A COLLECTION OF RECENT ENGLISH-LANGUAGE PSYCHOTHERAPY BOOK REVIEWS
Complied under the direction of Jacqueline A. Carleton Ph.D. for the IJP (April 2014).
(All the entries marked with a ** are to do with working with diets, nutrition and eating disorders)
Adams, M. (2014). The myth of the untroubled therapist: private life, professional
**Albers, S. (2012). Eating Mindfully: How to End
Mindless Eating and Enjoy a Balanced Relationship with Food.
Baranowsky, A.B. & Lauer, T. (2012). What is PTSD? 3 Steps to Healing Trauma.
**Bauman, E. & Waldmna, H. (2012). The whole food guide for breast cancer survivors: a nutritional approach to preventing recurrence.
**Beck, M. (2011). Stop Eating Your Heart Out.
Breger, L. (2012). Psychotherapy: Lives intersecting.
Donaldson-Pressman, S. & Pressman, R.M. (1997). The Narcissistic Family: Diagnosis and Treatment.
**Fulvio, L. (2013). Reclaiming Yourself from Binge Eating: A Step-by-Step Guide to Healing.
**Golden, J. (2011). 50 Strategies to Sustain Recovery From Bulimia.
Goodheart, C.D. (2014). A Primer for ICD-10-CM Users: Psychological and Behavioral Conditions.
Koenig, K. (2008). What Every Therapist Needs to Know About Treating Eating and Weight Issues.
Kuchuck, S. (Ed.). (2014). Clinical implications of the psychoanalyst’s life experience: when the personal becomes professional.
**Maine, M., Davis, W.N. & Shure, J. (Eds.). (2009). Effective clinical practice in the treatment of eating disorders: the heart of the matter.
**Maisel, R., Epston, D., & Borden, A. (2004). Biting the Hand that Starves You.
**McCabe, R., McFarlene, T., Olmsted, M. (2003) The Overcoming Bulimia Workbook: Your Comprehensive, Step-by-Step Guide to Recovery.
Picucci, M. (2012). Focalizing Source Energy: Going Within to Move Beyond.
Rand, M. (2013). Body Mindfulness Workshop with Dr. Marjorie Rand [DVD].
**Ross, C. (2009). The Binge Eating and Compulsive Overeating Workbook: An Integrated Approach to Overcoming Disordered Eating.
**Sandoz, E., Wilson, K. & Dufrene, T. (2011). The Mindfulness and Acceptance Workbook for Bulimia: A Guide to Breaking Free from Bulimia Using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.
**Scott, T. (2011). The Anti-Anxiety Food Solution: How the foods you eat can help you calm your anxious mind, improve your mood & end cravings.
Slingerland, E. (2014). Trying Not to Try: The Ancient Chinese Art and Modern Science of Spontaneity.
Van den Bos, G. (2013). APA Dictionary of Clinical Psychology
Adams, M. (2014). The myth of the untroubled therapist: private life, professional
Reviewed by Phillipe Kleefield, New York University
[This book] is a frank,
warm and refreshing read for any clinician working in the field of mental
health. Through the qualitative study of 40 clinicians throughout the United
Kingdom and Canada, Marie Adams seeks to engage in “consciousness raising”,
creating a space in which clinicians can come to feel more at ease in knowing
that many professionals in the field face personal issues that can come to
affect their work. Analyzing the data from her various interviews, Adams has
found that most of the clinicians she interviewed had personal motivations for
entering the field, arguing that these motivations exist as both a boon and a
disadvantage, allowing for these therapists to at times feel a greater sense of
empathy toward patients, while at other times fostering sharp disavowals or
negative counter-transferences. Adams also explores a list of different issues
that arose in her sample of clinicians since they’ve become licensed, such as
depression, anxiety, death in the family, burn-out, shame and narcissistic
ideations of wanting to feel successful with a patient. Marie Adams seeks to
create a space for clinicians in which they can feel safe to acknowledge their
own personal issues that may affect their work, urging each and every clinician
to allow themselves to feel vulnerable, counter their shame, feel less
impervious to the demand to feel perfect and unscathed, and to reach out to
other professionals in their communities.
first and last chapters are what I find to be the most central in understanding
a broad overview of the various themes that she explores in the lives of her
sample. Although one of her shortest chapters, the first chapter acknowledges
the importance of personal motivations in the lives of the therapists she
studied, arguing that these therapists should feel compelled to be aware,
present with and critical of these personal motivations as they engage with
their patients. Stressing the need to not feel above patients, she instead
wants clinicians to deconstruct and reflect on their own behaviors, reactions
and experiences in the therapeutic process. Serving as a sort of discussion and
culmination of her study, the last chapter explores each prior issue in further
depth and advocates not only for the importance of supervision for clinicians,
but that they develop an individualized strategy to mitigate issues that could
come up in therapy with patients.
on the exploratory, Marie Adams reigns in the examination of issues to address
the more practical in Chapters 7, Keeping
Our House In Order and in Chapter 9, A
Problem Shared, detailing ways of taking care of oneself while working in
the field of mental health. In Chapter 7, the difficulties of maintaining a
private practice are enumerated to ultimately re-stress the importance of
allowing oneself to feel vulnerable and the acceptance that taking time off is
at times beneficial and crucial. In Chapters 9 delineates how to maintain a
good balance of working while taking care of one’s own health, paying
particular attention to warning signs and stressing supervision as a vital
resource for any clinician.
found particularly interesting her analysis of how the different types of
therapy that clinicians practiced were associated with either more or less
personal motivation to enter the field, and subsequently, more or fewer
feelings of shame when encountering personal difficulties. It is not surprising
that psychodynamic clinicians had greater awareness of personal motivations for
entering the field of therapy, while they also had a greater acceptance than
those clinicians oriented to other therapies to receive help when facing
personal strife. The Cognitive Behavioral Therapists seemed to possess more of
a sense that they needed to manage their issues using their own techniques.
Adams’ book exists as a good source exploring the needs and issues that
clinicians face in working with patients through a therapeutic process. It is
at times ironic to read how unwilling clinicians can be to take care of their
own health and admit their own faults when they are tasked with the arduously
rigorous responsibility of making other people better. Adams does seem to make
the assumption that no therapist has successfully found a strategy to maintain
a strict boundary between their personal and professional life, paying very
little attention to those therapists in her sample that don’t feel particularly
influenced by the personal in their work with patients, dismissing these
clinicians as not having a full understanding of their motivations and
behaviors. I think that a source of further inquiry might involve clinicians
that have found a means of separating themselves from their therapy work.
However, Marie Adams might conclude that this really isn’t possible. Overall,
Marie Adams has written a well-reasoned and compelling book arguing that
therapists should feel more empowered to consider their own needs in addition
to those of their patients.
The myth of the untroubled
therapist: private lives, professional practice. New York; Routledge.
Psychotherapists, Mental Health, Case Studies, Psychotherapy, Practice, Psychological Aspects, Depression, Mental.
**Albers, S. (2012). Eating Mindfully: How to End
Mindless Eating and Enjoy a Balanced Relationship with Food.
Reviewed by: Mona Zohny, Hunter
Buddhism, mindfulness is one of the factors of enlightenment. Recently,
positive psychologists have begun to explore this concept in the context of
physical and mental health. Albers’s second edition of Eating Mindfullyis a follow up to the first edition, an introduction to mindful eating. The
second edition is structured the same way but contains much of the same
information and more. The purpose of this book is not specifically designed to
help only those with eating disorders. Instead, it aims to help anybody with
mindless eating habits. This book contains dozens of tips to help increase
mindful thinking and behaviors.
is described as being present and aware from moment to moment. Eating mindfully
involves being aware of the taste and texture of food, the physical process of
eating, the physical sensations of hunger and fullness, and the emotions
involved. The book starts off by answering common questions about mindful
eating. Albers also provides a summary of the five types of mindless eaters:
the occasional mindless eater (new to the second edition), the chronic mindless
dieter, the mindless overeater, and the mindless chaotic eater. She provides a
list of attributes for each category that allows readers to figure out what
type of mindless eater they are. Albers believes that everyone is guilty of
mindless eating at some point and she emphasizes that progress is more
significant than perfection. It is more important to control the present moment
than it is to focus on the past or future. In a time when many people have
busy, fast-paced lives, often eating meals while they work, this book reminds
us of the importance of slowing down and using our senses to actually enjoy
of the book is divided into five parts. The first part is about the mindfulness
of the mind. This involves being present and aware of all five senses when one
eats. Albers points out that doing so will allow one to feel more pleasure
while eating and be able to stay in control. She also discusses the idea of
letting go of food restrictions and categorizing foods as being good or bad.
second part is about the mindfulness of the body. This means paying attention
to the signs of hunger in order to distinguish between emotional and physical
hunger. It also involves paying attention to one’s physical motions while
eating. The author explores self-acceptance of one’s past, present and future
bodies. Albers recommends meditation and breathing exercises to train oneself
to remain in the moment. She also explores the idea of fine tuning one’s taste
part discusses the mindfulness of the feelings. This involves figuring out the
emotional triggers that cause mindless eating as well as dealing with negative
feelings regarding one’s weight. It also encourages readers to think about how
relationships can affect their eating habits and even provides tips on how to
eat mindfully around others, especially during the holidays.
fourth part is about the mindfulness of the thoughts. Albers discusses the
dangers of “mindless thinking” which includes overgeneralizing an outcome,
overstating things or ignoring significant information (202). She recommends
planning meals in order to avoid emotional eating. Albers also explores the
idea of the “inner food critic” and how to silence the voice that shouts judgmental
remarks at you about your food choices (219).
part is new to this edition and serves as a review. It consists of a detailed
checklist with all of the tips for mindful eating that Albers covers throughout
the book. The author also provides several different scenarios emotional eaters
can find themselves in and ways to handle the situation mindfully.
chapter of this book provides readers with exercises called skill builders that
keep them engaged. Some of these skill builders require the reader to keep a
food diary. Others simply require a mental task. Albers recommends reading the
whole book before starting these exercises. She provides many different types
of skill builders, so there is something for everybody.
Eating Mindfully: How to End Mindless Eating and Enjoy a Balanced
Relationship with Food is a comprehensive and engaging
guide to eating mindfully. It can be used by almost anybody who wants to learn
how to be more present and aware in their eating habits and daily lives in
general. This book focuses on the readers and their experiences, while Albers
also provides relatable examples from her own clients. The skill builders
provided allow the reader to apply the concepts discussed to their lives.
S. (2012). Eating Mindfully: How to End Mindless Eating and Enjoy a Balanced
Relationship with Food. Oakland,
Harbinger Publications, Inc.
Paperback, 290 pp, Suggested further readings and bibliographical
Eating disorders, food habits, mindful eating, mindfulness, nutrition,
Baranowsky, A.B. & Lauer, T.
(2012). What is PTSD? 3 Steps to Healing Trauma.
by: Rachel Vitale, New York University
Anna Baranowsky and Teresa Lauer, LMHC have come together to write a self-help
manual that both educates one on what exactly Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
is, and how to go about treating oneself. The most important feature of this
book is the explanation of what PTSD is, featured in the introduction. So, what
exactly is PTSD? In short, PTSD is an anxiety disorder that can occur following
a traumatic event. It is a disorder often heard in reference to the men and
women who have served their countries in the armed forces. Young children may
suffer from it as well—the disorder is limitless in terms of those that it
affects. PTSD is often publicized on the news and other forms of media. The
detailed description of this disorder that the book provides is more
informative than any information a news broadcast can bring forth.
