: Combining Natural Remedies with Conventional Care.

Bush, A. (2015). Simple Self-Care For Therapists: Restorative Practices To Weave Through Your Workday

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

Crastnopol, M. (2015). Micro-trauma: A Psychoanalytic Understanding of Cumulative Psychic Injury.

Emerson, D. (2015). Trauma-Sensitive Yoga In Therapy: Bringing the Body Into Treatment.

Gokhale, E. (2008). 8 Steps To A Pain-Free Back: Remember When It Didn't hurt.

Goldstein, A. (2011). When Sex Hurts: A Woman's Guide to Banishing Sexual Pain.

Hamne, G. & Sandström, U. (2015). Resolving Yesterday: First Aid For Stress And Trauma With TTT. 

Hanson, R. (2009). Buddha's Brain: The practical neuroscience of happiness, love, and wisdom.

Hanson, R. (2011). Just One Thing: Developing a Buddha Brain One Simple Practice at a Time.

Holmes, J. (2014). The Therapeutic Imagination: Using Literature to Deepen Psychodynamic Understanding and Enhance Empathy

Lanius, U.F., Paulsen, S.L., & Corrigan, F.M. (2014).Neurobiology and Treatment of Traumatic Dissociation: Toward and Embodied Self.

Leszcz, M., Pain, C., Hunter, J., Maunder, R., & Ravitz, P. (2015). Psychotherapy Essentials To Go: Achieving Psychotherapy Effectiveness.

Loewenthal, D. & Samuels, A. (2014). Relational Psychotherapy, Psychoanalysis, and Counselling: Appraisals and Reappraisals.

Meck, S. (2014). I forgot to remember: A memoir of amnesia.

Mercer, J. (2014). Alternate Psychotherapies: Evaluating Unconventional Mental Health Treatments.

Mischke Reeds, M. (2015). 8 Keys to Practicing Mindfulness: Practical Strategies For Emotional Health and Well-Being.

Nakazawa, D. (2013). The Last Best Cure: My Quest to Awaken the Healing Parts of My Brain and Get Back My Body, My Joy, and My Life.

Odgers, A. (2014). From Broken Attachments to Earned Security: The Role of Empathy in Therapeutic Change.

Ogden, P. & Fisher, J. (2015). Sensorimotor Psychotherapy: Interventions for Trauma and Attachment.

Puzantian, T. (2014). The Carlat Psychiatry Report Medication Fact Book For Psychiatric Practice. Second Edition.

Taiwo, A. (2011). Power, Resistance, and Liberation in Therapy with Survivors of Trauma: To Have Our Hearts Broken.

Van Der Kolk, B. (2014). The Body Keeps The Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma.

Wehrenberg, M. (2015). The 10 Best Anxiety Busters: Simple Strategies to Take Control of Your Worry.

Welch, H. (2015). Less Medicine More Health: 7 Assumptions That Drive Too Much Medical Care.<.a>

Wilks, J. & Knight, I. (2014). Using The Bowen Technique to Address Complex and Common Problems.


Ackerman, D. (2014). The Human Age: The World Shaped By Us
Reviewed by: Michael Fiorini, New York University

Drawing upon numerous fields, from a primarily anthropological context to sociocultural history, evolution, and genetics, The Human Age: The World Shaped By Us looks at the current and future impact of human civilization in relation to the surrounding world. The author relates us to other animals in our similarities, mutual reliance, and how we influence the evolutionary progression of all life on earth. The book additionally examines the nature of humanity in relation to technology, the fossil record, and the aspects of human action and history that most irrevocably altered contemporary life. Key themes are climate change, pollution, the interaction of nature and technology, and future developments to counteract the impact of humanity on the natural world. The very notion of what natural is in an age where human beings can, for example, actually create previously unseen elements is an important underlying discussion point. The book suggests that our technological and social development over the last several hundred years changed the discourse of the planet, and assists in taking stock of our continuing influence on the future. 
       
The Human Age is broken down into different sections separated by field and focus of human influence. The opening section details how we might define the Anthropocene, or human era, where it begins and what the lasting legacy of it will be in the environmental, biological, and geological record. From here, the book is framed as a sort of taking stock of humanity as a variable of nature. The next section then concentrates on the direct environmental changes humanity has caused and what this might spell for our and the worlds future. It examines how humanity uses and abuses natural resources landscapes, and plant life. The next section follows a similar dialogue, except this time, it focuses on our use, abuse, and interaction with other animals. Of note here is a historical account of humanity affecting natural selection, species diversity, invasive species proliferation, and the use of animals in armed conflict. Following this is a section covering technology and what that might might entail for future existential experience, biology, and what it will mean to be a living creature. This is a segue into the final part, which further examines the notion of what defines humanity in the coming age of integrative technology. It also cross-examines our existing reliance on unseen bacterial forces and our malleability in evolutionary dependence. Throughout, the dialogue presented is coherent and conversational in tone, but heavily references contemporary scientific developments relevant to its discussion points.
            Presenting a wide array of observations, research, and analysis of the impact of humanity on the world and on ourselves as we develop new technologies, The Human Age offers readers an important narrative for framing our place in the history of the world. It is for this reason that professional psychological readership will find the book particularly captivating. Especially for those interested but not otherwise well-versed in the current developments addressing the impact of humanity on nature, the book is an excellent starting point for learning more. For the field of ecopsychology this book is highly relevant, and for those unacquainted with that field of research and theory, it is a great opening foray towards expanding knowledge relating to it. It offers a long list of suggested reading, and is aimed at those with an interest in the social sciences. The goal behind what is brought forth and explored is to deepen the readers understanding of humanitys place in the fabric of the natural world and how this will play out over the future. Even if this does not apply directly to clinical practice, readers will find that the book assists extensively in framing a means to think about what it means to be human, something extremely important in the changing social and technological atmosphere we now find ourselves.
           Diane Ackerman was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction, and is an author widely awarded and recognized for her literary contributions. Her work includes the popular books The Zookeepers Wife and A Natural History of the Senses.

Ackerman, D. (2014). The Human Age: The World Shaped By Us. New York: W.W. Norton.
ISBN: 978-0-393-24074-0.
Hardcover: 344 pages. Includes notes, index, and suggested reading.
Key words: anthropology, sociology, genetics, history, evolution


Allen, D. (2015). Getting things done: The art of stress-free productivity.
Reviewed by: Anny Reyes, New York University          

For many the twenty-four hours the day has to offer are not enough to complete the innumerable tasks and projects on their to-do list. Hundreds of books, workshops, and classes are offered to those interested in increasing productivity and efficacy. Large corporations invest millions of dollars to increase work productivity and train their employees in time management, self-efficacy and overall in Getting Things Done. With the information age one might think that access to technology would have increased productivity at work and home, however technology has created more distractions. It is difficult to focus solely on one task when we are constantly interrupted by emails, cell phone calls, and the constant access to information that is one click away. Others believe that multitasking is the most effective way of getting things done, but they fail to realize that this just consumes more time than necessary.
     People are taking up more tasks and responsibilities at work and home and often find themselves submerged in a sea of stress and anxiety. Their solution to completing their work is to sacrifice their personal and family time, which ultimately creates more stress. A natural amount of stress is necessary for performance, however high levels of stress hinder performance, critical and creative thinking, and overall productivity. So the million-dollar question is: how do we become more productive while reducing stress and anxiety? David Allen provides an answer to this question with a simple and yet efficient principle: write things down as you think of them. There is no real way to achieve the kind of relaxed control Im promising if you keep things only in your head (pg 23). It is a no-brainer: the distractions and mind clutter we create ourselves ultimately impede us from successfully completing a task. In a nutshell Allens system of productivity focuses on getting things out of your head, organizing them, and getting them done. This principle works whether you are working on a large project or on daily tasks such as reading and answering emails.
     In order to further elaborate on his philosophy Allen provides a 5-step process, which he calls the The Five Stages of Mastering Workflow. The first step is to collect all your ideas by simply writing them down and putting them in an inbox, this could be an electronic inbox or a simple physical in-tray. The next step is to process your inbox by using Allans two-minute rule. If a task can be completed in two minutes, complete it immediately. Otherwise, set it aside to complete it at a later time. The next step is to organize the tasks based on whether they require action from you now or in the future. This step is the most self-defined part of the process and Allen offers many strategies that will help you organize your ideas and projects efficiently into different piles or folders. Organizing your tasks and projects into these piles shortly becomes a habit that you will review in either a daily or weekly basis. The last step of the process is to simply take action. With everything organized you could focus on the one task at hand without being distracted. This process organizes your life and clears your mind from clutter.
     
At first you might be overwhelmed with the amount of information provided, but you might then realize that the principle is simple and easy to follow. Allens approach is modular, which could either be applied entirely or in a piece-meal basis. You could read the book from start to finish or browse for specific strategies and ideas. His advice is timeless and his strategies could be implemented in any setting, at work, home, or school. This book provides essential tools that will aid in maximizing output, minimizing input, and creating a stress-free productivity. Psychotherapists would find this book an excellent resource for clients who experience anxiety and stress due to busy schedules. Allens principle of writing things down is a concept many psychotherapists would agree is a useful tactic to alleviate anxiety and stress and organize ones life.

Allen, D. (2015). Getting things done: The art of stress-free productivity. New York, NY: Penguin Books.
ISBN: 978-0-14-312656-0317.
Paperback: 317 Pages.
Includes: index and appendix. Keywords: self-help, organization skills, personal productivity


Banks, A. (2015). Four Ways to Click: Rewire Your Brain for Stronger, More Rewarding Relationships.
Reviewed by: Michael Fiorini, New York University

Four Ways to Click: Rewire Your Brain for Stronger, More Rewarding Relationships is a self-help book designed to illustrate, via a strongly neuroscience-based framework, the nature of readers personal relationships. The goal of the book is, ostensibly, to identify the readers strong and weak relationships through included evaluations and map out actions that can improve them. The explicit goal is to change the way the brains of readers are wired through interventions that target four specific brain regions as outlined in the books C.A.R.E. Plan. The essential concern of the book is to make the concept of neuroplasticity understandable for readers without a background in neuroscience, and to this end it puts an impressive degree of detail outlining effective framing techniques and evaluative considerations in all forms of relationships. Although there is a definite slant towards non-professional readership due to its self-help structure and presentation style, it is nonetheless a useful guide for relating neuroscience to relationship development. Professional readers will, thus, find it an excellent framing tool for marriage or relationship therapy goal formation and intervention. It also has potential as a guiding tool for those clients dealing with a shortage of meaningful friendships, or an abundance of negative ones.
     