Baranowsky, A.B. &
Lauer, T. (2012). What is PTSD? 3 Steps to Healing Trauma.
are accustomed to hearing negative stories regarding PTSD; after all, it is an
unfortunate disorder to suffer from. Although the negativity attached to the
disorder is often inevitable, this book is quite uplifting. A sense of
negativity is most likely the last feeling one would have while reading this
book. The authors use soft, nurturing language throughout the book to make
their readers feel calm, almost at ease. It’s almost as if to say, “Don’t
worry, we know. Everything will be okay.
Following what is PTSD, the main idea presented
in this book is that there are three essential steps to healing the trauma
inflicted on oneself by Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. The first step is to
find comfort. The authors explain that by finding a stable support system, it
will be that much easier for an individual to gain self-confidence, and
ultimately overcome trauma. Seems simple enough, yes? Often this is the hardest
step for people who suffer from PTSD, as the authors explain in further detail.
This step requires courage and confidence, two things that PTSD has the
potential of completely taking away from a person. Once this step is
accomplished, next is Step Two.
second step is to remember the trauma. This sounds a bit, well, tortuous. Why
would someone who has endured such great trauma ever wish to relive that event again? While at first glance once may agree that this step would not be
effective, it is in fact necessary in order to recover from PTSD. This step
appears to be the most difficult of the three, but through Baranowsky and
Lauer’s kind, encouraging words, readers will feel as if they are being taken
by the hand carefully and gently through an unforgettable journey. Being able to remember one’s
trauma - without being retraumatized - means that one is ready and able to face it. It is only then that an
individual can move on to the third and final step of overcoming trauma.
third step is, as the authors phrase it, “begin to live again!” This intense
enthusiasm is so very necessary in order to express this last step. This is
meant to be the fun part of the process. The authors’ three-step guide
strategically flows from one step to the next so very eloquently. Once an
individual is able to find a team of support in which comfort is most felt in
step one, the trauma can be faced head on, fearlessly in step two, and in turn,
the person can begin to finally live life again to the fullest, which is
apparent in step three. Never have I read a book that made battling a disorder
feel so uplifting.
Publisher: Author via CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.
Paperback 226 pages: Does not include index.
: dissociation, helplessness, mind-body connection, stress, support,
**Bauman, E. & Waldmna, H. (2012). The whole food guide for breast
cancer survivors: a nutritional approach to preventing
Reviewed by Phillipe Kleefield, New York
Edward Bauman and Helayne Waldman
have written a book mainly addressed for women currently living with breast
cancer, however, the book is also written for women who may want to protect
themselves from developing the disease. In this book, The Whole Food Guide For Breast Cancer Survivors, the premises
supporting the lifestyle recommendations involve a belief that nutritional and
spiritual factors are key components of overall wellness, especially in
preventing and surviving breast cancer. Based on these premises a comprehensive
overview of diet, avoidable exposures, and other factors are explored,
including thorough explanations of and sample recipes to truly make this change
first and second chapters set up the books theoretical foundation as to why
diet and spiritual health are so important. The first chapters reviews
traditional risk factors that have been established to play a role in the
development of breast cancer, including various genetic factors, various
hormonal factors, and confirmed environmental factors. The second chapter, the
crux of the foundation that supports her argument, explores emerging risk
factors in the development of breast cancer, including “ The Standard American
Diet”—a Western dietary pattern which consists of a high intake of red meat,
sugar, trans fats, high-fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, and refined
grains – alcohol consumption in western countries, immune system deficiencies,
a chronic inflammatory state in the body, iodine issues and other similar risk
factors. These two chapters are important for understanding the science behind
why a particular emphasis is being placed on diet.
rest of the book is devoted to addressing specifics within the diet plan
recommendation and other ways in which emerging risk factors might be avoided.
Chapter three outlines the foundational diet plan, offering general guidelines
including growing your own salad green and herbs, drinking plenty of filtered
water, reading labels and avoiding foods with artificial ingredients, eating
more vegetables, consuming breakfast before 10 AM which should include a
serving of goof quality protein, and other general recommendations. In
addition, each nutrient that is recommended is explored in terms of what it is,
what it does for the body, and why it is being recommended in a particular
serving. In chapter four, the purpose is to understand how to limit your
exposures to toxins, and the chapter explores the role of personal care
products in the exposure of toxins, the toxins in water, general sources of
pesticides and tips on minimizing these exposures. The fifth chapter is aimed
at understanding the various nutritional deficiencies that exist, how to go
about figuring out if you are suffering from any of them, and how to go about creating
a balance. These chapters are useful in getting a specific idea of what diet to
eat to minimize your breast cancer risk factors.
next three chapters address glucose and insulin control as it relates to
weight, how to nourish and maintain your immune system, and how to reduce
chronic inflammation. In the sixth chapter, higher glucose and insulin levels
are seen as negative, reasons are explored as to the relationship between
insulin and glucose levels with cancer development, and lastly, different
strategies are offered to minimize these levels. The seventh chapter addresses
the immune system, the importance of maintaining a strong immune system, how a
strong immune system can be maintained, and an overview of the specific
nutrients that are related to a good immune function. The eight chapters
addresses chronic inflammation and is aimed at minimizing chronic inflammation
by assessing your current inflammation levels and providing a thorough overview
of how inflammation can be minimized in the body. These chapters are important
supplements to the foundational diet and are thought of as important in
understanding the development of breast cancer.
last two chapters address issues of digestion, elimination and detoxification
of toxins, role of hormones in the body. Chapter nine is an examination of
digestion including its importance in health and how it can be optimized, and
an exploration of the liver and its important role in health functioning.
Chapter ten goes through a list of different hormones that may play a role in
cancer and examines how these hormones can be balanced to maintain an optimal
interplay of these hormones in your body. These two chapters are important in
that they serve as a further supplement to the foundational diet outlined.
Bauman and Helayne Waldman have written a great book that explores emerging
risk factors related to the development of breast cancer and how these factors
might be eliminated. Through a great blend of practical schedules, scientific
literature supporting the various recommendations, and straightforward
language, The Whole Food Guide for Breast
Cancer Survivors is a great read for anyone who is interesting in making
Bauman, E. & Waldmna, H. (2012). The whole food guide for breast
cancer survivors: a nutritional approach to preventing recurrence. Oakland,
CA: New Harbinger Publications, Inc.
Paperback: 249 pages
Keywords: Breast cancer, nutritional aspects, prevention, diet therapy, self-care, health
**Beck, M. (2011). Stop Eating
Your Heart Out
by: Mona Zohny, Hunter College
Eating Your Heart Out, Meryl Hershey Beck offers readers a 21-day program
that will help “release [them] from [their] emotional dependence on food”
(xix). This self-help book is a valuable resource for both sufferers of eating
disorders, such as binge eating disorder (BED) and compulsive overeating (COD),
or people that want to change their unhealthy relationship with food. Beck is a
self-proclaimed “(recovered) food junkie” (xvi). She says that “food was the
glue that kept [her] together” (xvi). She has also been treating patients with
BED and CO for over 20 years. Her experiences enabled her to create a practical
plan encompassing all of the beneficial techniques she has discovered
throughout the years. This book contains an array of tools for dealing with
emotional eating which includes journaling, meditation, creative visualization,
energy techniques, and conscious living.
In the first chapter, Beck tells the story of her struggles with food. For years she was a closet eater
and yo-yo dieter. She recalls the inception of her eating habits during her
childhood and provides insight as to why she began over eating to fill the
emptiness inside her. This
awareness was something she had developed through her recovery. Chapter’s Two through
Eight each cover three days of the plan so that the book progresses
chronologically. Chapter Two is about becoming more self-honest. Readers can take a
mini-assessment to see if they have any emotional eating problems. The assignments
for the first three days involve writing their eating history, which involves
reflecting on their pasts to see when and how their emotional eating began,
keeping a food mood diary (for all 21 days of the program) which includes
writing down every food they eat along with their mood at the time and the
relevant circumstances, and keeping a journal since the focus of this book is
the emotional aspects of overeating.
The rest of the chapters discuss finding support, spirituality, energy
techniques, going within (oneself), personal housecleaning, conscious living
and a review, respectively. Beck approaches the issue of emotional eating from
every angle. Throughout the book, she touches upon the influence Alcoholic Anonymous
groups have had on support groups for eating problems, since emotional eating
can be considered a food addiction.These 12-step programs have influenced the program that Beck has
developed in this book. She uses some of the same activities including a
simplified version of a moral inventory assignment used in AA groups, which
involves taking a look at “character traits that have outlived their
usefulness” in order to free oneself from them (141).
Another interesting concept that Beck learned about during a 12-step
program is the idea of one’s Inner Child. The Inner Child is a “metaphor for
the precious child we all were who often had unexpressed feelings and unmet
needs” (115). The assignments surrounding this concept involve developing and
using a Nurturing Parent/Healthy Adult part of oneself to create a dialogue
with the Inner Child through which healing can occur.
Beck explores the idea of energy techniques such as Emotional Freedom
Techniques (EFT) and Rapidly Integrated Transformation Technique (RITT) which
she developed with Robert Trainor Masci. These techniques involve tapping on
certain pressure points and repeating a phrase. EFT usually involves one
feeling while RITT encompasses many feelings at once. The goal is to neutralize
negative emotions by affecting the flow of energy in the body. These techniques
are used for patients with anxiety, depression and eating disorders. The
assignment provided in this book is designed to help emotional eaters curb
their cravings. However, Beck encourages the use of these techniques whenever
any negative emotions begin to surface and integrates them into other parts of
the recovery process, like with the Inner Child work, since one’s Inner Child
can bring up painful memories from the past.
Beck’s Stop Eating Your Heart Out is an easy to read book that
serves as a practical tool for emotional eaters. This book does not focus on
food. Instead, it dives into the feelings and thoughts associated with eating
which influence negative behaviors like overeating. While the author used the
concept that it takes 21 days to break a habit, she encourages readers to spend
up to a week on a single assignment, and to revisit assignments if necessary.
The personal anecdotes of Beck’s experiences with emotional eating instil hope
in the reader and make him or her feel like s/he is not alone in his or her
Beck, M. (2011). Stop Eating Your Heart Out. San Francisco, CA: Red Wheel/Weiser.
Paperback: 256 pp. Suggested further readings and index included.
Keywords: binge eating disorder, compulsive overeating, eating
disorders, food habits, nutrition, overeating, self-help
(2012). Psychotherapy: lives
Reviewed by Phillipe
Kleefield, New York University
Psychotherapy and psychoanalysis are words that can conjure mixed feelings about the
usefulness of their processes, whether they are worth the expensive
undertaking, and other similar introspective thoughts, all of which lead to the
central question: are psychotherapy and psychoanalysis really for me? The above
picture that I have chosen to include with this review serves as a figuratively
visual representation of the guiding question-- whether psychoanalysis is a
good choice-- that I believe has prompted and informed Louis Breger to write
his book, Psychotherapy: Lives
Intersecting, as an exploration through the lens of those patients that he
has treated in the past, about what is unique in his psychotherapeutic
analysis, what “worked” for his patients, and for whom his therapy was not an
ideal fit. Louis Breger orients his book toward patients that might be
considering psychotherapy, in addition to other psychotherapeutic clinicians,
as a means of juxtaposing his less orthodox, more relational form of
psychotherapy in contrast to more traditional psychoanalysis as advocated by
theorists such as Sigmund Freud. Through the long-term follow up of his
patients, Louis Breger offers an insightful and honest analysis of what his
more successful patients found important about his therapeutic style (he also
addresses the responses of those that didn’t find him particularly useful),
allowing for readers to carve their own path in coming to a conclusion about
whether psychotherapy and psychoanalysis might be a useful journey.
the first four chapters, Louis Breger makes the case for himself as a uniquely
oriented psychotherapist, one who has carved his own intellectual formative
path against “dogma”, and for Psychotherapy:
Lives Intersecting as a somewhat radical departure from a practice that
tends to privilege the therapist as speaking on behalf of their clients. In the
second chapter the reader is introduced to Louis Breger’s style of therapy, in
which he demonstrates, through recounting his own recollection of certain
patients while weaving in their own recollections, how he is an adaptable
psychotherapist in his psychoanalysis, sensing whether a particular patient may
need him to be more orthodox in style, or whether being more relational and
interactive is what might be needed. In the third chapter, Louis Breger is
interested in deconstructing his choice to engage in post-therapeutic
communication with his patients as a valid, learnable process in which both he
and his patient benefitted from the exchange, countering the traditional rule
that “termination” should signal an end to the therapeutic relationship.