Four Ways to Click structures the information it presents around its C.A.R.E. Plan. C.A.R.E., here, abbreviates calm, accepted, resonant, and energetic, which are the books terminology for explaining the brain regions affecting those feelings. Targeted areas of interest are the smart vagus, dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, the mirror neuron system, and the dopaminergic system, respectively. The book first details for readers a way to reconsider their relationships, with the opening chapter covering the way in which certain boundaries within them are unproductive. The next chapter details the four aforementioned neural pathways of concern for healthy relationships. The third chapter covers the three rules of brain change, dealing with neuronal entanglement, the vocation of repetition, and competitive neuroplasticity. The fourth chapter focuses on self assessment and how to consider particular results from those assessments. The next four chapters cover each of the facets of the C.A.R.E. Plan in greater detail in light of the readers self-evaluation results and through incorporation of illustrative examples and clinical case studies. The end of the book relates to practices undertaken for improving overall brain health.
     Using a wide array of neuroscientific information, Four Ways to Click, although seemingly simplistic at first, gives readers a fairly in-depth understanding of how their brains impact and are influenced by their close relationships. It also accomplishes the translation of a great deal of complex knowledge without coming off as dry or dense, something that readers aimed towards self-help will appreciate. It is an important factor to consider for professional readers either not accustomed to incorporating a neuroscience modality to their work or who otherwise need to be brought up to speed on how it might play a meaningful role in the relationships of clients. As an outlining guide it can be useful in therapy, either directly or indirectly, both in client evaluation and intervention construction. For those readers who are already acquainted with neuroscience as it relates to cognition and interpersonal relationships, the book will prove rather redundant and reductive in scope as compared to formal training regarding the topic. Having said that, if one feels the need to brush up on adaptive neuroscience in a way that would be easier for clients to understand, it might still prove useful. Researchers and students, in spite of the clinical and personal vocations of the book, will not be able to utilize it for research, however, as there are very few citations and resources included here.
            Amy Banks, MD, is a former instructor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, and currently works as director of Advanced training at the Jean Baker Miller Training Institute at the Wellesley Centers for Women. She runs a private practice that specializes in relational psychopharmacology as well as  conducting therapy for sufferers of chronic disconnection.

Banks, A. (2015). Four Ways to Click: Rewire Your Brain for Stronger, More Rewarding Relationships. New York, NY: Penguin.
ISBN: 978-0-399-16919-9.
Hardcover: 308 pages. Includes index and notes.
Key words: neuroplasticity, neuroscience, relationships, love, connection, self-help


Bongiorno, P. (2015). Holistic Solutions for Anxiety & Depression in Therapy: Combining Natural Remedies with Conventional Care.
Reviewed by: Helen Hu, New York University.

Written by Peter Bongiorno, a doctor of naturopathic medicine based in New York, Holistic Solutions for Anxiety & Depression in Therapy: Combining Natural Remedies with Conventional Care is a guide meant for the busy mental health professional looking for a go-to primer about natural health care for anxiety and depression (xvii). More specifically, the field of holistic medicinean approach that considers each person to be a unified whole (xvi)is one that has become increasingly popular over time. However, it is still a fairly new perspective: in most instances of traditional medicine, the brain and the body are treated as separate entities. Bongiorno makes it clear that although the holistic approach is not suited for every patient, there are certain benefits it offers that medications do not.
            The book is divided into seven chapters, complete with an introduction and six appendices for further reference. Each chapter is more involved than its predecessorChapter One, for instance, focuses on whether or not holistic approaches are appropriate for the client whereas Chapter Seven addresses treatment plans and recommendations. Bongiorno consistently puts emphasis on the fact that external (i.e., lifestyle) factors are just as influential on an individuals behavior and mood as internal factors are. In some cases, he argues, medication can actually slow down or prevent the healing process. It is with this idea in mind that Holistic Solutions brings forth its core motivator for supporting holistic medicine: to help the body balance itself (xvii).
            Holistic Solutions is primarily geared towards mental health professionals looking for a well-rounded overview of how holistic medicine works. Bongiorno addresses the reader as a fellow physician, giving advice on how to treat a client in terms of what tests to order, what to look for in a family background, etc. In this sense, members of the general public may not be able to get as much out of reading this work. This does not mean that Holistic Solutions is a difficult readas a matter of fact, the language of the book remains largely conversational and when more complicated concepts are introduced, Bongiorno helpfully provides explanations in the process of walking his audience through. The summary charts included in the appendices further support the idea that Bongiorno fully intends to share the most valuable aspects of his knowledge without wasting time or effort on more superficial details.
            Though there is still much information to be discovered concerning holistic medicine, this book certainly is an eye-opener for novices who are curious about the field. Holistic Solutions for Anxiety & Depression in Therapy may very well be an indication of the future of medicine: perhaps, in order to make the most out of treatment, mental health professionals ought to consider addressing the body in its entirety. In other words, natural remedies and conventional care should work hand-in-hand to provide an optimal recovery for the patient. According to Bongiorno, a healthy body equates to a healthy mind; that perspective is one that ought to be considered with more gravity.

Bongiorno, P. (2015). Holistic Solutions for Anxiety & Depression in Therapy: Combining Natural Remedies with Conventional Care. New York, NY: W.W. Norton. 
ISBN: 978-0-393-70934-6.
Hardcover: 394 pages.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Key words: anxiety, author, depression, mental health, non-fiction, writing


Bush, A. (2015). Simple Self-Care For Therapists: Restorative Practices To Weave Through Your Workday.
Reviewed by: Michael Fiorini, New York University

The primary concern of Simple Self-Care For Therapists is to break down effective methods to combat burnout and work-related stresses specific to practicing psychotherapists. In addressing this, the book outlines myriad common scenarios coupled with personal anecdotes from the author to illustrate what they might look. After taking into consideration the background of a specific problem encountered by a therapist, one or more approaches are then discussed and broken down simply to ameliorate negative affect. The scope of potential issues the book discusses, despite the impossibility of capturing every potential avenue of stress, make it highly effective in addressing common problems experienced by therapists, especially those emotionally grounded. Incorporating mindfulness, meditative practices, reframing, and even basic beneficial physical health practices like maintaining a proper sleep schedule are discussed at length and broken down in detail. The goal here is for therapists to find how best to help themselves through outlined techniques.
            The end result of these practices, ideally, is to restore an emotionally healthy, productive, and reinvigorated outlook to psychotherapeutic work. Drawing upon over sixty different restorative practices, the book presents tools for grounding, energizing, and relaxing in reaction to or in preparation for various clinical situations. Vicarious trauma, compassion fatigue, and burnout are central to this guide, but much more tangential experiences are additionally discussed to increase the tools scope of application. Focusing squarely on practicing clinicians, the language and structure are tailored to fit a model of self-care that will translate easily for therapists, additionally drawing upon eastern philosophic concepts and humanistic theory to frame goals and refocus existential conception.
            For those psychology professionals who seek to address the problems commonly affecting their practice, Simple Self-Care is an excellent starting point. Its helpful examples, techniques, and breakdown of approach serve to make the process of much needed self-improvement and empowerment streamlined and easy accessible. Importantly, there is a common aspect throughout the books narrative that feeling like youve hit a roadblock in your therapeutic practice and outlook is fairly common and completely normal given the emotional sensitivity of the work being done. Taking this into account is an underlying goal throughout the book. The personal anecdotes accompanying examples and the community or forum-based origins of solutions for them ultimately serve to remind practitioners that what is discussed are shared negative experiences. The dialogue, as a result, feels less like a self help book and more like a workshop. Providing the intellectual space to absorb and utilize proven techniques to improve the self is where this really makes a significant impact for the professional community at large.
            Ashley Davis Bush works as a psychotherapist and grief counselor in a private practice. She conducts workshops and trainings on a variety of professional and self-help topics around the country as well. he has appeared on a number of national TV and radio programs, and has published six books, including Shortcuts to Inner Peace and Transcending Loss.

Bush, A. (2015). Simple Self-Care For Therapists: Restorative Practices To Weave Through Your Workday. New York, NY: W.W. Norton.
ISBN: 978-0-393-70837-0.
Hardcover: 273 pages. Includes index and references.
Key words: autobiography, therapist, mourning, nonfiction, first-person


Courtois, 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 books 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 for 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


Crastnopol, M. (2015). Micro-trauma: A Psychoanalytic Understanding of Cumulative Psychic Injury.
Reviewed by: Michael Fiorini, New York University

The book on Micro-trauma: A Psychoanalytic Understanding of Cumulative Psychic Injury is a book concentrated on describing and illustrating the nature of micro-trauma and how to approach the phenomenon therapeutically. Micro-trauma, here, is the gradual buildup of small traumatic moments that, while individually unattended to, create a longstanding and underlying traumatic emotional experience. The concept was theorized by the author, drawing from numerous social and clinical trends that result in the gradual but acute accumulation of trauma-related affect. The book is, thus, a means of characterizing and explaining how this emotional state forms and what clinicians should expect in affected clients regarding symptomatic materialization. Significant because it is the first body of work describing this phenomenon in this way, Micro-trauma is a fascinating examination of the resonance of emotional experience and how affect operates within an insidious network of related feelings. With an abundance of vignettes to illustrate its principles and a strong, varied theoretical perspective, the book can be invaluable for researchers and clinical professionals alike.
           Initially concerned with explaining the title concept through an overview relating it to prior theoretical work concerning how trauma is thought of and forms, the book goes on to describe specific factors that separate the concept from others. The mechanisms of this form of traumas gradual emotional activation, both social and psychological, are then concentrated on throughout. In order following from the initial overview, the book first topically discusses unkind cutting back and its navigation, covering interpersonal and individual experiences of it. Next comes the pitfalls of connoisseurship, or expertise, and how that individual identification can be problematic in relation to the self and others. Uneasy intimacy takes up the following chapter, where notions of closeness and the subtle discomfort of unwanted or ambiguous attachments are covered. Psychic airbrushing and excessive niceness and the gradual emotional effects they entail make up the next part. Chronic entrenchment and its collateral damage, the sixth chapter, brings to light those clients and people who fixate on specific affect and existential states, and what that entails for trauma development over time. The next part, covering unbridled indignation, discusses how it can aggravate the accumulation of micro-trauma. Little Murders and other everyday micro-assaults examines the many different kinds of seemingly minor emotional wounds we endure and how we frequently fail to notice them until they accumulate and develop into a significant overall traumatic experience. In addition to the final part discussing repairing the emotional damage regarding micro-trauma, each section makes a point to somehow relate its topic of discussion to how they might materialize in the clinical setting.
           Because this is the first book to explicitly cover Micro-trauma, it adds an illuminating perspective to the contemporary psychotherapeutic framework regarding trauma. It offers a new means of classification and focuses on aspects of trauma that would otherwise be more ambiguous and difficult to clarify. More importantly, the book opens the door for further research and review from professional readership, something valuable for the scientifically and clinically-minded. Nuance is a frequent element in considering affect and developmental psychopathology, and in many ways this book is aimed at alleviating some of that, attempting to bring greater acuity to trauma-related clinical approaches. Relying on a great deal of illustrative material, the book additionally models itself to be built upon, expanded conceptually and practically. As a resource and point of reference it is a compelling new entry for psychotherapists and the psychiatric community.
            Maria Crastnopol, PhD., is a member of the faculty at the Seattle Psychoanalytic Society and Institute and works as a supervisor at the William Allison White Institute of Psychiatry, Psychoanalysis, and Psychology. She is a training and supervising analyst at the Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis in Los Angeles. A writer and international teacher of analyst and patient subjectivity, micro-trauma, and other related subjects, she also runs a private practice.