Lastly, in the fourth chapter, Louis Breger uses the stories of his patients to
contrast his own style vis a vis the
style of more traditionally orthodox psychotherapists, as such highlighting the
usefulness of being relational, as opposed to distant, silent and having a
strict sense that there is a distinction between patient and therapist. These
chapters are a catalyst for his later discussion of what he comes to conclude
is more beneficial about his less orthodox from of psychotherapy.
5-8 delve into Breger’s personal life history, exploring his familial life,
also exploring his narrative of becoming a psychologist, specifically, a
psychoanalyst, informing the reader about what seemed to have motivated his
particular style of psychotherapy. Breger recounts a childhood and adolescence
coping with an intelligent yet depressed mother, leaving him with the remnants
of shyness, feelings of inferiority, and a need to control and minimize his
emotions. Embarking on his graduate studies in psychology and in his
post-graduate training, Louis Breger was initially enamored with Sigmund Freud,
yet, he slowly discovers that the form of psychotherapy that he in fact
advocates is too theoretical and not sufficiently centered around the
experiences of those that it seeks to treat. Louis Breger effectively calls the
type of therapy he seeks to shy away from -- Sigmund Freud’s type of
psychotherapy-- “Pure Gold”, metaphorically capturing Freud’s sense that
psychotherapy works for everyone and that it makes everyone better. Instead, by
the end of Chapter 8, the reader gets the sense that Louis Breger is more understanding
of the reality that psychotherapy really isn’t for everyone, and that in order
to truly work, it needs to be accessible to and centered around the experience
of the patient.
The final chapters of Breger’s book are what I find to be the most important,
because these chapters not only illustrate what it is that Breger’s
psychotherapy entails, subsequently what works about his form of psychotherapy,
and also an account of what others didn’t find useful. Breger
believes that the following characteristics are what makes his form of therapy
effective: stressing not to push patients to analyze the transference but
instead come to their own conclusions in their own time, being a personal and
open therapist, fostering a relationship with patients such that this
relationship cures prior unhealthy experiences, acknowledging mistakes,
disclosing of personal information as long as it benefits the patient, having a
sense of humor, allowing for and cultivating patients to undergo other forms of
therapy while in psychotherapy, advocating for co-construction of insight and
interpretation, and having flexible fees. These characteristics are different
from the rules of traditional psychoanalysis, however, Breger’s therapy seems
to have benefitted many of his patients. For those whom his therapy did not
benefit, Breger acknowledges that they might have been looking for a more
traditional, authoritative psychoanalyst, or for a more action-oriented
cognitive-behavioral type of therapy. Overall, Breger is refreshingly honest in
his perspective that informs his practice.
Lives Intersecting advocates for a less orthodox
model of psychotherapy and psychoanalysis in which the therapist doesn’t simply
serve as a projection onto which a patient can place their own thoughts and
feelings, but can also interact in a more active way. Louis Breger does a good
job of delineating what made his style of therapy particularly effective,
however, I found myself at times wondering what specifically makes a patient
particularly suitable to his style as opposed to a more traditional style.
However, in taking into consideration his book as a whole it becomes clear that
the reader should come to this decision by himself or herself, carving their
own path by learning through experience whether psychotherapy and
psychoanalysis (and what specific style) would be useful.
Breger, L. (2012) Psychotherapy:
lives intersecting. New Jersey: Transaction Publishers
Hardcover: 144 pages: Includes bibliographical references and index.
Key Words: Psychotherapy, biography, psychotherapist and patient, psychoanalytic therapy, professional-patient relations, treatment outcomes
S. & Pressman, R.M. (1997). The Narcissistic Family: Diagnosis and
Reviewed by: Tina R. Lee, New York University
Donaldson-Pressman and Robert M. Pressman present an innovative diagnosis and
treatment manual focusing on survivors who grew up in families marked by
narcissism, in which the focus in the family was on fulfilling the parents’
needs. The authors provide a conceptual framework for viewing the ways in which
people learned to interact in their families of origin, analyzing the adult
consequences of childhood patterns of interaction, and presenting strategies
for dealing with those consequences in therapy.
begins with a succinct introduction to the application of the diagnosis of
narcissism to the family system. It goes on to discuss the family model, and
therapy with adults raised in narcissistic families. The authors lay out the
framework of the narcissistic system, including skewed responsibility and blame
onto the children. It ends with two appendices, which consist of an in-depth
case example with a family and a broad overview of narcissism within
psychoanalytic theory. The case examples (rather than case studies) are
presented with abridged but authentic vignettes. The vignettes, according to
the authors, serve as hooks to which concepts are attached. In particular, the
authors focus on less extreme cases. The cases highlight different nuances of
dysfunctional behavior within narcissistic families, such as an
alcohol-troubled or incestuous family, although they note that these cases are
rarely presented in such a pure form in therapy.
acknowledge the difficulty in understanding the narcissistic family system for
both the therapist and survivor. One reason for this difficulty is that there
are a number of overtly narcissistic in addition to blatantly abusive families.
The authors address case examples in which the family seemed to function well
on the surface; however, the children were expected to meet the parents’ needs
rather than the other way around.
It is the
authors’ hope that this modality will fill the void for dealing with a range of
patients who have lacked a framework around which to organize treatment, or
workable techniques to help therapists in the delivery of treatment. The
authors lay out five stages to recovery along with the obstacles within each
stage for the survivor. In particular, emphasis is placed on the theme of
acceptance and blame. The authors use various metaphors in clarifying difficult
concepts. For instance, the authors describe how a child will revisit a well of
poisonous water with different size and color buckets in the hopes that he or
she will change the water. This metaphor effectively demonstrates that the child
is not to blame for the parents’ behaviors, and the futility of trying to
change one’s own behavior within the narcissistic family.
end, the authors acknowledge the complexities of each family system. More
importantly, they address the survival techniques learned by these children,
who apply these techniques to their adult lives when it is often no longer
necessary. What’s important to note, according to the authors, is that
acceptance of the realities of growing up in a narcissistic family is more than
half the battle towards recovery. Acceptance implies recognition of how we
learned what we learned, and how we can relearn to make life more satisfying.
The major underlying theme presented is that although the survivor has been
molded by his or her past experiences, he or she need no longer be defined by
S. & Pressman, R.M. (1997). The Narcissistic Family: Diagnosis and
Paperback: 181 pages: Includes
Key words: narcissism, narcissistic family, family system, survivor, blame, acceptance,
**Fulvio, L. (2013). Reclaiming Yourself from Binge Eating: A
Step-by-Step Guide to Healing.
by: Sasha Dmochowski, University at Albany/SUNY
Recovery from eating disorder is a complex process that requires guidance and support. In her introduction to Reclaiming Yourself from Binge Eating: A
Step-by-Step Guide to Healing, author Leora Fulvio reveals her own
history of self-destructive eating behavior and her inspiration to help those
who struggle with binge eating. With a do-it-yourself approach, this book provides practical steps that
may help an individual to stop binge eating, increase their emotional
awareness, and understand why they binge eat. Exercises and suggested meditations are included throughout the book to supplement the text. It should be noted that this book is not intended to substitute for the
care of a licensed health professional.
disclosure of having a history of eating disorder is a calculated risk. Fulvio does this artfully, and shares
her personal narrative with great aplomb. As a reader, it is easier to trust the advice of an individual who has
walked the recovery path that their book implements. Organized into two sections, the first part of the guide
offers an in-depth view of the defining characteristics of binge eating, the
criteria that comprise the disorder (i.e. “How do I know if I am a binge
eater?”), and an explanatory model for both its etiology and maintaining
factors. The approach is grounded
in empirical science, but meant to be accessible. Before moving into this educational material, Fulvio begins
by the suggesting to her readers that they will want to develop a practice of
mindfulness. Clinicians of
differing theoretical backgrounds who may recommend this manual to clients will
find common ground with some of the meditative and thought restructuring
methods she includes here. Fulvio
discusses the differences between ‘disordered eating’ and ‘eating disorder,’
and also examines what we might consider a healthy body, at any size. The material covered includes
physiological, social, and psychological factors that contribute to maladaptive
eating, and identifies the cycles (e.g. Binge-restrict vs. non-compensatory
binge) that may come about through these influences.
While some of the titles listed for ‘binge personality
types’ may seem overly simplistic at first glance, Fulvio makes a good attempt
to identify and describe common personality profiles that an individual might
assume as a binge eater.
One might be adequate on its own as an educational tool for individuals who
just want to know more about what it means to binge eat. The second section of the book is where
a reader assumes a less passive, more instrumental approach. This section organizes skill building
into a series of steps that are designed to be addressed one at a time, and
repeated if necessary. The 34
steps should be digested gradually; each chapter might take a week or several
apiece, and are to be accompanied with a journal and writing utensil in
hand. Acknowledging that a journey
of recovery must be deeply individual in order to be maximally effective,
readers learn how to self-motivate and to more efficiently identify and manage
urges and triggers. Fulvio may
garner some criticism for her strongly anti-diet stance. She defines dieting as “the deliberate
act of restricting food in order to achieve weight loss,” and feels that as a
behavior, dieting can be just as harmful as binge eating. She recommends throwing away the
bathroom scale, and gives detailed instruction on how to learn to eat
intuitively. As the steps
progress, readers learn how to prevent maladaptive behaviors surrounding
emotions that link with food, to better navigate through relations with family and
friends, and how to handle potential relapse. Self-monitoring exercises and
lists of alternate or replacement behaviors, as well as detailed attention to
thought restructuring seem to be some of the most helpful chapters in this
section. Several appendices
include extensive further resources and readings for those interested.
eating disorder is a recent addition to the recognized eating disorder
diagnostic categories and as a result, few authors to date have directly
addressed the mechanisms behind this specific issue. Fulvio makes an important contribution to the literature
concerning recovery from binge eating disorder by helping to provide resources
that have previously not been available. This book’s defining strength comes from its focus on healing the
cognitive and emotional components underlying the maladaptive use of sustenance
as a coping mechanism. If an
individual is ready to address their problematic eating patterns and wishes to
make some lasting and healthful changes, this manual appears to be a very good
place to begin.
Fulvio, L. (2013). Reclaiming Yourself from Binge Eating: A Step-by-Step Guide to Healing. Winchester, UK: Anyi Books.