Crastnopol, M. (2015). Micro-trauma: A Psychoanalytic Understanding of Cumulative Psychic Injury. New York, NY: Routledge.
ISBN: 978-0-415-80036-5.
Paperback: 252 pages. Includes notes, index and references.
Key Words: trauma, micro-trauma, psychoanalysis, case study, cumulative trauma


Emerson, D. (2015). Trauma-Sensitive Yoga In Therapy: Bringing the Body Into Treatment.
Reviewed by: Michael Fiorini, New York University

Trauma-Sensitive Yoga In Therapy: Bringing the Body Into Treatment is a book designed for teaching practicing clinicians how to integrate and use a variation of yoga in their work. Incorporating a wide array of theoretical and practical influences and with an underlying research framework backing up the techniques, the book brings readers into the goals and uses of this form of body-centric work. It is presented so that practitioners from any school of psychology can use Trauma-Sensitive Yoga. The concept here is for certain aspects of yoga to be used as a means of bringing a person into therapy in a more present, meaningful way that emphasizes mindfulness, with tailored exercises for those experiencing trauma that otherwise hinders therapy. The book instructs therapists as much as it also explains how the practice relates to the theory and practice of therapy in relation to working with clients suffering from PTSD, dissociation, and related aspects of mental distress. The end goal is to make existing therapy more effective and to assist clients in getting in touch with their current state and underlying feelings. As this is done through reframing for practitioners the physical and mental experiences of clients, the book offers a comprehensive look into the nature of trauma while also tackling useful yogic concepts.
            Beginning by first explaining how Trauma-Sensitive Yoga differs from traditional and common forms of yoga, the book makes clear for readers that while yogic in principle, the title process has more to do theoretically with passive clinical bodywork and mindfulness practices. It then outlines interoception, or the process of becoming more conscious of internal states in the body. The next part covers the concept of choice in therapy and relates it to this form of yoga being one felt out and as comfortable and natural as possible for the client. The next part discusses taking effective actions, and the one after that focuses on being present, with both parts aiming to make therapy and yoga sessions more effective. Muscle dynamics and breathwork, followed by rhythm and how it plays into this work wrap up the narrative of the book. The end is dedicated solely to a portfolio of yoga practices with explanations for the meanings of certain anatomical language incorporated, and what effect certain postures have. All postures and practical exercises are accompanied with images that illustrate them.
            Trauma-Sensitive Yoga can be a useful tool for professional readers looking to incorporate yogic practices into a treatment plan for certain clients but who are limited by time, physical, or practical constraints. Because this form of yoga is designed for use in a psychotherapy office setting and can be done sitting, standing, or lying down without need of a mat or other things normally required to practice yoga, the technique is highly versatile. The book puts emphasis on connecting body states and yoga mindfulness practices with clinical and theoretical frameworks to better translate this technique and how to consider its use for a diverse population of therapists. It teaches this yoga while also discussing at length how to frame therapy clinically from a body psychotherapy perspective, something many will find useful on its own. In this way, the book is as much about how to refocus and reconsider therapy with patients suffering from trauma as it is a presentation of useful practices and approaches to stimulate healing and awareness regardless of experience and physical ability.
            David Emerson is an accomplished trainer, lecturer, and yoga instructor. He is the founder of the Black Lotus Yoga Project, a nonprofit dedicated to teaching yoga to people suffering from trauma. He also serves as the director of the Trauma Center Yoga Program, with which Black Lotus is a partner.

Emerson, D. (2015). Trauma-Sensitive Yoga In Therapy: Bringing the Body Into Treatment. New York, NY: W.W. Norton.
SBN: 978-0-393-70950-6.
Hardcover. 196 pages. Includes index and references.
Key words: yoga, trauma, bodywork, body psychotherapy, mindfulness


Gokhale, E. (2008). 8 Steps To A Pain-Free Back: Remember When It Didnt 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 books 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 Didnt 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


Goldstein, A. (2011). When Sex Hurts: A Womans Guide to Banishing Sexual Pain.
Reviewed by: Michael Fiorini, New York University

When Sex Hurts: A Womans 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. There is an overarching self-help direction the book follows in order to improve physical health and emotional well-being, though, and the psychological process that must occur within the reader to improve their sex and life is a constant underlying concept at play. This book might serve as an excellent resource or piece of suggested reading for clients suffering from sexual pain who could benefit from the detailed book and its inviting tone. 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. Diagrams and simple exercises are given to expand knowledge of and comfort with their genitals. A primary tenet of this book is that greater self-awareness and knowledge of the body can assist in improving outcomes and the overall experience of sex. 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 whats occurring isnt 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 books 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. The book is fairly simple to understand, and because of this accessibility might be best suited for those directly suffering from sexual pain to read on their own, as opposed to having what is discussed filtered through professional readers. Still, because of the likelihood that this is an issue will come up in therapy, the problem warrants a greater and up to date understanding of it 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. This aspect of the book alone might be cause for professional readership to familiarize themselves with what is discussed, as they may be considering sexual pain this way as well instead of giving proper weight to the potential physical aspects of it. 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 Womens Sexual Health. Caroline Pukall, PhD., is a leading researcher of female sexual pain and dysfunction, and works as an associate professor at Queens 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 Womans 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.
Key words: sex, sexual pain, medical, self-help, trauma


Hamne, G. & Sandström, U. (2015). Resolving Yesterday: First Aid For Stress And Trauma With TTT.
Reviewed by: Michael Fiorini, New York University

Resolving Yesterday: First Aid For Stress And Trauma With TTT is a book designed to teach the Trauma Tapping Technique (TTT), a stress management and coping tool that can be performed on the self and others. Designed to be as accessible as possible so that the technique can reach people of disparate levels of education, experience, and language, the book teaches the technique while also framing for readers its applications in several modern conflict areas. Supplementary meditative techniques are also explained here, via diagrams and guides that anybody can learn with minimal difficulty. There is also a heavy emphasis throughout on sharing the technique with others, with extensive guides offered on how to teach it to one or more people at a time. There are some clinical explanations and linkages also included for professional readers, but the emphasis is on wide accessibility. Vignettes of success stories abound, and there is a tendency towards narrative confidence when describing the efficacy of the technique for healing and application to diverse traumatized populations. Although much of the information presented is available online at the authors website (www.peacefulheart.se), proceeds from the book are used to fund further books for those who cannot otherwise afford them.
            Resolving Yesterday is designed for simplicity, expediency, and accessibility for a diverse target audience. This was done so that it could be used in Uganda and the Congo for sufferers of PTSD and witnesses of the genocides that occurred in those areas without relying heavily on lingual instructions. Much of the technique is explained in the opening of the book through diagram and written instructions, but readers are also encouraged to go online and see videos of it being used, which can assist in understanding how to perform it. There is emphasis throughout on the various applications of the technique, with a broad focus on affect management; the book characterizes the tapping technique as a form of first aid for trauma that can also be applied to oneself. It begins by instructing readers how to first perform the technique on themselves, then on how to offer TTT sessions to others with simplified metaphorical explanations offered for those skeptical about trying it. Group sessions and teaching are also covered extensively. The next portion of the book covers the many forms of stress and includes several stories that illustrate the backgrounds of people that have been helped by the technique, including, for example, sex slaves and former child soldiers. An additional techniques section follows with other exercises like expanded tapping options, stress massages, and breathing techniques to help stress. The end of the book discusses the efforts of the people who have been applying TTT to conflict areas around the world and what their ethos is regarding the dissemination of it. A glossary and extended reading list serve to expand both the vocabulary and clinical knowledge of readers coming from a wide range of experience.
            Clinically, TTT is a compelling tool that has widespread application despite its simplicity of execution and its short duration, about 3-10 minutes. The book itself is a great resource for diverse readership, and even though the language and approach is slanted towards those with far less clinical experience than professionals would have, it is nonetheless a practical clinical guide. Because much of the information presented here is available for free online, actually purchasing the book is somewhat unnecessary unless the background of the technique and how it has been applied is of interest, or if the charitable aspect of the purchase is something of importance to readers. Never hearing of or trying the technique before, I found it simple to learn and apply, both on myself and on a volunteer, having only read the basic guide. Though it is a subjective experience, we had both found it soothing, though neither of us suffered from the trauma it is intended to treat. Practitioners looking to incorporate supplementary healing techniques into their practice or even seeking to teach patients simple stress management techniques will find the book very helpful. Those already using bodywork and alternative therapy in their practice can similarly deepen the efficacy of their work.
            Gunilla Hamne is a former journalist who works in Africa and around the world teaching TTT. Ulf Sandström is a hypnotherapist and coach that began using TTT when language barriers caused frequent roadblocks in his work with trauma sufferers in African regions with multiple dialects.

Hamne, G. & Sandström, U. (2015). Resolving Yesterday: First Aid For Stress And Trauma With TTT. Amazon.
ISBN: 978-1-505-32671-0.
Paperback: 227 pages. Includes index, glossary, recommended reading, and references.
Key words: tapping, trauma, ptsd, bodywork, alternative therapy, stress


Hanson, R. (2009). Buddhas 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 worlds 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.
            Even though as humans we are very different from each other in aspects of our personality, our life experiences, and our reactions to these experiences, we share a homologous brain to the rest of the 7.125 billion people populating our planet. Understanding the concept that our brains are structurally and functionally similar to the person standing next to us could provide insight to one of lifes greatest goals, living a life of happiness, tranquility, and harmony. Most religions and cultures have exemplars of someone who reached the highest level of spirituality, self-actualization, and happiness overall. Whether they are called prophets, religious leaders, healers, or spiritual teachers, one could agree that they had one thing in common with every other human being in the history of humanity; they share a homologous brain to the rest of us. Rick Hanson uses this premise as the central theme of his book. Buddhas Brain integrates the basic aspects of neuroscience and current neuroscience research applied to contemplative practice to provide insight into how you could use your mind and brain to create a life of happiness, love, and wisdom.
            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 Hansons 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 lifes more traumatic experiences. As someone with many years of coursework and research experience in neuroscience I was astonished at how comprehensive but yet easy to understand the neuroscience context was. In the first part of the book Hanson explained very well all scientific terms and left very little room for confusion. 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. Research in contemplative practices is relatively new and therefore it is difficult to use scientific research to explain Eastern and Buddhist ideals and practices. 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 thats 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. It is difficult to find a common ground where scientific research meets Eastern ideals, but Hanson did an exceptional job creating this common ground without introducing scientific jargon or complicated explanations.

Hanson, R. (2009). Buddhas Brain: The practical neuroscience of happiness, love, and wisdom. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger.
ISBN: 978-1-57224-695-9.
Paperback: 251 pages. Contains references, forward, and preface.
Key words: contemplative practices, neuroscience, self-help, spirituality


Hanson, 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 books 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 books 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 books 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 Buddhas 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.
Key words: mindfulness, introspection, meditation, self-help, Buddha


Holmes, 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. This is done for therapists to better understand their own imagination, transformation in therapy, and the experience of clients with various conditions. 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 authors 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 authors 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, Storrs 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.
Key words: therapy, imagination, literature, poetry, fiction, psychodynamics


Lanius, 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. This lack of integration is staggering given the fact that research and new forms of technology are at the forefront of most fields. Understanding the brain networks and the biological and neural mechanisms that drive the trauma response could help alleviate the suffering of those individuals with traumatic dissociation. 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 authors provide both a functional and structural picture of how the brains organization drives traumatic dissociation. Chapter 2 provides a comprehensive overview of the flight-or-fight response grounded in research and contextualizes the role of the flight-or-fight in dissociation. The functional mechanism of dissociation is further explored in terms of the foundational role of endogenous opioids. Most chapters provide case examples to further elaborate these biological mechanisms in the context of the clinical manifestation of dissociation and stress.
            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. This would not be an appropriate book for readers who are looking for an introduction to traumatic dissociation and stress.
            The second part of the book is focused on treatment and integrating the research previously discussed. However, the authors do not make this integration in a back and forth fashion. It would have been useful to include references of the neurobiological concepts already discussed in Part One, instead of introducing new biological concepts. Nonetheless, some of the neurobiological concepts are reiterated and are further elaborated in the context of treatment. 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.


Leszcz, M., Pain, C., Hunter, J., Maunder, R. & Ravitz, P. (2015). Psychotherapy Essentials To Go: Achieving Psychotherapy Effectiveness.
Reviewed by: Tricia Gunter, MA, NCC

Psychotherapy Essentials To Go: Achieving Psychotherapy Effectiveness is the collaborative work of Molyn Leszcz, Clare Pain, Jon Hunter, Robert Maunder, and Paul Ravitz. These authors are North American Medical Doctors and Fellows of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. They have backgrounds, experiences, and research foci in psychiatry, psychotherapy, trauma, attachment, cancer, and general medical treatment that inform their positions on what can make psychotherapy effective. The authors propose that there are methods that helping professionals can utilize to ensure that therapy is beneficial to clients that are not specific to model or theoretical orientation. In fact, they assert that certain factors are significantly more important to the process of psychotherapy than choice of treatment modality. They offer suggestions that can be incorporated into any session, using any treatment modality. In essence, they prioritize therapeutic alliance and the helping relationship itself as the foundations upon which effective treatment can be built.
           The book highlights concepts such as the interpersonal circumplex, maladaptive loops, unresolved trauma, transference, and countertransference as superbly important, yet often overlooked components of client-counselor relationships. The authors suggest that addressing these issues that commonly emerge in psychotherapy via metacommunication and mentalizing is important to treatment using any research-based modality. This represents the engagement of the therapist as the initiator and model, and the client who is encouraged to learn, practice, and utilize these skills. Equipped with a Glossary of important terms, a DVD with corresponding in-book references, lesson plans, a quiz, transcripts, and other therapist resources, Psychotherapy Essentials To Go is not only useful for practicing therapists, but can be an excellent tool for professors, clinical supervisors, or any professional responsible for training clinicians or students as they prepare for the practice of psychotherapy.The DVD accompaniment provides a great audiovisual complement to the book. The role-plays shown on the DVD provide readers with an experiential interpretation of the suggestions in the book. Readers/viewers can truly empathize with both clients and counselors in the role-plays, which assists in the conceptualization of the principles described in the book (metacommunication, mentalizing, recognizing maladaptive loops, using transference and countertransference as useful information, etc.)
           The lesson plans include charts to be filled in, open-ended questions, and a separate answer key. Making reference to both the DVD and the book, it encourages active viewing of the DVD (that incorporates book content), thereby reinforcing the learning acquired by both the video and the reading.Transcripts of the video sessions in the book can be used independently or followed along while viewing the DVD. The transcripts have written inserts that identify specific exchanges of occurrences of the important ideas the authors convey in the book and encourage helping professionals to recognize and act upon them. Psychotherapy Essentials To Go also features what authors refer to as a Practice Reminder Summary. This is a six-page summary of important information helping professionals should bear in mind. It includes a list of therapist qualities and characteristics that promote a therapeutic alliance; charts that depict the relationship between clients background, attachment styles, and internal working models; and short paragraphs highlighting the essence of the ideas explained in greater detail in the body of the text.
            Ending with a list of recommended authoritative works to expand on information acquired by reading Psychotherapy Essentials To Go, the authors maintain the emphasis on the importance of research-based methods that can be seen throughout the book. With all of its resources, Psychotherapy Essentials To Go would be appropriate for Counselors, Psychologists, Psychiatrists, Guidance Counselors, Social Workers, Physicians, and any other professionals who provide mental health and related services. For seasoned and already effective professionals, it could serve as a brief refresher or even validation of the experiential lessons they have learned from working with clients who have presented them with challenges they had to grow from. However, most established therapists would not likely find the information presented in the book to be particularly novel or innovative.Nevertheless, the benefits to students, beginning counselors, and even helping professionals who are having difficulty navigating common barriers to effective treatment are immense. Psychotherapy Essentials To Go fulfills its authors purpose of assisting readers in achieving psychotherapy effectiveness by preparing therapists for the pitfalls that they could easily succumb to if they were not prepared for (such as misinterpreting client experience through projection, or alienating clients by being perfectionist about ones own performance as a therapist). Whether read independently or in an academic setting, Psychotherapy Essentials To Go is a useful tool for therapists striving for effectiveness.

Leszcz, M., Pain, C., Hunter, J., Maunder, R. & Ravitz, P. (2015). Psychotherapy Essentials To Go: Achieving Psychotherapy Effectiveness. New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Company Inc.
ISBN: 978-0-393-70826-4.
Paperback: 179 pages. Includes index, references, and other resources.
Key words: psychotherapy, therapist, attachment, trauma, metacommunication, mentalizing, maladaptive loops, transference, countertransference, nonfiction


Loewenthal, D. & Samuels, A. (2014). Relational Psychotherapy, Psychoanalysis, and Counselling: Appraisals and Reappraisals.
Reviewed by: Michael Fiorini, New York University

Relational Psychotherapy, Psychoanalysis, and Counselling: Appraisals and Reappraisals is a collection of research papers, case studies, peer reviews and dialogues evaluating relational psychotherapy. In the process of evaluating the clinical efficacy and application of relational psychotherapy, a multifaceted review of the approach is undertaken by each of the 19 included commentators and theorists. Each brings forth a new perspective, and some additionally review preceding sections of study within the book itself. The book intends to present a broad look at the techniques and principles that guide relational psychotherapy. The inclusion of an expansive theoretical framework drawing both from many different schools of psychology, as well as relevant concepts presented in philosophy, are intended to give readers a look at the real and symbolic impact the approach has within both fields. It additionally opens a forum-based dialogue for what the approach represents as a progression of counseling practice. An excellent resource for relevant theoretical influences in relational psychology, professional readership will also find the many included perspectives useful in critically examining the impact of its practice.
            Separated into 19 different sections including the conclusion, the book presents each as a separate but related article examining the topic at hand, relational psychotherapy. The parts are by individual authors, formally constructed as they would be in a journal, with a summary of the articles concepts in the introduction and separate resource sections for each piece following their conclusions. A diverse group of articles are included here, ranging from brief case study analyses, firsthand clinical dialogues, and theory relationships, to sections reviewing and critiquing other sections of the book in addition to those presenting what amount to heavily-sourced opinion pieces. The end result is a book structured both as a topic-specific scientific journal and an open forum for debate about the positive and negative aspects of relational psychotherapy. The point behind the book is explicitly to facilitate this open debate on the topic, as it is perceived to be one with, at the time of publishing, a largely unchallenged positive reception. This book can then be seen as playing a sort of devils advocate within the psychological discourse in relation to this form of psychotherapy, especially given its relatively recent emergence within the field.
            Readers will find that the approach undertaken in Relational Psychotherapy, Psychoanalysis, and Counselling is highly conducive to academic and theoretical analysis. Drawing on both theory, practical examples, and clinical discussions, it is a highly relevant discourse and presentation of information and ideas that form the background and contemporary considerations of relational psychotherapy. Those interested in this form of therapy, those who use it in their own practice, and those who overtly reject its use can all find aspects of the book informative and interesting. It offers a significant entry into contemporary conceptions in psychology in relation to this topic, with multinational and multidisciplinary perspectives weighing in on the overarching discussion. Taken on their own, the included articles are also useful tools for research and reference. The clinical foundation of all that is presented makes the book especially useful for practicing psychotherapists.
            Del Loewenthal works as a professor of psychotherapy and counseling and as director of the Research Center for Therapeutic Education at the University of Roehampton. He is a founding editor of the European Journal of Psychotherapy and Counseling, and has served as chair for several research committees and university associations relating to psychotherapy. He has published many books and maintains a private practice. Andrew Samuels has worked with a unique post-Jungian form of relational psychotherapy for 40 years, and is a well known and respected commentator on psychotherapeutic perspective for political and social problems. He is also a prolific and well-received author, professor, and founder and chair of several counseling committees. 