E-book: 340 pp. Suggested further reading included
words: binge eating, eating disorder recovery
**Golden, J. (2011). 50
Strategies to Sustain Recovery From Bulimia.
by: Mona Zohny, Hunter College
Jocelyn Golden's empowering book, 50
Strategies to Sustain Recovery From Bulimia, she outlines many tactics that
can be used by a recovering bulimic patient when “the therapist's door
closes...or when the support group breaks up for the evening” (7). The
strategies that are discussed revolve around changing one's negative thoughts
to positive thoughts. Each section
covers different aspects of self-doubt or self-loathing. The common negative
statements that might run through a patient's head are addressed and then
countered with positive self-affirmations. This book serves as a useful tool
for patients who are in the process of recovering from bulimia. It is meant to
be a “complement to formal treatment programs” (8). The strategies in this book
are ones that Golden has developed and used herself in recovering from a 25
year battle with her eating disorder.
This book is divided into seven sections which are
then divided into chapters. The first part of the book is about learning to
love and accept one's self unconditionally. The exercises in this section
involve writing personalized self-affirmations and making promises to be kinder
to one's self. This unconditional self-love enables the patient to realize that
they deserve to get better and are capable of it. The second part is about
learning more about bulimia and understanding that this destructive disease
cannot solve any problems. Educating one's self is important in realizing there are many factors
involved and thus alleviating self-blame. The third part is about taking
control of one's recovery and realizing that it is a conscious decision that
must be made.
Golden touches upon the different ways that can
help one heal such as religion/spirituality and therapy. She offers an
alternative cycle to the typical binge-purge cycle that involves taking control
of one's emotions and dealing with the anxiety that normally leads to binge
eating specifically by regulating ones breathing. However, Golden suggests that each patient creates an
alternative cycle that works to counter their own typical binge-purge cycle and
suggests that this be done with a therapist. The fourth part is about
interactions with people and how to change judgmental behavior towards others
and one's self. The idea is that looking at these interactions will help the
patient discover the toxic people, places and things that trigger his/her
bulimia in order to remove them from his/her environment.
Part Five refocuses on one's mindset, addressing
issues like one's relationship with food, dealing with anger, learning to be
grateful, silencing the “bulimic voice” (175) and ensuring that one has all the
tools of recovery s/he needs. Part Six addresses concerns about the future and
how to deal with larger issues that can cause anxiety, such as finding one's
greater purpose in life. Part Seven serves as a general review of the book,
allowing the patient to see how their mentality has changed before and after
using these strategies to sustain recovery. Golden also provides a list of
fifty things she used to believe were true and fifty affirmations to counter
them, side by side.
Each chapter starts off by addressing a particular
issue that a bulimic typically deals with. Golden acknowledges these problems
and discusses where they stem from. She then explains what can be done to
change the negative thoughts that lead to this issue and why it is necessary to
change them. Exercises are then provided at the end of the chapter for the
reader to complete. For instance,
Golden discusses the idea that everyone deserves to be happy despite the fact
that many bulimics do not feel that they deserve it. She points out that
bulimics use the incessant binge-purge cycle as a way to achieve happiness
(which was based on weight and body image) and yet it only seems to cause harm.
She encourages the reader to repeat affirmations such as “I deserve to be
happy.” over and over again (38). While she admits that the self-affirmations
may seem “ridiculous and fake” at first, she insists that it important to
repeat them until they become truth (17). She discusses her path to recovery in great detail throughout the book,
explaining that these affirmations slowly changed her self-loathing to
ambivalence then self-like and finally self-love.
The exercises provided at the end of each chapter
really make this book unique. Some exercises involve repeating statements given
out loud, while others instruct the patient to write a list of statements,
which can actually be done right in the book, using the space provided. These
thought provoking exercises supplement the text, serving to reinforce the
strategies discussed and ensuring that the patient has mastered them before
moving on. They keep the reader actively involved in his/her own recovery.
Strategies to Sustain Recovery from Bulimia is easy
to read and to relate to, as the author has suffered from bulimia for a quarter of a century, and so she
speaks from experience. In this way, it can certainly instil hope in patients
who are struggling with their recovery and help to empower them. The book is
organized in a way that truly
follows the thought process of a recovering bulimic and intervenes at every
step to help instill a solution at the root of the problem (negative thoughts).
The exercises provided in the book allow the patient to take realistic steps
towards maintaining their recovery.
Golden, J. (2011). 50 Strategies
to Sustain Recovery From Bulimia. Vienna,
VA: Living As You Publications.
221 pp. Bibliographical
Keywords: bulimia, eating disorders, recovery, self-love
Goodheart, C.D. (2014). A Primer for ICD-10-CM Users: Psychological
and Behavioral Conditions.
Reviewed by: Joshua D.
Wright, Hunter College of the City University of New York
Goodheart had two purposes for writing A
Primer for ICD-10 Users: Psychological and Behavioral Conditions: to inform
mental health professionals of the necessary information to use the World
Health Organization’s International Classification of Diseases, and to “pave
the way for the successful adoption and use of ICD-11” (p. 3). Given that the
ICD, rather than the DSM is the official system used in the United States
healthcare system, and the system used abroad, the guide strives to bridge the
gap between mental health diagnoses in the United States and abroad, especially
given globalization and the need to adopt a system that “can be adapted across
a wide range of cultures (p. 4).
begins with an overview of the ICD system, and points out that ICD codes are
required by HIPAA standards, and thus even for those who currently use the DSM,
these diagnoses are translated into ICD codes for billing and reimbursement
purposes. This chapter provides the necessary background information for those
that do not understand the ICD, and provides a framework for why transitioning
to the ICD system is practical for psychologists in the United States.
Chapter 3 begins to explain in detail why adoption of the ICD-10-CM is
necessary, notably that it will provide better health monitoring and
classification via a “wider range of diagnostic scope and content” (p.
It also addresses specific
differences between ICD-9-CM and ICD-10-CM. The central content of the primer
begins on page 21 and continues to page 50. According to the primer, the new
ICD-10-CM is easy to use because it consists of ten categories of diagnoses for
mental health that are easy to navigate. Multiple examples are provided
utilizing the value structure of the codes that help make clear the codes’
structure, and a number of resources for easily converting DSM codes into
ICD-10-CM codes are provided on page 25. Many coding incompatibilities are
noted between ICD-10 and ICD-10-CM due to differences in diagnosis categories
between the ICD-10 and the DSM. An example being F41.2 (mixed anxiety and depression
disorder) is included in the ICD-10 but omitted in the ICD-10-CM, making the
codes skip at times. Goodheart notes that for those practitioners who do not
follow the modification process closely, “remember the basic rule: Use an
ICD-10-CM code if you are billing a third-party payer” else the claim will be
rejected (p. 35).
Goodheart claims that “the greatest benefits of ICD-10-CM accrue mainly
to those who aggregate and analyze large amounts of health data”, rather than
practicing clinicians (p. 40). This will primarily improve cross comparison of
morbidity and mortality statistics, quite useful for public health. As a note
to epidemiologists and health researchers, GEM’s (General Equivalence Maps) are
noted as way to convert from ICD-9-CM to ICD-10-CM or vice versa for continuity
purposes. Goodheart’s major complaint as to ICD-10-CM’s failure to drastically
improve practice is that the ICD-10 is already 20 years old and that the main
struggle in practice is the accuracy of codes, not necessarily the need for
more codes, which is the main difference between ICD-10-CM and ICD-9-CM.
Further problems of clinical utility, reliability, and validity are discussed.
Before ending with the full ICD-10-CM code list for mental disorders,
Goodheart gives a brief preview of ICD-11, seemingly irrelevant to US
practitioners given that the switch is being made to ICD-10-CM and thus a
switch to ICD-11-CM may be far in the future. The primer provides an
introduction to ICD with reasons for why it’s use should be considered,
explains differences between ICD-9-CM and ICD-10-CM, and previews the ICD-11. A
useful table of corresponding ICD-11 codes to DSM diagnoses is provided on page
61 for this that are interested in further detail on ICD-11. The most useful
component of this book is the appendix, consisting of the list of codes for the
ICD-10-CM—something easily found via other sources. Another very important part
of this book is the listed resources for converting codes on page 25.
I am not sure this guide will “pave the way for the use of ICD-11”, but
it does give an overview of the use of ICD-10-CM, assuming a previous knowledge
of ICD in general. Without some previous knowledge of ICD, this primer likely
will not provide sufficient information for converting it to practice. This
book might be useful as a quick reference guide, but something more substantial
is to be recommended for those interested in learning ICD-10-CM and the general
system with no previous knowledge or experience.
Goodheart, C.D. (2014). A Primer for
ICD-10-CM Users: Psychological and Behavioral Conditions. Washington, DC: American
64 pages. Appendix and index included.
Key words: ICD, DSM, Clinical
utility, diagnostic, classification
(2008). What Every Therapist Needs to Know About Treating Eating and
by: Mona Zohny, Hunter College
[This book] is designed
for therapists who do not specialize in dealing with eating disorders but
encounter clients with minor eating problems occasionally. Koenig offers many
different therapeutic tools that can help clinicians assess eating issues,
bring them to the surface and attempt to understand the underlying problems
associated with them.
The book is divided into eleven
chapters. Chapter One discusses the range of ways in which eating problems can
enter a client’s life and helps therapists expand their understanding of eating
disorders and eating issues in general. This chapter also explores eating
problems and body image in the context of culture. Thinness is preferred in modern
western culture and this beauty standard is linked to the changes in eating
habits of many women. However, Koenig points out that during therapy sessions,
clients tend to focus on issues that they deem more significant such as
marriage and career while putting eating issues aside. This makes it even more
important for clinicians to be able to detect signs of eating issues during
therapy sessions. Chapter Two brings up important issues such as self-care,
sexuality, genetics, and trauma and talks about how problems in these areas
could be manifested in clients through poor eating habits and body image
problems. Koenig makes the reader think about and then challenge
stereotypes surrounding thinness and fatness.
Koenig suggests viewing eating problems as issues
that tend to be integrated with other problems. In Chapters Three through Nine,
she brings up the many different issues that can be involved. Chapter Three is
about the “biology of weight and eating. Here the author explores the physical
aspects of body image, weight loss and eating issues. Koenig discusses the
effect of food addictions, metabolism, body structure, allergies, hormones and
medications on eating/weight issues. She acknowledges the difficulty that
therapists face when trying to promote eating healthy while remaining neutral
about the patient’s outcome and also explaining the biological limitations of
weight loss without discouraging clients. Chapter Four discusses certain health
and medical problems associated with being underweight or overweight. The
author addresses the different surgical weight loss options available today
such as gastric bypass and liposuction as well as the risks involved. In this
section, Koenig talks about the feelings of shame that can be instilled in
clients by health professionals.
Chapter Five discusses eating habits and the
influence that personality traits as well as family/the people around a client
can influence those habits. She discusses defense mechanisms involving food
that some clients may use such as denial, or magical thinking. Koenig points
out that many clients suffer from a victim mentality that can lead to learned
helplessness. This leads to the client feeling like s/he has no control over
their eating habits or weight. Chapter Six teaches therapists how to recognize
different eating problems and their severity in clients while providing the
right tools to aid in recovery. In this way, the clinician can learn from a
client how they feel about their weight and where they stand in terms of
changing any existing food disturbances. Chapter Seven discusses clinical
disorders such as depression and anxiety and how some symptoms of these
disorders involve changes in the client’s eating habits. Koenig also talks
about trauma and sexual abuse and describes how eating may be a coping strategy
for many clients.
Chapter Eight focuses on problems that arise
at particular times in a client’s life such as during pregnancy or retirement
as well as other miscellaneous issues that are connected to eating/weight problems.