Loewenthal, D. & Samuels, A. (2014). Relational Psychotherapy, Psychoanalysis, and Counselling: Appraisals and Reappraisals. New York, NY: Routledge.
ISBN: 978-0-415-72154-7.
Paperback. 235 pages. Includes index and references.
Key words: relational, psychotherapy, humanism, CBT, psychoanalysis


Meck, S. (2014). I forgot to remember: A memoir of amnesia.
Reviewed by: Anny Reyes, New York University

Imagine waking up one day not remembering who you are, with no recollection of your past, your childhood, your dreams, and goals. Imagine loosing the ability to make new memories and forgetting events right after they take place. Our memories and our ability to make new memories are essentially what create our identity. The inability to make new memories is called anterograde amnesia and the inability to retrieve memories is called retrograde amnesia. Movies and television shows have romanticized the concept of amnesia, depicting extreme cases where people lose their memories and recover spontaneously due to a one-time glimpse of their past or to another hit to the head. Movies such as Total Recall, The Bourne Trilogy, and Spellbound have depicted cases of individuals with retrograde amnesia whose lives are functioning parallel to pursuing a quest for their identities. This is not the case in real life. Amnesia is a debilitating condition that greatly affects the patient and their family and friends. Despite the depictions of amnesia in the media, retrograde amnesia is very rare and the probability of having both forms of amnesia is zero to none.
            Sue Mecks story is one of those rare cases of an individual who had both retrograde and anterograde amnesia after acquiring a traumatic brain injury. In her memoir Su describes her twenty-five-year struggle to reclaim her identity, her life, and her memories. At the age of twenty-two Su suffered a closed head injury from the impact of a ceiling fan to the head. With no recollection of the events and of her life prior to the injury, her family and friends memories of her became her own. By reading her medical records and gathering other peoples recollections of the events preceding and following the injury, Sue was able to put together a vague picture of the event that changed her life and her familys lives forever. During the first years following her injury, Sue had to relearn how to tie her shoes, read and write, how to cook for her children, and essentially relearn all the basic skills required to be an independent adult. Sue describes how the idea of growing up again after being married with two children was heartbreaking and the biggest challenge she ever had to face.
            Sue reiterates throughout the book that her narrative is an attempt to interpret other peoples stories of her. After twenty-five years since her injury she still struggles with many unanswered questions. The marriage and family concept bewildered her for many years. She was not able to grasp the idea of having to play different roles at the same time, the role of a mother, a wife, and a daughter. She will often take abstracts concepts literally and agree to things she could not understand. Sue builds a connection with her readers by sharing her struggles in her marriage, including problems with intimacy and a lack of understanding of her husbands actions and her unexplainable love for him. Even though she became very productive at home and with her job, she had problems socializing and forming meaningful relationships. Her children became a source of guidance and support. Despite the many challenges, Sue was determined to work around her problems and have a better understanding of the world that seem so strange and unfamiliar.
            Sues story is compelling and her words are powerful. Even though her case is rare, her story depicts the struggles that patients with brain injury have to face. The honesty in her words shows her commitment to bringing awareness of traumatic brain injury. Whether you are a brain injury survivor, a family member, or a mental health professional, Sues story will shed light on the importance of resilience and hope. We tend to take our memories for granted, but with her memoir Sue reminds us of the power of simply remembering.

Meck, S. (2014). I forgot to remember: A memoir of amnesia. New York: Simon & Shuster Paperbacks.
ISBN-13: 978-1451685824.
Paperback: 280 pages. Includes: discussion questions.
Keywords: memoir, amnesia, traumatic brain injury.


Mercer, J. (2014). Alternate Psychotherapies: Evaluating Unconventional Mental Health Treatments.
Reviewed by: Michael Fiorini, New York University

Using a broad body of research, Alternate Psychotherapies: Evaluating Unconventional Mental Health Treatments, as the title implies, examines several overarching schools of thought in alternative mental heath treatment. Each is then broken down and each specific kind of therapy is examined critically to determine its efficacy, theoretical basis, and practical applications. Following a dialogue that is conscious of the ever-changing nature of mainstream and accepted clinical practices in psychotherapy, the book nonetheless characterizes much of the work undertaken in alternative therapies as largely spurious or based on false or unprovable principles. Though the book acknowledges that new avenues of research are needed to advance the field of psychology, the therapies discussed therein fall under a negatively slanted critical lens. The book is thus designed for the mainstream therapist as a means to be aware of and understand other kinds of (here, potentially harmful) therapies that their patients may have tried previously, in order to better build upon or reconcile prior work within their own clinical framework.
            Because alternative psychotherapies constitute a not always well understood niche within the psychotherapeutic community, there is a great need for those outside of such practical circles to gain greater awareness of their techniques and ideas. This is the main goal of the book, and speaks more to those not acquainted with the covered therapies than those who are. Additionally, because the book takes a hard and objective stance on therapy efficacy, analysis of therapies included here is, ultimately, often scathing. This is usually with regard to these therapies being selectively represented as incongruent with accepted practices and ideas. In spite of that, there is also a genuine effort to discuss where there is potential for further research or better understanding to improve alternative therapy. In this way, the book is not entirely one-sided in its argument, and merely pushing for greater research basis and congruence with what is already known, understood, and accepted within mainstream work. Structurally, the book approaches alternative therapies by first looking at broad topics encompassing many different derivative forms of clinical work, and examining the history behind them and where they deviate from standard conceptions of how to approach, for example, attachment. After the history and some basic theoretical concepts are discussed, more specific incarnations of the therapy are looked at, with often differing efficacy evaluations. Throughout, there is emphasis on proven outcomes, research, and logical analysis to disprove or discount these therapies. There is a call for greater regulation of such therapies, but above all the intention throughout is to give readers more specific understanding of them.
            Ultimately, those who wish to learn more about alternative therapies will find this book to be a very helpful resource. It offers a presentation of some of the more common alternative therapies and gives extensive background and comparative research and theoretical frameworks for them. For those who practice one or more of these forms of therapy, it will also be interesting to read about that work from the perspective of an outsider critically analyzing it. In this way, the book can be beneficial for meta-analysis and reframing practitioner perspective. Contemporary in its scope, what is most significant about the book is its look into the current state of affairs in the interaction between mainstream and alternative psychotherapy. Considering that the latter is expanding in practice and application, the book and those like it will become more and more necessary in the reconciliation process that takes place when transitioning patients between new practices and theoretical frameworks.
            Jean Mercer, PhD, works as a developmental psychologist and author, writing books on critical thinking and early development in psychology. She is a fellow of the Institute for Science in Medicine and also a member of the Society for Research in Child Development, the American Psychological Association, and the World Association for Infant Mental Health.

Mercer, J. (2014). Alternate Psychotherapies: Evaluating Unconventional Mental Health Treatments. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.
ISBN: 978-1-4422-3491-8.
Hardcover: 227 pages. Includes index and references.
Key words: alternative psychotherapy, evaluation, bodywork, energy, attachment


Mischke Reeds, M. (2015). 8 Keys to Practicing Mindfulness: Practical Strategies For Emotional Health and Well-Being.
Reviewed by: Michael Fiorini, New York University

8 Keys to Practicing Mindfulness: Practical Strategies For Emotional Health and Well-Being is a book that aims to serve readers as a beginners guide to mindfulness, meditation, and yogic practices that can lead to improved emotional health and overall well-being. As part of the 8 Keys series of books, it grounds the subject matter with intermittent psychological findings while still maintaining wide-reaching accessibility. Because it is designed for those without any background in mindfulness training, professional readers will find it an invaluable resource for outlining mindfulness instruction, either for themselves or for use with clients. Because it is written as a narrative heavily influenced by yogic practice,  the book encourages a comfortable pace. Notably, it is designed for practical use that can address the common stressors and negative affect associated with typical western living and working conditions, making it highly salient for those viewing mindfulness instrumentally. It accompanies methods for reframing thought processes and awareness with postures, poses, and meditation techniques that give greater efficacy to shifting internal states of mind.
            Broken down into the titles eight keys for practicing mindfulness, the book organizes itself so that the most basic and essential concepts are worked through before more involved tangential practices are explored. In order, the book covers how to meet at the present moment, how to start where you are, how to slow down, how to befriend your body, how to trust your sensations and tame your emotions, how to ride through the times, how to cultivate inner calmness, and lastly how to choose abundance. The process undertaken in the book is meant to very gradually shift perspective toward tumultuous inner states in order to later generate and shift into meditative ones. Before covering the eight keys, there is a brief introduction to the book series and an explanation of some of the physical postures involved in processing meditative stances. Following the keys is an epilogue detailing how to practice mindfulness on the road, and includes references and helpful resources for interested readers to deepen their knowledge of covered topics. Throughout all sections, the dialogue used is highly conscious of both the engaged and skeptic perspective, and frequently presents exercises and guidelines to engage readers. Since the work expected in the book is not necessarily intuitive for all readers, this proves effective in assisting learning and expanding capacity for personal growth.
            The true vocation of 8 Keys to Practicing Mindfulness is its ability to bring novice readers into mindfulness, meditation, and yogic practices with some key theoretical psychological underpinnings. In this way, it is an excellent book for those involved in providing or participating in psychotherapy that might benefit from such supplementary practices. As it has been a proven choice for aiding treatment in some circumstances, those therapists otherwise unaccustomed to mindfulness practices outside of formal structured therapies like CBT will find the book a very helpful guide to learn more about it. Many may also manage, through expansion of their own capacity for mindfulness, an avoidance of the burnout and pitfalls that experienced practitioners sometimes undergo. The frequent exercises provided also allow professionals to utilize what existing or gained knowledge of mindfulness they have, teach them to clients, and avoid complexity or ambiguity in their explanation.
            Manuela Mischke Reeds, MA, MFT, is an international teacher of mindfulness-based and somatic psychology. She works as a co-director of the Hakomi Institute of California, and teaches in the US, Europe, and Australia. Practicing meditation for 25 years, she is a frequent trainer of professionals in mindfulness meditation, movement therapy, and trauma and attachment, while also maintaining a separate private practice.

Mischke Reeds, M. (2015). 8 Keys to Practicing Mindfulness: Practical Strategies For Emotional Health and Well-Being. New York, NY: W.W. Norton.
ISBN: 978-0-393-70795-3.
Paperback. 230 pages. Includes index, resources, and references.
Key words: mindfulness, meditation, yoga, emotional health


Nakazawa, D. (2013). The Last Best Cure: My Quest to Awaken the Healing Parts of My Brain and Get Back My Body, My Joy, and My Life.
Reviewed by: Michael Fiorini, New York University

The Last Best Cure: My Quest to Awaken the Healing Parts of My Brain and Get Back My Body, My Joy, and My Life is the firsthand account of a woman healing her chronic illness with alternative therapies. After years of only semi-successful treatments for a swath of debilitating physical disorders, the author turns to mindfulness techniques, meditation, yoga, and other therapies to heal her inner self and meaningfully address the past trauma exacerbating her current state. The book is the inner narration of her long and challenging healing process. To tell her story, Nakazawa incorporates her own thoughts and feelings as they come, go, and change as her perspective following different therapies shifts. She also frequently cites research findings and theoretical and historical perspectives on the healing process she undertakes. While the book is structured almost like a series of memoirs, there is a frequent departure into instruction on the influence of past trauma on later physical health and how certain therapies approach healing that trauma. Thus, this is as much the memoirs of the author as she found a way to meaningfully heal herself as it is structured like a self help book that leads through example and explanation. Its focus on the nature of the autonomic nervous system and its role in intersecting physical and psychological health is also especially important for those who are otherwise unfamiliar with it and the recent developments made in working to treat it.
           The goal of The Last Best Cure appears to be twofold. It shows the world through the eyes of the author as she struggles with seemingly insurmountable illnesses and tries different forms of therapy completely unfamiliar to her. All of the therapy she undertakes aims at healing the autonomic nervous system, which is a key factor in the process shown. It also does this, ostensibly, so that readers can find some commonality within their own persona experiences with illness, the healing process, and coming to terms with trauma. It is also a humbling narrative in that it is structured after the authors own learning process, with her many speed bumps and personal biases not withheld. Split into four parts, the book begins with the background of the authors various illnesses, the treatments and successes shes had with mainstream medicine, and how she came to try the approaches that steer the rest of her story. The next part centers on her foray into and struggles with meditation as a means of getting in touch with herself and her state of mind and being. The third part, Bodywork, focuses on her yogic and acupuncture experiences. The final part discusses her ultimate healing and transformation. In discussing her story, Nakazawa discusses the many people and pieces of information that most directly influenced her healing, and things ranging from her own list of changing goals to how to calculate your Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) score are included as they became important to her progress.
            Though clearly aimed at non-professional readership, practicing clinicians will also find the authors story and healing journey a compelling illustration of the experience some of their clients might have. The book is especially useful for detailing the nature of the autonomic nervous system, how trauma affects it, and how healing it can benefit physical wellbeing. It is also interesting to see how the internal and psychological states of the author change over time, especially in regards to what experiences ultimately influence her ability to heal. For those who are working on or working with someone with a chronic illness stemming from trauma, the book might shed some light on what to expect during the course of what can often be a long, arduous, and difficult psychological journey. It should be noted that this is by no means a short book or light reading in spite of its language appealing to a broad audience. Much of the book centers on the particular influences and experiences in the authors life that led her to be where she is, but there are times when this doesnt add anything to the narrative. It is the full story, so to speak, or as much of it as can reasonably discussed by the author, and this serves as both a great strength and weakness for the book depending on what youd want to gain from reading it. In spite of that, the subject matter and execution is important and quite encompassing. The book is best suited for those willing to read extensively about the life and interpersonal relationships of the author in order to frame how she helped herself within the context of alternative therapy.
            Donna Jackson Nakazawa works as a journalist and author, and has received fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and Yaddo. She has authored the award-winning The Autoimmune Epidemic, as well as Does Anybody Else Look Like Me? She is also a contributor for the Washington Post, More, Glamour, Working Mother, and AARP Magazine.

Nakazawa, D. (2013). The Last Best Cure: My Quest to Awaken the Healing Parts of My Brain and Get Back My Body, My Joy, and My Life. New York, NY: Hudson Street Press.
ISBN: 978-1-59463-128-3.
Hardcover: 299 pages. Includes appendix, index, and references.
Key words: alternative therapy, disability, chronic illness, yoga, meditation, adverse childhood experiences


Odgers, A. (2014). From Broken Attachments to Earned Security: The Role of Empathy in Therapeutic Change.
Reviewed by: Michael Fiorini, New York University

From Broken Attachments to Earned Security: The Role of Empathy in Therapeutic Change is a book comprising six papers, work that was presented as part of the eighteenth annual 2011 Bowlby memorial conference. The collection is one that examines topics relevant to the study of attachment and how child-rearing affects interpersonal, organizational, and societal dynamics. They are all informed perspectives taken from research and field work, and give readers a sense of the contemporary work being done within the title topic of concern. Both instructional and critical in its analysis, the ideas and perspectives included here have potential application for students, researchers, and practicing clinicians alike for assisting in understanding the nature of trauma and attachment.
            The book is structured so that each of the six papers is presented with independent, relevant research. An introduction into the conference proceedings are followed by a short paper on attachment theory, Bowlbys concepts and influence, and the history of the John Bowlby Memorial Lecture. This is then followed by the topics of discussion themselves. Starting from the second chapter onwards, first the effort of empathy and what it entails in childcare and development is discussed with a parenting narrative. Next, a self-help intervention for parents to regulate the emotional affect of their children through the love bombing method is covered.  The next chapter is a paper discussing the nature of shedding attachment as a means of achieving self-actualization. Following this is a paper on creating, destroying, and restoring sanctuary within care-giving organizations. It discusses the effect of institutions as avenues of change and resource, and also centers on where they fall short, and outlines the discussion through the Sanctuary Model. The sixth chapter discusses empathy and relates it to artistic appreciation of music. Chapter Seven also discusses empathy, this time with a framework focusing on earned security and reciprocal influence. A suggested reading list is included at the end for those looking to expand their knowledge of the topics under discussion, making this a useful entry point for research consideration.
            Because it is a diverse look at attachment and the process and dynamics of earned security, the book is especially useful for therapists looking to deepen or reframe their therapeutic process. It is, due to being well researched and contemporary, an excellent avenue for students to begin learning about the topic under discussion through the viewpoint of therapists. The same holds true for researchers looking to expand their own work or pursue academic writing relating to the concepts covered here. The book itself is not particularly long, and so this may be seen as either positive or negative depending on reader expectation, though all included work here is detailed, informative, and academically relevant. It might also prove a good starting point, due to the covered history of the conference, to reading further into past and future presentations by the Bowlby Centre.
            The editor, Andrew Odgers, is a UKCP registered attachment-based psychoanalytic psychotherapist and facilitates professional development seminars at the Bowlby Centre. He also works as a management consultant focusing on leadership development, working with management teams, and explores development issues and team dynamics. He was the co-chair of the conference. The contributors are medical doctors and psychologists who work with the Bowlby Centre, all participants in the 2011 conference.

Odgers, A. (2014). From Broken Attachments to Earned Security: The Role of Empathy in Therapeutic Change. London, England: Karnac.
ISBN: 978-1-78220-105-2.
Paperback: 140 pages. Includes appendix, index and references.
Key words: Bowlby, attachment, security, empathy, conference


Ogden, P. & Fisher, J. (2015). Sensorimotor Psychotherapy: Interventions for Trauma and Attachment.
Reviewed by: Michael Fiorini, New York University

Sensorimotor Psychotherapy: Interventions for Trauma and Attachment is a book that extensively discusses, explains, and outlines for readers its title subject, framed both through psychotherapeutic and body psychology perspectives. It is an essential work for those looking into body psychology, as it discusses the topic in great detail, incorporating both a practical and theoretical perspective. It is intended to teach and cover the topic of discussion in such a way that it becomes accessible for readers coming from more mainstream schools of thought and instruction in psychology, and serves to bridge the gap between body psychology and other modalities. In presenting its content, the book gives an outline of sensorimotor psychotherapy while also developing the skills necessary for the practice of this form of therapy. The book is explicitly for students and professionals, and the vast amount of information presented on the subject makes it useful for practitioners of all degrees of experience. There is also a pervasive format to the book that has it resemble a textbook, with many exercises for readers to work through as they learn. The book covers all the most essential aspects of body psychotherapy and bodywork, and it is highly recommended for those looking into exploring the topic or adapting its methods into an existing practical framework.
           Divided into five sections covering different stages in the psychotherapeutic process as they relate to body psychology, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy initially concentrates on building a theoretical foundation for readers on which to construct progressive clinical strategies. The first section covers the essential principles of body psychology and then presents two orientation chapters, one for working therapists, and the other for clients interested in learning about the topic. The next section covers the basic concepts and skills that come into play during this form of therapy. This includes the language and wisdom of the body, orienting responses, paying attention, mindfulness in the present moment, directed mindfulness and neuroplasticity, the triune brain and information processing, exploration of body sensations, neuroception and the window of tolerance, and the phases of therapy. The next section discusses how to develop resources, and covers strength appreciation, taking inventory, somatic resources, grounding yourself, core alignment and working with posture, using breath, using boundaries, and how to develop missing resources. The next section, addressing memory, covers implicit memory, reconstructing it, dual awareness of past and present, slivers of memory, restoring empowering action, sensorimotor sequencing, and emotions and animal defenses. The final section covers moving forward, and discusses the legacy of attachment, beliefs and the body, making sense of emotions, moving through the world, boundary styles in relationships, connecting with others, positive emotions, and challenging the window of tolerance.
            Because it includes such a fine degree of instructional and informational material, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy: Interventions for Trauma and Attachment can be considered an integral component of the literature pertaining to learning about and conducting body-centric psychotherapy. Designed much more like a text book, especially compared to earlier work by the author, with numerous included exercises and a definite concentration on readership including students and those beginning to learn about body psychotherapy. Because each section in the book is so well-sourced and covers years of study and practice, it is also a great resource for research as well. The book is, furthermore, quite dense and expects of readers a degree of prior expertise in psychology and psychotherapy, though not necessarily anything specifically related to body psychology or bodywork. All told, it is an excellent starting point for readers looking into learning about somatic psychology and how to approach body-centric psychotherapy.
            Pat Ogden, PhD., is considered a pioneer in the field of somatic psychology and is the founder of the Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute, a school recognized internationally for its specialization in the treatment of trauma. Janina Fisher, PhD., is a clinical psychologist and the assistant educational director of the Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute. Se also works as an instructor at the Trauma Center in Boston, and formerly instructed at Harvard Medical School.

Ogden, P. & Fisher, J. (2015). Sensorimotor Psychotherapy: Interventions for Trauma and Attachment. New York, NY: W.W. Norton.
ISBN: 978-0-393-70613-0.
Hardcover: 824 pages. Includes glossary, index, and references.
Key words: sensorimotor psychotherapy, somatic psychotherapy, bodywork, trauma, attachment, intervention


Puzantian, T. (2014). The Carlat Psychiatry Report Medication Fact Book For Psychiatric Practice. Second Edition.
Reviewed by: Michael Fiorini, New York University