Chapter Nine is about nutrition and fitness. The author distinguishes between
eating “right” and “intuitive” or “normal” eating. She points out that many
clients will begin to restrict the types of food they eat while eating “right”
which can lead to feelings of deprivation and then rebellion through eating
unhealthy foods. In this chapter, the author discusses the importance of
supporting the clients' weight goals in terms of healthy eating and dieting.
Koenig talks about different ways a client can exercise in ten minute
increments throughout their day and steers away from the “formal” method which
would involve a full thirty minute workout at once. She offers suggestions for
exercise that involve other necessary tasks like house chores, since many clients
tend to be busy with their jobs and families.
In Chapter Ten, Koenig focuses on the
relationship between the clinician and client. She talks about transference and
countertransference. When discussing weight, it is easy for these issues to
occur and so the author provides advice for readers based on possible
scenarios such as what to do when the client is overweight and the therapist is
underweight or vice versa.
While most of the book focuses on discovering
the origin of a client’s eating problems, Chapter Eleven offers various
treatment options. Koenig explores the different forms of therapy such as
cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), eye movement desensitization reprocessing
(EMDR) and support groups and discusses when each would be helpful to a client.
What Every Therapist Needs to Know About
Treating Eating and Weight Issues is a
wonderful tool for therapists to gain more insight on the occasional eating and
weight problems in clients. Koenig provides a thorough explanation of the wide
range of issues related to eating/weight problems. The reflective questions
provided for therapists keep the reader engaged while the suggested questions
to ask clients enable clinicians to integrate the concepts from this book into
K. (2008). What Every Therapist Needs to
Know About Treating Eating and Weight Issues. New York: W.W. Norton & Co.
Paperback: 240 pp: Bibliographical references
and index included.
Keywords: anorexia, bulimia, eating disorders, food habits, lifestyle, obesity, weight
Kuchuck, S. (Ed.) (2014). Clinical
implications of the psychoanalyst’s life experience: when the personal becomes
by Phillipe Kleefield, New York University
Steven Kuchuck has compiled and edited essays written by several
professionals working in the field of mental health in hopes of addressing a
dearth of academic writing that provides a space for clinicians to express
their personal stories. Dividing Clinical
Implications of the Psychoanalyst’s Life Experience into two parts, the
book starts by addressing early life experiences compelling clinicians to enter
the field of mental health, and culminates with essays addressing later life
events within clinicians’ lives as examined through a psychoanalytic lens. This
book is clearly written for professionals, but could also be useful for
graduate students training to work in the field of mental health. Although the
different essays cover a wide range of topics, they’re brought together by what
reads as the different authors using their essays as a respite, a means by
which to simply express themselves. In reading the different essays, one begins
to appreciate how the writing of these very personal essays is therapeutic for
professionals that spend most of their days enmeshed in the lives of other
people. The usefulness of this book is more theoretical than practical, an
enjoyable and interesting read into the personal lives of different clinicians
theme of the first part of the book appears to reflect on the personal
experiences that clinicians have had which has informed how they’ve chosen to
practice psychology. What is most striking about these different essays is
their ability to create a sense of engagement with each author, due to the
honest, personable and fair style in which they are written. In reading these
essays, the sense that you are “getting” these divergent clinicians,
understanding where they are coming from, and also experiencing some of what
the authors are writing about, is what makes the first part of the book both
palatable and palpable.
“Emerging from The Oppositional and the Negative,” written by Irwin Hirsch, we
are taken on a journey in which Dr. Hirsch recounts how his particularly
rebellious personality has affected him both personally and professionally, and
through his missteps (and his achievements) he has learned how to sublimate his
strong feelings in more productive ways. In “Out From Hiding,” Kenneth Frank
uses what might be seen as his shyness, his fear of being seen as his true
self, and his fear of success/failure to explore his upbringing and his later
experiences as a professional, demonstrating how he overcame this and also how
experiences with such shyness has informed his psychoanalaytic practice. In
“Sweet Dreams are Made of This (or, How I Came Out and Came Into My Own),” by
Eric Sherman, we read about early experiences of being “ in the closet”,
learning how “coming out” took place, and lastly, seeing how these early
feelings of shame, self-doubt and interpersonal difficulties have allowed
Sherman to develop as a relational clinician that privileges making his
patients feel accepted. Through these and other essays in the first section of
this book we get a glimpse into the personal lives of different clinicians.
essays in the second part of the book read as more mature, yet they continue to
preserve an honest and self-reflective style in their approaches to their
respective subject matter. Addressing less inchoately formative experiences,
these essays focus on issues that clinicians dealt with in their personal lives
in their more adult years. While these different essays focus on very personal
issues, they continue to weave the professional dimensions in, specifically,
how the personal issue may have blended or interacted with the professional in
their lives. In “Moments That Count,” written by Michael Eigen, we are taken
through a philosophical journey in which Eigen seems to be searching for
acceptance of his clinical style and of himself in his life, which he finds
through his different psychoanalytic relationships with supervisors or more
seasoned clinicians. In “Perspectives on Gay Fatherhood,” Noah Glassman and
Steven Botticelli explore their own experiences with societal
masculinity/femininity, gay culture and their journey through becoming fathers
as members of a non-normative social group, ultimately relating this back to
their professional lives. In this second part of the book, the essays compiled
address the intersection between later adult experiences and working as
professional in the mental health field.
Overall,Clinical Implications of The
Psychoanalyst’s Life Experience is an engaging read of interest to
professionals who are looking to step out of their own figurative shoes and see
where their colleagues are coming from. Steven Kuchuck aimed to create an
academic space devoted to the lived experiences of clinicians and I think that
through this compilation of essays he was successful in accomplishing
S. (Ed.) (2014). Clinical implications of
the psychoanalyst’s life experience: when the personal becomes professional. New York:
Paperback: 254 pages.
Keywords: psychoanalysts’ life histories, psychoanalysts and psychotherapy, personal
Davis, W.N. & Shure, J. (Eds.). (2009). Effective
clinical practice in the treatment of eating disorders: the heart of
Reviewed by Phillipe Kleefield, New York University
eating is being able to eat when you are hungry and continue eating until you
are satisfied. It is being able to choose food you like and eat it and truly
get enough of it—not just stop eating because you think you should. Normal
eating is being able to use some moderate constraint in your food selection to
get the right food, but not being so restrictive that you miss out on
pleasurable foods… In short, normal eating is flexible. It varies in response
to your emotions, your schedule, your hunger, and your proximity to food." (Satter, 1987, pp. 69-70)
Maine, William N. Davis and Jane Shure, collective editors of Effective Clinical Practice In The Treatment
of Eating Disorders: The Heart Of The Matter, seek to create an alternate
framework for clinicians that counters the traditional “Medical-Model” paradigm
in the treatment of women with eating disorders. Their framework takes as its
central assumption that women require specialized therapeutic ideological
constructs for effective treatment—“ a Feminist Frame”—which emphasizes
relationships as fundamentally critical to the well being of women. Emphasizing
connection, empathy and “being present” in the therapeutic process in firm
opposition to traditional clinical pedagogies of individuation, distance and
separation, Maine, Davis and Shure have compiled practical articles by seasoned
clinicians highlighting the qualitative component of eating disorders, and as
such effectively delineate not only the therapeutic theoretical framework they
envision, but also how it can be realized.
articles are clustered into three sections to best orient the clinician. In
Effective Clinical Practices: Approaches, the theoretical crux of the book,
four articles address the framework for how clinicians should think about and
assess their female patients with Eating Disorders. Each article begins with a
background for the respective therapeutic suggestion as evidenced by
literature, followed by a clear description of what it entails, proceeded by a
qualitative anecdote demonstrating this “ in action”.
For example, in “Beyond The Medical Model: A Feminist Frame for Eating
Disorders”, Margo Maine explores “a Feminist Frame” as a construct in more
detail, highlighting its emphasis on allowing women “to feel gotten”, its
fostering of openness, its minimization of the power differential between
clinician and patient, its emphasis on mutual growth within the therapeutic
process, and how it should be realized.
In “Wholeness and Holiness: A Psychospiritual Perspective”, Steven
Emmett equates the experience of eating disorders to the pious, devotional and
obsessional form that religion can take and suggests mobilizing these qualities
in therapy in such a way that patients can become more spiritual and reengage
their spirit away from the escapism that eating disorders engender. In “
Individual Psychotherapy for Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia: Making a
Difference”, William N. Davis outlines the two forms that eating disorders take
– the diet as the distraction and the diet as all-consuming—and discusses how a
clinician can engage patients through therapy such that the attachment to the
eating disorder is replaced by one with the therapist and one outside
themselves. In “Developing Body Trust: A Body-Positive Approach to Treating
Eating Disorders”, Deb Burgard sees the adversarial relationship that women
develop to their bodies as influenced by culture and social norms as something
that can be fixed. Burgard advocates for women to “listen to their bodies” and
understand that their bodies can regulate themselves and make up for any
“mistakes” that may be perceived.
The book’s second section, Effective Clinical Practices: Methods, offers
articles addressing different therapeutic processes and the respective issues
that might arise such that clinicians might be able to implement lessons from
the larger “Feminist Frame” framework outlined in the first section of the
book. Authors in this second section address countertransference in
psychotherapy, family therapy, treating adolescents with eating disorders and
other practical topics that ultimately come to serve as reference guidebooks
for clinicians to utilize in their practices, or at the very least reaffirm
what they have already been doing. Each article is organized by clinical
subdivisions that thoroughly outline the clinical concept at work in the
therapeutic process that is outlined. Overall, this methods section serves as a
comprehensive and thorough resource for practicing clinicians.
The last section of this book, Effective Clinical Practices: Special
Themes, is devoted to discussing more specific psychological underpinnings that
exist as issues that clinicians working with individuals with eating disorders
may encounter in treatment. While these issues may be more specialized, each
article is still keenly practical and thoroughly all encompassing. The articles
address diverse topics, including the role of shame and compassion in the
development of eating disorders, the development of negative
countertransference during the treatment of eating disorders, and the role that
forgiveness can play in the recovery from eating disorders. Each authors
article is well developed and engaging from its inception until its
Organized as a collection of different essays from a range of
experienced clinicians on Eating Disorders, Effective
Clinical Practice in the Treatment of Eating Disorders: The Heart of The Matter,
Margo Maine, William N. Davis and Jane Shure have successfully put together an
informal handbook for the treatment of eating disorders in women. Although the
book is made up of articles written by different clinicians, each chapter
consists of an article that continues to fall under the larger “Feminist Frame”
umbrella, creating a refreshingly succinct read without losing the framework’s
cohesiveness and clarity. While it is understandable that there is no mention
of diagnostic criteria for the different eating disorder subtypes (as the book
is written for clinicians that presumably have an understanding of what
constitutes an eating disorder), the changing scope of eating disorders through
time should warrant clear definitions. Moreover, the books characterization of
women, while it may not be intended to be rigid, can come across as somewhat
stereotypical, catering to an American gender binary in which men are seen as
stolid and independent, and women as emotional and relational. However, on the
whole, this book reaches a good balance of theory and practice, making for a
good and informative read for clinicians working with women struggling to
overcome eating disorders.
Maine, M., Davis, W.N. & Shure,
J. (Eds.) (2009). Effective Clinical
Practice in the Treatment of Eating Disorders: The Heart of the Matter. New
pages: Includes bibliographical references and index.
Key Words: eating disorders,
therapy, mind-body relations, psychotherapeutic processes, psychotherapy
R., Epston, D., & Borden, A. (2004). Biting the Hand that Starves You.
by: Mona Zohny, Hunter College
Biting the Hand that Starves You offers a new perspective regarding
the treatment of anorexia and bulimia. Richard Maisel, David Epston and Ali
Borden spent 15 years putting together this book which examines the etiology of
anorexia/bulimia (a/b) and offers novel treatment options. It includes a
compilation of information gathered from clients who have suffered from these
eating disorders. This book is written for professionals, patients with a/b,
whom the authors refer to as “insiders,” and the family and friends of
insiders. The authors hope that
this book will prevent sufferers of a/b from being turned “against themselves,
their families and their communities. The purpose of this book for
professionals is to provide a new approach to dealing with a/b; for insiders it
is to “know, beyond all doubt, their enemy [a/b] from their friend”, and for
the family/ friends of insiders, it is to provide insider knowledge that will
allow them to help the sufferer of a/b in their lives.
The book is divided into four parts and then each part is further
divided into chapters. Throughout the book, the authors portray a/b as an
external force, which they personify. The book starts with the metaphor of a concentration camp to describe
the tortuous experience of having anorexia/bulimia. This term comes from
“prison camp” which was coined by Ellen West in 1937 to describe life with
anorexia. Part One is about the “seduction” and “imprisonment” of patients at
the hands of a/b. The stories of a few young women are told, and they share
some of their personal writing in which a/b tends to be depicted as a
manipulative enemy disguised as a friend.
Part Two focuses on the “turning against anorexia/bulimia”. This
involves changing the way one speaks about a/b and creating an anti-a/b
rhetoric to replace it. The authors discuss the dangers of using adjectives
like “anorexic” and “bulimic” as they tend to become a huge part of a patient’s
identity, which makes it harder for them to recover. How can they recover if
this disease is something inherent? And who would they be if their treatment
was successful? By labeling a/b as an antagonistic outside force, a patient
will be able to defend herself against it. Some patients have even admitted
that referring to themselves as anorexic/bulimic caused them to want to be a
model anorexic in order to receive the necessary attention from a professional.
By changing the way they think and speak about a/b, both professionals and
clients will be better able to overcome this disease. Clients will be able to
remain in touch with their own voice and identity.
Part Three is about “reclaiming one’s life from anorexia/bulimia.” This
involves the “back-and-forth process” of actually externalizing the illness in
order to reestablish one’s connection with his or herself since technically a
client has two minds—one that is anti a/b and one that believes the things that
a/b promises (135). It is not uncommon for a patient to fluctuate between these
two modes of thought. The authors
provide ways for a professional to deal with this and what to expect in terms
of progress. They recommend two specific approaches—creating a “battle” or
dialogue between the patient and the illness and disengagement.
Part Four is specifically geared towards caretakers—professionals and
the families of patients. The authors explore the concept of being an ally. For
parents, this means creating an anti-a/b alliance and collaboration with their
daughter/son. By doing so, the parent can take out frustrations on the
“external intruder” as opposed to treating it as a part of their child’s
identity (239). The author’s provide many options for dealing with a/b because
they believe that every case is distinct and one method will not work for all
clients. In this section, the authors also discuss how professionals could
handle a/b when the severity of the harm inflicted on the client increases.
Biting the Hand that Starves You is a consequential book that
changes the way in which a/b is traditionally viewed and thus provides a
framework for therapists which involves the use of narrative therapy. The
authors intend for this book to simply “sow [and nurture] anti-anorexic/bulimic
seeds” (291). This change in traditional rhetoric will offer more approaches
for recovery. The “insider knowledge” provided, which includes journal entries
and poems from clients, anecdotes, and therapy session transcripts, helps
readers truly grasp the difficulties involved in dealing with a/b and also that
recovery is indeed possible. The use of information from a multitude of cases
portrays the various ways a/b can manifest itself in different individuals.
Maisel, R., Epston, D., & Borden, A.
(2004). Biting the Hand that Starves You. New
York: W.W. Norton & Co.
pp.: Bibliographical references and index included.
Keywords: anorexia, a/b,
anti-anorexic/bulimic rhetoric, bulimia, eating disorders
**McCabe, R., McFarlene, T. & Olmsted, M. (2003). The
Overcoming Bulimia Workbook: Your Comprehensive,
Step-by-Step Guide to Recovery
by: Mona Zohny, Hunter College
The Overcoming Bulimia Workbook is a
thorough self-help workbook designed for clients with bulimia. Randi McCabe,
Traci McFarlene and Marion Olmsted take a cognitive-behavioral approach in creating
a step-by-step program to treat bulimia. The book follows a chronological order
as the authors walk readers through the different steps of recovery. It covers
everything from the symptoms of the disorder to relapse prevention. The authors
explore other issues that are related to bulimia throughout the text as well.
The first chapter defines bulimia and its symptoms.
The authors describe the characteristics and severity of this disorder as well
as the range of consequences which includes kidney complications, dental
problems, electrolyte imbalance, etc. They define terms such as “binge” and
“compensatory behaviors” and distinguish between objective and subjective
binges and “purging” and “nonpurging” behaviors. The anecdotal examples
provided help put these concepts into context for the client. This chapter also
contains exercises which allow the readers to determine the function of this
disorder in their lives and recognize their binge and compensatory behavior
patterns. Chapter Two orients the reader by giving an in depth explanation of
the approach this book uses, which is derived from cognitive-behavioral therapy
techniques. The authors discuss the etiology of this disorder, common risk
factors and how to take the first step by beginning to self-monitor oneself.
Chapter Three explores the set point theory which
states that every individual has a “predetermined biological weight or set
point” at which one’s body functions best (48). The authors discuss the
ineffective nature of dieting as well as the effect that food restrictions have
on binge eating, while providing research-based evidence. Chapter Four is about
changing one’s relationship with food by engaging in “normal eating”. This
involves creating a meal plan in order to avoid binges and ensure a nutritious
diet with a healthy calorie intake per day. Chapter Five offers different
coping strategies which will help clients avoid binge eating or compensatory
behaviors. This includes distracting oneself, repeating certain coping phrases
to remind oneself of the harms of these behaviors, and altering one’s
environment. Chapter Six focuses on the cognitive aspect of bulimia and
provides exercises which enable the reader to rewrite problematic eating
disordered thoughts as “realistic views”. The authors provide reflective
questions to help readers adjust these negative thoughts. Chapter Seven is
about body image. The authors explore the concepts of thinness and fatness and
offer advice on how to minimize exposure to triggers that lead to bulimic
Chapter Eight highlights significant underlying
problems related to bulimia such as self-worth, perfectionism and core beliefs.
The exercises provided aim to modify the reader’s thought processes in the
context of these issues. Chapters Nine and Ten examine common coexisting issues
including impulsive behaviors such as substance abuse and self-harm and
clinical disorders such as depression/anxiety and obsessive compulsive
disorder. These chapters aim to help readers recognize which issues are more
significant in their lives and use the techniques from Chapter Six which allow
clients to modify negative thoughts related to these problems. Chapter Eleven
addresses various family issues. The authors offer advice to clients about how
to share their diagnosis/decision to recover with family members as well as
advice to family members of patients with bulimia. Chapter Twelve acknowledges
relapse and other setbacks and tells readers what to expect while offering
advice that could prevent a slip up from turning into a full relapse period.
Chapter Thirteen provides suggestions for additional support, including
different types of therapy and medications.
The Overcoming Bulimia Workbook is a
coherent workbook aimed to help clients down the road to recovery. McCabe,
McFarlene, and Olmsted do an excellent job simplifying difficult concepts
throughout the book. The workbook covers every aspect of the recovery process
and breaks it down into more manageable steps. The workbook offers tools that
will reduce binge eating and compensatory behaviors. It offers readers help
with other issues that may have impacted the treatment of their bulimia such as
substance abuse and depression. The anecdotes and exercises provided keep the
reader engaged in his or her recovery.
McCabe, R., McFarlene, T., Olmsted, M. (2003) The
Overcoming Bulimia Workbook: Your Comprehensive, Step-by-Step Guide to
Recovery. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications.
Paperback: 225 pp: Bibliographical references and
further reading suggestions included.
Keywords: bulimia, cognitive behavioral
therapy, eating disorders, self-help
M. (2012). Focalizing Source Energy:
Going Within to Move Beyond.
Reviewed by: Rachel Vitale, New York University
past the beautiful color explosion of bold orange and cooling blues on the
cover, and dive into an intense interaction between client and therapist.
Michael Picucci hits you one after the next with a total of four moving pieces,
each broken into two parts: one part written from the perspective of the
client, and the other written from the perspective of the therapist. This
powerful introduction not only prepares the reader for what’s to come next, but
it allows for an understanding of why one would pick up this book to begin
with. It sets a sort of let-me-take-care-of-you tone. Or even a,
let-me-help-you-help-yourself type essence. Are you feeling lost, insecure,
unsure? Do you feel a disconnection between yourself and others, maybe even
between your mind and body? This book is meant to lift you up and place you
down right where you want to be. That much is clear just from reading the
These client-therapist sessions highlight the
concept of trust in oneself and trust in others, which is also a key theme
throughout the book as a whole. Understanding the importance of trust will
bring readers closer to an understanding of source energy. Following the
introduction is a chapter devoted entirely to source energy. For those who are
not familiar with this concept, the book provides a detailed explanation
covering everything from what it means to how to embody this force. Whether
you’re a twenty-one year old college student who’s never heard the term source
energy or a middle-aged therapist who’s been practicing for years, this book
tries to speak to you. It will speak to you in whatever way you need it in that
The next section of the book examines what
blocks source energy. This information is informative and also interesting
because the author pairs explanations with true stories from his own personal
life. Again, this can appeal to a wide range of readers. A reader may say to
himself mid-chapter, this very situation, or a similar occurrence has happened
in my own life. Someone who has never experienced any situation relevant to
source energy may look back after reading this book only to discover that they
have. And they may know how to handle the situation in the future.
The following section describes how to awaken
source energy. While this book is a great source of information, it can also
serve as a self-help book. All of the pieces are laid out for the reader; it is
up to them to choose whether or not to practice. From my experience, discipline
is a key trait in successful source energy. The book is a quick, easy read, and
packed with tons of useful methods for someone who wishes to practice awakening
book is concluded by a note from the author, which is my personal favorite
part. It’s not simply what words the author chooses to leave his readers with,
but more so the pure honesty that you can hear behind each page. This is an
honest concept written by an honest therapist crafted into an honest book. And
honestly, it’s good.
Picucci, M. (2012). Focalizing
Source Energy: Going Within to Move Beyond. Longboat Key, FL: Telemachus Press LLC.
Paperback: 69 pp: Does not include index.
Key words: focalizing, body-mind connection, source energy, spirituality
Rand, M. (2013). Body Mindfulness Workshop with Dr. Marjorie
Reviewed by: Chiroshri
Bhattacharjee, Stony Brook University.
Mindfulness is a technique that incorporates an Eastern approach to body alignment
in order for the energy to move around the body while regulating the nervous
system. Dr. Marjorie Rand, a well-known somatic psychotherapist with 36 years
of experience in the field, demonstrates an interactive workshop that can serve
as a comprehensive guide for beginners interested in practicing Body
Mindfulness. The workshop is organized in four parts.
Each part focuses on different body parts and introduces
different techniques. During the course of the workshop, Dr. Rand explains the
vitality and the benefits of Body Mindfulness. She also encourages continuing
the techniques on a regular basis for improvement in both physical and mental
first part of the workshop, Dr. Rand delineates the symptoms and the other
effects of anxiety. She explains anxiety as: “bunch of insects floating around
in your head and all the pressure is in the head”. Later, she proceeds to
explain the ways to tackle anxiety, stress and other panic disorders. The first
technique she shares is body alignment. This ensures that there are no blocks
in the body and the energy can easily flow down to the feet. According to Dr.