The Carlat Psychiatry Report Medication Fact Book For Psychiatric Practice, Second Edition, is a book detailing the commonly used psychopharmaceutical drugs for clinical professionals. It presents, as part of its second edition, an up to date listing of drugs prescribed by psychiatrists and doctors for the treatment of psychological disorders as of the time of publishing (2014). As part of the listed information, it presents available dosing, cost of the drugs, their duration of action, FDA indications, side effects, drug interactions, fun facts, and a bottom line that discusses the pharmaceutical alternatives to a particular drugs use and the benefits and shortcomings of its use. The book is an invaluable guide for clinical professionals working with clients, whether or not they are actively taking medication for their symptoms. It gives a detailed sense of the current psychopharmacological drugs in use today. Having literacy in these potential avenues of treatment and the effects that they might have can assist in providing informed care for those clients who are currently, formerly, or will potentially be taking them. As psychopharmacology trends are constantly shifting and are so concurrently intrinsic to contemporary psychological treatments, having a book detailing information about the drugs being prescribed is invaluable. Even as a reference for therapists whose expertise otherwise falls well outside of psychopharmacology, the book presents its information is a very clear, concise way. It is designed to be a highly accessible pharmaceutical index for clinical psychology professionals.
            The book, which intends to serve as an index of pharmaceuticals for clinicians, is organized by the chemical class of drugs. Each class of drugs contains the common drugs within that class prescribed for patients. Classes of drugs refer here to the disorders that they intend to treat, and although some drugs are also noted as having several possible clinical application, where they are classified indicate what they are most commonly prescribed for. In order, the classes listed in the book include ADHD medications, antidepressants, antipsychotics, dementia medications, hypnotics, mood stabilizers, natural treatments and over-the-counter drugs, novel anticonvulsants, sexual dysfunction medications, and substance abuse and dependence medications. After the index is an appendix in which drug interactions in psychiatry and the use of psychiatric medications during pregnancy and lactation are discussed. Chemical, generic, and brand name drugs are all listed categorically and alphabetically. Also important are information pages about the classes of drugs that provide generalized information about them, including warnings and overarching important pieces of information that should be kept in mind when prescribing or considering the drugs. Charts for whole classes of drugs that serve as quick comparison sets and more focused drug profiles allow clinicians quick comparative reference, aimed at aiding psychiatrists during prescription choice.
            Because psychiatric medication is a perennial facet of clinical psychology, it is essential for therapists to have an up to date understanding of commonly prescribed drugs. It is this, as well as the accessible format of the book, that make The Carlat Psychiatry Report Medication Fact Book For Psychiatric Practice a highly useful resource. Straightforward, it is an excellent book for those finding themselves in need of information pertaining to specific drugs, as well as for those unfamiliar with many common psychiatric drugs. for psychiatrists it also is an effective tool for drug comparison. It can give therapists a deeper understanding of particular drugs from a specifically medical and psychiatric perspective. It can additionally represent for professionals a means of relating such information to clients either curious about certain treatments and medications, or who wish to illuminate certain aspects of drugs they are taking. Because medication is generally sensitive and requires a degree of clinical understanding, it can be considered an essential element of the therapeutic consciousness in relation to its application in psychology.
            Talia Puzantian, PharmD, BCPP, and co-compiler Steve Balt, MD, MS, consult in clinical psychopharmacology and practice psychiatry in private practices, respectively. Neither author has relevant relationships or financial interests with any commercial company related to the drugs presented in the book. Dr. Balt is the editor in chief of The Carlat Psychiatry Report.

Puzantian, T. (2014). The Carlat Psychiatry Report Medication Fact Book For Psychiatric Practice. Second Edition. Newburyport, MA: Carlat.
ISBN: 978-0-692-02723-3.
Paperback: 132 pages. Includes index and appendix.
Key words: medication, pharmacology, psychiatry, fact book, psychopharmacology


Taiwo, A. (2011). Power, Resistance, and Liberation in Therapy with Survivors of Trauma: To Have Our Hearts Broken.
Reviewed by: Michael Fiorini, New York University

Power, Resistance, and Liberation in Therapy with Survivors of Trauma: To Have Our Hearts Broken is a book that discusses how clients might achieve a feeling of liberation through their experience of the therapeutic relationship. It further covers how dynamics of power and resistance as they occur amongst survivors of trauma can be best understood ethically and to increase efficacy of therapeutic work. Drawing from several different approaches including liberation psychology, coordinated management of meaning (CMM), and narrative therapy, it critically evaluates each independently so as to relate them to a more ultimately cohesive method. With a fundamental basis in research and the integration of case examples to further conceptual illustrations, the book is aimed at therapists and students of psychotherapy as a means of honing and consolidating skills. To do this, the book integrates social, political, and psychological theory in a way utilizable by psychology professionals that is discussed with a unique underlying historical and cultural influence perspective.
            The book is structured so that it is first introduced through an extensive discussion of the theoretical framework utilized, as well as an analysis of whether or not the topics of discussion, because they are abstract, can actually be measured. The book is then split into sections, first covering therapy, power, resistance, and trauma as abstract concepts, as elements of society, in history, and in systemic therapy. Trauma is then discussed through the analysis of the preceding ideas. The next part discusses liberation and therapy theoretically. Here, a similar approach is taken initially, but differs in that it draws heavily on an analysis of the ideas of philosophers and social theorists like W. E. B. Du Bois and Paulo Freire. Liberation is discussed here polarized between what it entails for politics, the self, and existential psychology, and then in how to go about integrating these different frameworks. The next part discusses liberation and therapy again, this time in practical terms. Topics of discussion here range from social privilege, trauma in historical memory, the creation of community, and the resistance of client and therapist within an imperfect or hostile system. The final part serves to rehash the prior sections, integrating them so that a discussion can be undertaken about potential avenues for practice and social change.
            What is extremely useful about the book is that it tackles issues highly relevant within the psychotherapeutic conversation underway about how best to consider trauma and therapeutic efficacy while also emphasizing the underlying social and historical factors illustrative of the many pitfalls reached in therapy. Though it can be dense, drawing from a diverse range of texts, theorists, and integrated concepts, it offers a poignant perspective for therapists to frame therapy and human relationships more generally. It is, at times, also fairly particular in the avenues of discussion it pursues, and for this reason may dissuade some professional readership. In spite of that, the information presented is intrinsically valuable for those not as experienced in other social sciences and humanities, and the extensive references, notes, and reading along with the practical conversations about the therapeutic relationship are extremely relevant whether or not readers will draw the same inferences or conclusions from the adjoining and underlying theories at play.
            Taiwo Afuape works as a principal clinical psychologist and systemic psychologist in South Camden Community CAMHS for the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust and in an adult psychology and psychotherapy service in CNWL NHS Foundation Trust.

Taiwo, A. (2011). Power, Resistance, and Liberation in Therapy with Survivors of Trauma: To Have Our Hearts Broken. New York, NY: Routledge.
ISBN: 978-0-415-61189-3.
Paperback: 247 pages. Includes index, appendix, notes, and references.
Key words: trauma, therapy, power, resistance, liberation


Van Der Kolk, B. (2014). The Body Keeps The Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma.
Reviewed by: Michael Fiorini, New York University

Bessel Van Der Kolks The Body Keeps The Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma takes a detailed, well-researched, and multidisciplinary approach to discussing trauma and how it can be treated clinically. The book approaches the topic with an emphasis on detailed therapy outcome data, firsthand clinical examples, new and compelling neuroscientific findings, and a framework that looks at the long clinical and theoretical history of trauma treatment. Although there is a definite slant towards a non-pharmacological approach to psychotherapy, the psychiatric background of the author informs his discussion frequently, and he does not dismiss the efficacy of such treatments under certain conditions. Still, the focus is on which therapies and approaches appear to be the most effective psychotherapeutic treatments for trauma. The cases covered throughout the book illustrate severe forms of trauma, however the forms of treatment are not exclusive to that population; more severe cases are shown here to exemplify that the included methods have wide-reaching clinical efficacy. The methods draw from a wide array of past and contemporary clinical work, and can be thought of as a look into the most current approaches to and ideas regarding trauma work. It also brings specific emphasis to the ways the body changes in reaction to early and prolonged traumatic experiences coming from a neuroscience perspective. It is because of this that the book is highly recommended for those professionals who commonly encounter patients with varying degrees of trauma in their practice.
            Beginning with some insights into the beginnings of trauma work in the authors own clinical practice, The Body Keeps The Score starts by framing for us how the dialogue about PTSD has changed over the years. Examining how traumatic experiences of veterans from World War I, II, and the Vietnam War changed how they were being considered in the context of treatment, the book makes the case that approaches to such work were and are often misguided. The book sees classical psychoanalysis, street psycho-pharmaceutical reliance, and even more contemporary approaches like CBT as sometimes  ignoring an essential humanistic approach that it presents as more capable of lasting improvement of symptoms. The structure of the book is broken down into five parts, each covering a different important dimension of trauma necessary to grasp for a more effective understanding of it. Part One, The Rediscovery of Trauma, covers the aforementioned historical progression of trauma treatment examining how new research in neuroscience is again revolutionizing the clinical approach to this dimension of therapy. The second part, This Is Your Brain On Trauma, looks at the specific brain regions associated with trauma. The book discusses these along with tangentially related neurological areas in order to give readers a practical understanding of the biological impact that trauma has over the lifespan and in specific circumstances. Part Three, The Minds of Children, focuses primarily on trauma effects and dynamics amongst adolescents. Part Four, The Imprint of Trauma, examines the act of recalling and remembering past and hidden traumatic memories. Part Five, Paths to Recovery, is the largest section. This portion of the book deals with the many treatments and approaches used and studied by the author to treat trauma. EMDR, yoga, neuro-feedback, and aspects of language among other treatment forms are discussed. Importantly, there is a consciousness throughout this portion of the book that no one treatment works universally and a broad understanding of these and others are key in providing effective therapy for clients. Expansive appendix, notes, and references sections provide students, researchers, and working clinicians a wealth of further clarification and reading materials should they desire more tailored information.
            The product of over thirty years of clinical experience and research, The Body Keeps The Score presents readers with up to date findings, a largely objective and effective psychiatric narrative, and a solid platform to further additional research and improve therapeutic practice. Drawing from relevant new findings in neuroscience for the biological and psychological impact of trauma, the book can bring readers up to speed on what is known about and helps to treat trauma. Because trauma is a pervasive and common aspect of the experience of clients in psychotherapy, the breadth of treatment applications the book entails makes it an attractive choice for professional readership looking to fine tune or broaden their expertise. Relating outcome variance among differing schools of thought and bringing to light the efficacy of treatments like, for example, EMDR that would otherwise not have widespread clinical attention is an important part of the books significance for the international psychotherapy community. In giving a biological basis for its claims and clinical suggestions, it additionally adds a degree of medical and psychiatric legitimacy to its findings and conclusions. The book presents its data alongside a thorough walkthrough of many different forms of trauma and how they can affect therapy dynamics, as well as relating what is currently presented to past works so that readers from highly diverse instructional backgrounds in psychology can find this information helpful and accessible to them. Even those without any in-depth clinical understanding of trauma can begin to develop some familiarity with how to consider and treat it, and the suggested reading clarifies the book as an excellent starting point. Contemporary and concise, the book is essential for understanding new trends in trauma treatment and its biological effects.
            Bessel Van Der Kolk, MD., is the founder and medical director of the Trauma Center in Brookline, Massachusetts. He is also a professor of psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine and director of the National Complex Trauma Treatment Network. When not teaching internationally, he lives and works in Boston.