Rand, body alignment is a crucial step to body mindfulness because it allows
the energy to flow through the body thus regulating the nervous system.
second part of the workshop, Dr. Rand demonstrates a breathing technique with a
focus on pressure points. She explains the importance of the occipital points
and the benefits from breathing and applying pressure on these points. She also
explains the neural networks and the connection between muscles and brain. She
further demonstrates a breathing technique that requires ‘sighing’ while
breathing out. This technique works the jaws and the throat and causes a
vibration which in turn opens up the body and allows the energy to travel
easily. The breathing technique plays a very vital role in body mindfulness,
since breathing energizes the body whereas exhaling opens up the blocks. With
the explanation and proper demonstration, the techniques are easy to follow.
Dr. Rand states that self-regulating the nervous system through breathing,
movements and mindfulness techniques work extremely well to battle chronic pain
issues, depression, anxiety, feelings of overwhelm and panic. These techniques
can also be practiced to reduce stress hormones and create a balance in life.
In Part 3, Dr. Rand focuses on chest exercise, demonstrating techniques that help
self-regulate the chest movements. She further describes anxiety and its
negative effects. Anxiety causes the diaphragm to contract but the chest
exercise techniques can help relax the diaphragm thus ensuring normal
breathing. In part 3B, Dr. Rand focuses on the lower body release technique,
demonstrating abdominal breathing which is quite different from the breathing
shown in the first two parts. However, it follows the same principle of
energizing and relaxing the body at the same time to obtain optimal balance.
Part 4 in
the DVD is the closing and the discussion wherein Dr. Rand asked for feedback
from her participants. The participants had the opportunity to ask questions
and give their feedback. Overall, the participants appeared to be satisfied and
content with the workshop. This part was difficult to follow since the camera
didn’t focus on the participants; instead it was a screen with information
about the workshop.
to Dr. Rand, Body Mindfulness is relevant for people of all ages from children
to the elderly. It is encouraged for people to follow the routine as a family
or as couples. According to Dr. Rand, this would have a significant positive
impact on the relationship and family. If the participants do as Dr. Rand
suggests in the workshop, the exercises can be very useful to learn to
self-regulate breathing patterns, control the negative emotions, relax the
muscles and the diaphragm, energize the body and most importantly, tackle the
daily stress and anxiety in life. The DVD is designed for beginners with no
prior knowledge. It is easy to follow, introduces the participants to the ideas
of Body Mindfulness and allows them to go through some of the preliminary steps
and techniques. The techniques demonstrated in the workshop can be practiced
anywhere and as many times as the person desires. It is important to follow the
order in which the workshop is set up because each part leads to the next. The
first part introduces the basic body alignment and gradually introduces
different techniques throughout the workshop. It is recommended that the
participants go through each segments of the DVD in order to get optimum
(2013). Body Mindfulness Workshop with
Dr. Marjorie Rand [DVD].
Key Words: body mindfulness, breathing techniques, body alignment
(2009). The Binge Eating and Compulsive Overeating Workbook: An Integrated
Approach to Overcoming
Reviewed by: Mona Zohny,
The Binge Eating and Compulsive Overeating Workbook is a self-help book designed to aid in the recovery of binge eating disorder
(BED) and compulsive overeating (CO). This workbook is a tool for patients with
eating disorders, specifically BED and CO. It will teach patients to understand
their bodies and the origin of their disease while providing the necessary
skills and strategies to help change their lives through recovery. As a
director of an inpatient eating disorder program, Ross created this integrative
treatment for her patients. This workbook explores many of the issues that are
associated with BED and CO, including lifestyle, malnutrition and
author takes an integrative approach, focusing on the healing of the body, mind
and spirit. Part 1 is about healing the body. It covers the importance of
accepting one's diagnosis with BED or CO and making a commitment to one's
health. The focus here is making healthier life style changes.This includes exercise and adjusting
one's natural hunger cues by developing and following a personalized and
nutritious meal plan while avoiding trigger foods that a patient can't resist
and tends to overeat or binge on.
focuses on the healing of the mind. The author discusses many conventional
treatments for BED and CO, including medications and cognitive behavior
therapy. Ross examines negative body image and how to change it. She focuses on
developing a healthy relationship with one's body by learning to listen
to [one's] body (83) in order to realize when your body and
(eating disorder) mind conflict. The author also addresses particular behaviors
of people with BED or CO and the emotions that underlie these actions. This section acknowledges that eating
disorders can also be accompanied by mood or personality disorders and offers
both traditional and alternative treatment options, including herbal
supplements, acupuncture and massage therapy. Ross discusses the idea that
one's core beliefs, which are rule[s] about life that usually develop in
response to a situation in which you feel your survival is threatened or for
which you do not have adequate coping skills, may
prevent a patient from reaching certain goals in their journey of recovery
(96). In order to change one's core beliefs, one must first identify his or her
major life events and then figure out how s/he dealt with it at the time. The
coping strategy will shed light on what the underlying core belief is. In this
way, one will be able to see how that has affected his or her behaviors in the
context of BED or CO and be able to change accordingly.
Part 3 focuses on the healing of the spirit, which
the author also refers to as one's life force ... higher power ... or ... sense of
self (160). This section focuses on managing stress and
nourishing one's spirit. The author identifies the different manifestations of
stress and emphasizes the importance of recognizing signs of it in order to
avoid health problems. Ross offers different methods of stress reduction such
as yoga and tai chi. Patients are instructed to develop a personalized stress
management plan. According to Ross, nourishment is key to remaining connected
to one's spirit. Disconnect can cause one to overeat, abuse [one's] body and develop medical problems (162). Nourishing one's spirit involves indulging in good
feelings by encouraging oneself to forgive, be grateful and
find ways to inspire oneself and feel awe.
The conclusion outlines five major steps a patient
should take towards recovery. These steps include putting one's health first,
exploring all of the different roads to healing (176), keeping one's promises to oneself, doing whatever makes one feel (178),
and finally, seeking support when needed.
Throughout the book, Ross provides many different
exercises for the reader to complete. These exercises ensure that the patients
are committed and taking an active role in their recovery. They will have
learned more about themselves. This self-awareness will enable them to take
control of their lives and overcome BED or CO.
The Binge Eating and Compulsive Overeating
Workbook is a thorough and
empowering book. It covers many of the issues that are associated with BED and
CO. The author provides thought provoking exercises that encourage the reader
to open up and learn more about themselves in order to maintain control over
their eating disorder. Ross's integrative medicine approach makes this
self-help workbook exceptional. She discusses alternatives to conventional
treatments such as acupuncture, herbal supplements and massage therapy. Ross also
discusses the research that supports the treatments that are recommended in
Ross, C. (2009). The Binge Eating and Compulsive
Overeating Workbook: An Integrated Approach to Overcoming Disordered Eating. Oakland,
CA: New Harbinger Publications, Inc.
Paperback: 200 pp: Suggested further reading on Resource List and bibliographical references
Keywords: binge eating, compulsive overeating, eating
disorders, recovery, self-help, integrative medicine, nutrition
**Sandoz, E., Wilson, K. & Dufrene, T. (2011). The
Mindfulness and Acceptance Workbook for Bulimia: A Guide to Breaking Free from
Bulimia Using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.
Reviewed by: Mona Zohny, Hunter College
The Mindfulness and Acceptance Workbook for
Bulimia is a self-help work book designed for clients
suffering from bulimia. Emily K. Sandoz, Kelly G. Wilson and Troy Dufrene focus
primarily on acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). In this way, the goal of
this book is to help people with bulimia learn to accept themselves and commit
themselves to moving forward in order to live meaningful lives. The authors
emphasize two goals: valued living and psychological flexibility. All of the
concepts discussed and exercises provided are discussed in the context of these
This book consists of three parts that are
further divided into chapters. Part One focuses on defining bulimia and
reflecting, via guided meditation, on the three components of this disorder:
binge eating, compensatory behaviors and body image. In Chapter 2, the authors
clarify that ACT is not meant to solve problems or rid the client of pain. The
idea is that, the steps towards recovering from bulimia are known, but the
authors prefer to look at the larger picture and view this bulimia in the
context of the reader’s life. They expand on the two main goals of this
workbook. The first goal, valued living is described as patterns of action that
put [one] in touch with [his or her] values [things one cares about and acts
upon]” (30). The second goal is psychological flexibility which is defined as
“being fully aware of and open to[one’s] ongoing experiences as a fully
conscious human being as [one] act[s] in a way that serves [his or her] values”
(31). This section also provides a self-assessment for clients to determine
their personal values. The idea is that one cannot alter his or her actions if
s/he is not fully aware of them.
Part Two is primarily about mindfulness. The
authors discuss the importance of being in the present and maintaining full
awareness. They offer a guided meditation activity to help clients notice
“being present” and then an activity that involves practicing mindfulness in
their lives. One benefit of mindfulness is that it will prevent negative
thoughts from lingering. The authors also dedicate a section on the
“self-as-context” which involves the reader completing up to fifty “I am/I am
not” statements in order to decipher any stories, or self-concepts regarding
their bulimia, that surface. Then a guided meditation activity allows the
clients to ruminate on stories that have created a “pull” or compelled clients
to engage in certain eating behaviors. This contemplation should be a
continuous act. The authors compare it to ripping curtains off a window as
opposed to opening the blinds to glance outside. Another issue that the authors
bring up is fusion, which is when one is unable to separate his or herself from
his or her thoughts and experiences. Defusion techniques are offered to counter
this phenomenon as a way to let negative feelings pass.
One important aspect of living a meaningful
life for clients with bulimia is learning acceptance. The authors use an
interesting metaphor of an uninvited guest that shows up to one’s party to
describe the presence of bulimia in one’s life. The idea is that ignoring this
guest will only make them seem that much more annoying, giving this guest the
upper hand. The authors suggest simply acknowledging and accepting this guest
while carrying on with one’s “party” (93).
Part Three serves as a review of the concepts
discussed in the previous sections. Readers are encouraged to integrate certain
ACT techniques to create a system that works for them. Questionnaires are
provided in this section, such as the “valued living” questionnaire, which will
help clients track their progress by comparing these questionnaires to the ones
they filled out in previous sections. The authors suggest taking a break from
the book at this point. Then, in the next chapter, they discuss issues of
relapse and seeking support in Chapter 8. The book comes with a CD, which
contains audio tracks for the guided meditation exercises provided in each
The Mindfulness and
Acceptance Workbook for Bulimia offers a
counter-intuitive framework for dealing with problematic eating behaviors.
Sandoz, Wilson and Dufrene use a warm and friendly tone to simplify complex
concepts for sufferers of bulimia. It differs from current self-help books
because it does not aim to treat bulimia. Instead, the goal is for readers to
learn to live a more meaningful life by embracing their problem. The meditation
exercises allow readers to confront some of the pain associated with their
bulimia and come to terms with it. The book then provides the tools necessary,
such as being aware/present and defusion, to reduce the behaviors associated
E., Wilson, K. & Dufrene, T. (2011). The Mindfulness and Acceptance Workbook for
Bulimia: A Guide to Breaking Free from Bulimia Using Acceptance and Commitment
CA: New Harbinger Publications
Paperback: 133 pp: Bibliographical
references and further reading suggestions included.
Keywords: acceptance and commitment therapy, bulimia, eating
**Scott, T. (2011). The anti-anxiety food
solution: how the foods you eat can help you calm your anxious mind, improve
your mood & end cravings.
by Phillipe Kleefield, New York University
If you are
living in a developed country, especially one like the United States, thoughts
about food, appearance and the body can be daily worries that consume high
amounts of much needed energy. Despite this reality, Trudy Scott, CN, has
written a refreshing guide linking food with both mood and health, avoiding
reference to concerns about appearance or the body, arguing that for people
suffering from anxiety, mood issues or physical issues ( ie. digestive
disorders), changing what you eat may just be enough to alleviate these issues.
In The Anti-Anxiety Food Solution, Trudy Scott presents a comprehensive
solution for people experiencing negative mental and physical health symptoms,
drawing on dietary changes, brain chemistry information, lifestyle changes,
supplement information, and other information to effectively target and
eliminate unwanted symptoms.
Scott’ book doesn’t just tell you about what your diet should consist of, she is
good about demonstrating this through charts and tables, and her first chapter
is the critical chapter that will allow you to figure out what might be wrong
and how to go about fixing this. In “Figure Out Your Optimum AntiAnxiety Diet”
Trudy Scott discusses four diets which she approves of, and she recommends that
everyone start for two weeks with a combination of all the restrictions she
mentions and to slowly start adding these restricted foods as a means of
knowing whether you have a particular food sensitivity. In discussing the four
different diets, she does a thorough job of addressing what can and cannot be
eaten, making specific (as opposed to general) references to foods, ultimately
leading to a very concrete picture of what the diets will consist of. Although
it is recommended to take two weeks to eat a diet with the highest level of
restrictions, the four different diets, while all healthy, do range in their
respective restrictions, allowing the reader some choice in choosing which diet
they will subscribe to. Following these diets, according to Ms. Scott, should
lead to a relief of negative physical and mental health symptoms.
addition to making dietary changes, Ms. Scott is very strict about sugar,
caffeine, alcohol and nicotine. In the second chapter, sugar is linked to
issues maintaining healthy blood sugar levels which is then linked to anxiety
and mood issues, the recommendation being that sugar should be avoided,
especially artificial sweeteners. In the third chapter, coffee, alcohol and
nicotine are also explored in reference to anxiety and mood, with the recommendation
being that these different substances should be avoided. As these
recommendations might be be too restrictive for people, Ms. Scott does stress
using moderation if complete avoidance cannot be achieved.
subsequent chapters discuss a range of topics, from food sensitivities to amino
acids. In the fourth chapter, the book stresses the importance of eliminating
any foods that one might be sensitive to, and offers a controlled way by which
to assess this. Possible food sensitivities include gluten, dairy, grainy
starches, grainy vegetables, grainy legumes and having low blood histamine. The
fifth chapter examines digestion, how digestion functions, how it can be
improved overall through changing eating habits, correcting for low stomach
acids or pancreatic enzymes, eating fiber and drinking water, and balancing
bacterial parasites or candida overgrowth. The sixth chapter is what is most
unique and interesting about this book as it explores a link between brain
chemistry and amino acids, suggesting that amino acid supplementation can alter
brain chemistry to improve mood, anxiety and digestion. Addressing a means by
which to supplement one of the diets delineated in the second chapter, or
realistically, for those that may not stay faithful to any of the diets, Trudy
Scott explores how various amino acid supplements have been linked to common
neurotransmitters that are integral in regulating digestion, anxiety and mood,
and how particular amino acid supplements might be used to treat these issues.
One of the several amino acids explored is GABA, both a neurotransmitter and an
amino acid. GABA’s role in the body has been linked with regulating anxiety,
agitation, stress and sleep, and the idea is that if you have enough GABA you
will feel relaxed and rested and thus will not having cravings to eat certain
someone may have low levels of GABA because enough isn’t able to cross the
blood brain barrier. GABA supplements are introduced and discussed as a means
of regulating the possible low levels being experienced. The chapter does this
as well for serotonin—a neurotransmitter, catecholamines—small amino acids that
are derivatives of tyrosine-- and endorphins—inhibitory neurotransmitters, and
overall, is very specific about how to introduce these amino acids into a diet.
7 and 8 discuss a condition called Pyroluria, zinc, vitamin B6, hormone
imbalances, medications, other nutrients and lifestyle changes. Pyroluria is a
condition that involves a faulty synthesis of heme which results in elevated
levels of kryptopyrroles and HPL, which bind to zinc and vitamin B6 to
eliminate them from the body in great amounts. This resulting nutritional
deficiency can result in several issues and can be counterbalanced through zinc
supplements, vitamin B6 supplements and through taking certain fatty acids.
Chapter 8 explores other basic vitamins and supplements, like B vitamins, iron,
vitamin C, magnesium and calcium, vitamin D, omega 3’s and Omega 6’s, and
theanine and lactium. Hormonal imbalances are also addressed, such as adrenal
dysfunction, thyroid dysfunction, and sex hormone imbalances. Lastly, an
overview of different toxins to avoid are provided, an overview of how to pay
attention to side effects when taking particular medications, and an overview
of different lifestyle modifications and changes that need to be made in order
to feel your best and minimize mental and physical health issues.
Anti-Anxiety Food Solution is a comprehensive guide that helps in dealing
with anxiety, mood issues and negative physical symptoms using an alternative
to traditional medication. Written for anyone suffering with moderate to severe
negative symptoms, Trudy Scott’s book is a handy and thorough antidote.
Scott, T. (2011). The Anti-Anxiety Food Solution: How the foods you eat can help you calm your anxious mind, improve your mood
& end cravings.Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications, Inc.
Paperback: 192 pages.
Keywords:anxiety disorders, diet therapy, nutrition, psychological aspects, food sensitivities
E. (2014). Trying Not to Try: The Ancient
Chinese Art and Modern Science of Spontaneity.
Reviewed by Phillipe
Kleefield, New York University
Slingerland has written both an interesting and informative book in Trying Not To Try, which explores the
notion of spontaneity and addresses how one can achieve it. Spontaneity is
usually thought of as acting in an undetermined way or making a decision in the
moment, however, Slingerland offers a more nuanced definition, positing that
spontaneity is more like a “state of flow” in which someone isn’t necessarily
thinking “how to” but is in fact “doing”. Furthermore, spontaneity, although
usually thought of as describing someone who might be impulsive or unplanned,
is conceptualized by Slingerland as requiring practice, effort and mastery.
This notion of spontaneity has historical precedent that is deeply rooted and
highly theorized in Chinese culture, effectively called Wu-Wei, or non-action (non-doing). Edward Singerland ventures into
discussing Wu-Wei through various
chapters, advocating this as a
lifestyle that can lead to success, productivity and happiness.
the first and second chapters, Wu-Wei is
discussed using traditional anecdotes, references to scientific literature and
examples of people that have come to practice this lifestyle of spontaneity.
The first chapter is highly informative and thorough as it takes the reader
through We-Wei as a concept and
elaborates as to what makes it so effective and desirable. Building on this
conceptualization, the second chapter reflects on how Wu-Wei< manifests itself through someone’s social life – charming,
relaxed, trustworthy – and through one’s spiritual sensibility – feeling
connected, purposeful and happy—to create a sense of “effortless perfection”
through trying to try less. Both of these chapters are crucial for the
theoretical understanding of what Edward Slingerland is seeking to recommend,
however, these chapters do not inform the reader how this higher state can be
next chapters of Trying Not To Try complement the first two chapters in providing a good account of how someone
might go about making changes that will allow them to achieve Wu-Wei. In the third chapter, Slingerland
brings up and explores Confucian dogma and philosophy as something that is
filled with tension and that through very ritualized practices, is intended to
allow someone to achieve Wu-Wei. This
chapter is particularly interesting because it counters a common assumption
that Confucianism is very dogmatic and strict, as Slingerland argues that it is
essentially meant to cultivate spontaneity. In the fourth chapter, the theme of
contradiction and tension continues as Slingerland explores Laozi, which essentially
argues for a value system in which you don’t strive for anything nor are you
attached to a particular result; you just do for the sake of doing. In the
subsequent chapters the moral values of Wu-Wei are explored as natural and necessary, the notion of “going with the flow” is
presented and analyzed, the paradoxes involved in the various chapters are
given specific attention, and what can be taken away from Wu-Wei conceptually. These practical sections of the book are
thorough, unique and highly engaging, and can really allow someone to learn how
to put some of these behaviors into practice in their lives.
most of the book is focused on exploring ancient conceptualizations of
spontaneity, or Wu-Wei, Edward
Slingerland does do a good job of interweaving more westernized scientific
literature and research into the different chapters. These additions are
compelling as they complement the more “Eastern” approaches with tangible,
experimental evidence, something that many readers of this book will likely
perceive as soothing and calming. This research is truly balancing and provides
a very modernizing perspective.
Trying Not To Try is a unique,
interesting and informative read as it explores the notion of spontaneity as
something that requires practice, patience and skill. Framing spontaneity as
something ideal and extremely positive is highly novel in light of western
ideologies that stress routine, organization, planning ahead and “being on top
of it. Through exploring ancient Chinese conceptualizations, Edward
Slingerland examines spontaneity, or Wu-Wei,
in the context of practical lifestyle changes that can lead someone to achieve
a state of “flow”.
Slingerland, E. (2014). Trying Not to Try: The Ancient Chinese Art
and Modern Science of Spontaneity. New York, NY; Penguin
Random House Company.
Paperback: 285 pages: Bibliographical references included
Keywords: spontaneity, wu-wei, lifestyle
Van den Bos, G. (2013). APA
Dictionary of Clinical Psychology
Reviewed by: Dorothy Luczak, Columbia University
The APA Dictionary of Clinical Psychology is another step forward in the attempt to help
define the numerous topics within psychology. In fact, this is the fourth
edition since its inception in 2006. In this copy, there are 11,000 entries
compared to the original 25,000. While this edition is not as expansive as the
first, the APA Dictionary of Clinical Psychology caters to a specific audience
whereas the original was a compilation of words that spanned all facets of
psychology. The APA Dictionary of Clinical Psychology comes with the aim of
assisting those working within the field.
What makes [this book] different
from previous editions is that the entries were chosen for their relation to
clinical practices, such as assessment, evaluation, diagnosis, prevention,
treatment, etc. The hope was to “prove a convenient and highly focused
alternative for women and men at the very heart of the psychological
enterprise.” However, this dictionary is not exclusively for clinicians, and is
also recommended to “students - especially those in training as clinicians” and
“consultants to professionals in such fields as medicine, law, social work and
As a resource, the APA Dictionary of Clinical Psychology is
a very well organized and accessible tool. The definitions are concise and most
are not longer than a few sentences. There are also two appendixes that
separate the content into biographical entries and psychotherapeutic entries.
The biographical entries contain rudimentary information about very important
figures in the field, such as Freud, Pavlov, and Jung. The psychotherapeutic
entries contain many different types of therapies, trainings, and analyses.
While this dictionary is clearly
a well-written and organized resource, I would recommend any interested party
to wait before purchasing. The preface mentions a second edition coming out later
in 2014 and it would be beneficial to examine the differences between the two
editions. Also, for those more technologically savvy the APA offers this
edition in a digital format. So the publishers provide the option of saving
some space on the bookshelf and not having to pull out the heavy physical tome.
Van den Bos, G. (2013). APA Dictionary of Clinical Psychology.
Washington, DD: American Psychological Associations.
Hardcover: 636 pp: includes
Keywords: psychology, clinical,
American Psychological Association, dictionary, definitions