Van Der Kolk, B. (2014). The Body Keeps The Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma. New York, NY: Viking.
ISBN: 978-0-670-78593-3.
Hardcover: 443 pages. Includes appendix, notes, index, and references.
Key words: trauma, PTSD, EMDR, neuroscience, clinical, biology


Wehrenberg, M. (2015). The 10 Best Anxiety Busters: Simple Strategies to Take Control of Your Worry.
Reviewed by: Michael Fiorini, New York University

The 10 Best Anxiety Busters: Simple Strategies to Take Control of Your Worry is a straightforward self-help book aimed at helping average readers cope with anxiety. Modeled as a diagnostic manual as well as a walkthrough for enhancing mindfulness, the focus of the book is to assist those unfamiliar with mindfulness techniques and simple therapeutic exercises to expand their ability to recognize and address their feelings. The book break down for readers ten methods for relieving anxiety coming from a variety of different perspectives. The book relies on increasing self awareness, instructing readers in relaxation techniques, outlining what thought processes should be reconsidered and what habits to avoid or alter, and frames stressful lifestyles and what psychological effects they have on people. Tips for handling specific stressful situations are also covered towards the end of the book. Not relying on research or clinical example, the book is primarily aimed at the layperson unaccustomed to common forms of stress management. For those just beginning therapy or for those unfamiliar with basic mindfulness and self evaluation strategies, what is outlined here may be useful as a means of framing and breaking down the subject.
            Because the point of Anxiety Busters is to offer effective strategies for reducing stress and tension in a simple and straightforward way, most of the book is written in a conversational, narrative style. It frequently incorporates a diagnostic list format of important questions readers should ask themselves as they progress through techniques. Emphasis here is on the most basic and essential stress management techniques, so for example covered things range from biological strategies like cutting down on CATS (caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, and sweeteners/sugars) to psychological ones, for example critically analyzing situations that are causing stress in order to reframe feelings. The chapters, in order, coverCATS, breathing techniques, mindfulness for shifting awareness, relaxation techniques, situation analysis, how to exchange negative thoughts for productive ones, how to contain worry, finding helpful distracting activities, limiting too much activity, and how to practice and plan. The book ends with tailored steps for addressing situations as varied as being nervous on a plane to having a recent death or severe illness in the family.  Throughout, each part is paced so that readers can stop what theyre doing and thinking and work through their emotions one step at a time.
           Because its focus is primarily on those directly feeling stress and it primarily incorporates standard techniques many therapists are already familiar with, the book might not be well-suited for use by professional readership. Therapeutically, it might serve best as a form of homework or recommended reading for clients. Still, it does reiterate some important concepts that people suffering from severe or constant stress will find effective and helpful, and so some might find the book a good reference point for treatment outlining and goals. Those struggling to explain certain techniques or aspects of mindfulness covered here will similarly find the language and presentation easy to explain and digest. Due to its self-help focus, the book has little to offer outside of direct instruction and rudimentary examples, so unless one needed to familiarize themselves with the most basic of techniques, the book is likely not going to offer much in the way of meaningfully expanding therapeutic practice.
            Margaret Wehrenberg, PsyD, is a licensed clinical psychologist working in a private practice. A popular public speaker, she was written extensively on methods for treating anxiety and depressive symptoms.

Wehrenberg, M. (2015). The 10 Best Anxiety Busters: Simple Strategies to Take Control of Your Worry. New York, NY: W.W. Norton.
ISBN: 978-0-393-71076-2.
Paperback: 253 pages. Includes index.
Key words: anxiety, mindfulness, self help, stress, diagnostic guide, worry


Welch, H. (2015). Less Medicine More Health: 7 Assumptions That Drive Too Much Medical Care.
Reviewed by: Michael Fiorini, New York University

Less Medicine More Health: 7 Assumptions That Drive Too Much Medical Care comes at a time in medical history of great skepticism and distrust of previously lauded medical practices. In spite of this, the book is a far cry from, for example, the anti-vaccination movement. Well-sourced and coming from an author with extensive expertise on the effects of medical testing, the book incorporates empirical data, historical examples, personal anecdotes, and a compelling narrative to discuss the downsides of contemporary over-treatment. Challenging the ingrained assumptions of the medical field, clinical practitioners, and western society at large, it takes a controversial but important stance on what it characterizes as excessive preventive measures in medicine that do more harm than good for patients. In doing so, the book exposes our underlying and, ultimately, misguided attempts at controlling public health on a macro and micro scale, reframing for readers practices that they might not have thought of in a negative light previously. Though it criticizes myriad medical assumptions and rampant negative reflexive practices, it also offers guidance towards improvement and shows an ever-present consciousness of medical intention and how it has changed.
            Breaking its narrative into the titular seven assumptions driving too much contemporary medical care, Less Medicine More Health considers them individually and in relation to one another as part of an overarching discourse. The book wraps the analysis of these assumptions together so that a cohesive trajectory can be mapped for the current state of affairs in medicine. Each medical assumption is given its own chapter along with an adjoining disturbing truth that refutes it. The truth sets the tone and guides the discussion with an aim to illuminate the issue at hand. In order, the book discusses the idea that all risks can be lowered, that its always better to fix the problem, that sooner is always better in treatment, that it never hurts to get more information, that action is always better than inaction, that newer treatments are always better than older ones, and finally that treatment is about avoiding death. Each part serves to discuss the potential harm inflicted by what can sometimes be unnecessary treatment. In this way, the book is a dialogue about harm reduction as applied to harm reduction itself. Because of this, professional readership will find what is discussed very useful for incorporation into their clinical practice. It is also potentially helpful as a means of reconsidering certain approaches and attitudes taken with some clients. The book is written so that it can be read by non-professional readers as well, but there is nonetheless a fundamental research and historical foundation for the subject matter that promotes academic and professional study.
            Because it challenges many longstanding beliefs and practices undertaken in the medical and clinical community, Less Medicine More Health is an important entry into the contemporary discourse on the role care should take. As a warning against hypochondriacal preventative measures and potentially  damaging reflexive examinations, the book presents its argument effectively and accessibly. It is also not at all dry to read, and the personal elements added to certain portions serve to remind readers that the topic is one that all readers can relate to, either in practice or in first hand experience. The salience of overmedication as an emerging issue makes the argument presented here extremely compelling. Even if readers do not agree entirely with what is proposed here, the body of knowledge brought forth and the position the author takes on what he considers overmedication are intellectually and professionally significant for the current state of clinical affairs.
            Dr. H. Gilbert Welch is a practicing physician and academic, working as a professor at Dartmouth Medical School. He is a nationally recognized expert on the effects of medical testing and his work has been published in the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal, as well as several major medical journals. He has appeared on network television,CNN, NPR, and is the author of two other books, Should I Be Tested For Cancer? and Overdiagnosed.

Welch, H. (2015). Less Medicine More Health: 7 Assumptions That Drive Too Much Medical Care. Boston, MA: Beacon Press.
ISBN: 978-0-8070-7164-9.
Hardcover: 218 pages. Includes index and references.
Key words: medicine healthcare, hypochondria, overmedication, illness, health


Wilks, J. & Knight, I. (2014). Using The Bowen Technique to Address Complex and Common Problems.
Reviewed by: Michael Fiorini, New York University

Using The Bowen Technique to Address Complex and Common Problems is a book that details for readers the history, method, and applications of the Bowen Technique, a form of osteopathic body work that treats the autonomic nervous system. Extensively detailed and incorporating section-specific accompanying research and references, the book outlines for professional readers the essential elements for using the Bowen Technique and what applications are best suited for its use. There are case studies included in each part of the book, and these are designed for the poignancy and specificity of certain aspects of treatment. There is a definite slant through the book toward treatment of physical pain disorders, however there are also sections involving mental disorders as well, albeit with far less comparative emphasis. Practitioners who already incorporate bodywork into their psychotherapeutic practice will find the book useful for adding additional techniques and a new framework into their existing repertoire. That being said, the overarching applications detailed here focus largely on chiropractic and rehabilitative applications, and so unless readers are explicitly interested in learning more about this technique and how to use it, it might not suite the interests of casual professionals unacquainted with body-centric therapy. The fine degree of detail incorporated here might prove daunting to those without some existing experience with body psychotherapy and treatments for the autonomic nervous system.
            Beginning first with an introduction to the history of the Bowen Technique, the book then concentrates on how it works before going into treatments for specific disorders and populations. The book initially details for readers the physiological framework it operates within, which entails a great deal of defining and explaining how practitioners of the technique consider the causes of certain disorders. To do this it first covers concepts of fascia, tensegrity, and the methods for assessment. Next, fluid flow as it relates to  natural and embryological development is discussed. The following chapter delves into the similarities between the technique and acupuncture modalities. Treatments used for back pain, chronic pain, and fibromyalgia make up the beginning of the portion of the book reserved for specific therapeutic approaches. This progresses into those targeting arms, shoulders, the upper back, headaches, migraines, and the temporomandibular joint. The next section discusses interventions for stress, anxiety, and depression, though as stated above this is not as detailed as many reader might prefer. Asthma and respiratory problems make up the end of this portion of the book. The next part then goes on to discuss the application of the Bowen Technique for certain populations, starting from how it can be used in womens health, pregnancy, and birth, and then in babies, toddlers, and children. Bowen Therapy for use in athletics, in dance, stretching, and hypermobility, in Parkinsons, multiple sclerosis, and diabetes patients, in palliative care, and in the workplace are also covered here. The end concentrates on current research being done, and the Bowen Techniques role in the NHS.
           The book can be considered essential for those interested in learning about and using the Bowen Technique in their practice. Although the concentration is largely on physical maladies, body psychologists also treat physical and relate physical pain to psychological traumas and experiences, making this new operative modality important for expanding the potential application of this therapy. It can also give such practitioners greater insight into the nature of the autonomic nervous system and treatments relating to it, as well as a better understanding of the physiological ailments pertaining to it. Casual professional readers and those unacquainted with the field might find the book quite informative for expanding their own knowledge as well. Still, a lack of literacy and knowledge in the subject matter might prove a great divider in the books potential audience, though this has little to do with the content or presentation and more with the sometimes esoteric elements at play in alternative therapy. Highly useful for anyone additionally interested in physiology and especially chiropractics and active body therapy, what is outlined in Using the Bowen Technique can be an important addition to the working professionals frame of reference.
            John Wilks is a Bowen instructor and author, working in an integrated healthcare practice in England, and was a former chairman of the Bowen Association of the UK and of the Craniosacral Therapy Association of the UK. Isobel Knight is a writer, researcher, and lecturer on Ehlers-Dalos Syndrome - Hypermobility Type. She is also a practicing Bowen therapist and author of books relating to her specialty.

Wilks, J. & Knight, I. (2014). Using The Bowen Technique to Address Complex and Common Problems. London, UK: Singing Dragon.
ISBN: 978-1-84819-167-9.
Paperback: 383 pages. Includes index, recommended reading, and references.
Key words: bowen technique, bodywork, osteopathy, chronic pain, osteopathy