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Resource List 09: Reviewed Psychotherapy Books

A FURTHER COLLECTION OF RECENT ENGLISH-LANGUAGE PSYCHOTHERAPY BOOK REVIEWS

Compiled under the direction of Jacqueline A. Carleton Ph.D. (and her interns) for the IJP (April, 2017).


Turow, R.G. (2017). Mindfulness skills for trauma and PTSD.

Norcross, J.C. & Popple, L.M. (2017). Supervision Essentials For Integrative Psychotherapy. 

Cain, S. (2016). Quiet Power: The secret strengths of introverts.


Turow, R.G. (2017). Mindfulness skills for trauma and PTSD.
Reviewed by Kevin Jeffrey Goldwater, New York University

So appropriately stated on the back cover of Mindfulness skills for trauma and PTSD is “by working skillfully with our challenges, we can each reduce suffering and build lasting strengths.” It is exactly this that author Rachel Goldsmith Turow preaches in her newly published book, full of resources to combat daily challenges faced by survivors of trauma and PTSD. With detail and patience, Turow guides her reader towards cultivating a better self after trauma.

      Turow begins her book by introducing mindfulness to her reader. Turow thoroughly goes over each aspect of mindfulness, explaining everything from its core concepts to the proper time and setting for practices. Included is ‘Resolving misconceptions and overcoming stumbling blocks’ to encourage further practice and ability, but perhaps the most significant portions of this chapter are the parts of “Special Considerations for Practicing Mindfulness After Trauma” and “Choosing a Specific Practice.” The parts begin a trend that moves throughout the book, encouraging careful and safe practice for survivors especially and consideration that not all practices work for everyone; indeed, she has her reader explore specially for themselves, rather than a prescribed program. The next chapter discusses Trauma and PTSD as concepts, delving into core meanings, differentiating types and the effect each has on its host. Turow expands past just explaining the basics of the two phenomena, going further into explaining and discussing healing and support in relation to them. She continues to introduce in the next chapter basic, core mindfulness skills generalized for various symptoms. The following chapters then each focus on an individual set of skills for different issues, including self compassion, intrusive thoughts, traumatic memories, nightmares, fear, hypervigilance, hyperarousal, avoidance, shame, self-blame, self-criticism, anger, guilt, depression, numbing, dissociation, and relationships. Turow concludes with the explanation and discussion of post traumatic growth and the phenomenon of resilience, proving the value of her work and the patient’s future.

       One of the most notable aspects of Turow’s book is her inclusion of research and “in their own words” features littered throughout the book. These portions from researchers, colleagues and friends of Turow’s provides support of and strengthens the presence of the skills, giving evidence of the value of the skills described in the book. Turow’s approach to teaching has a voice of kindness and patience, creating a guidebook that is a not a bulleted instruction piece but rather a comforting resource. Turow’s book also clarifies the purpose of the skills is not simply fixing the problem rather healing and moving forward (the cover of her book even being once broken pottery healed with gold lining), constantly promoting the forward thinking mindset. While each chapter has an independent theme, they each rely on the first chapter of basic skill sets. Without these, Turow would lose the reader and confusion would ensue.

       Designed for survivors, friends and family, teachers, students and practioners, this book is easy to read and comprehensive in nature. Turow’s skills are easy to learn and backed up with evidence from research and personal experiences, fostering an environment of potential. With its successful introduction of skills for trauma survivors, Turow’s book earns it’s place in the psychological zeitgeist.
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Rachel Goldsmith Turow, PhD, living in Seattle, Washington is an adjunct assistant professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and is a clinical psychologist at Seattle University.
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Turow, Rachel Goldsmith. (2017). Mindfulness skills for trauma and PTSD.
New York: Singing Dragon.
ISBN: 978-0393711264. 
Available in hardcover, paperback and eBook.
Paperback. 412 pages. Includes references, end notes and index.

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Norcross, John C. & Popple, Leah M. (2017). Supervision Essentials For Integrative Psychotherapy.
Reviewed by Kevin Jeffrey Goldwater, New York University

While clinical supervision is collectively considered a necessary and critical process in producing quality psychotherapy, there seems to be a dearth of consolidated instruction for those educating or practicing it. Noticing this, editors Hanna Levenson and Arpana G. Iman have produced a series organizing what they call a “dream team” of eleven experts in their respected fields, the two have created a multi volume Clinical Supervision Essentials, allowing for direct and concise reference for educators and practitioners. In this volume, John C. Norcross and Leah M. Popple tackle a matter near and deep to their hearts and professional work—the supervision of integrative psychotherapy.
    Acknowledging the common usage of the term ‘integrative’ by today’s practioners, Norcross and Popple explain the originality that comes from integrative supervision. Verbally differentiating from past approaches, the two explain that their model rests on research rather than theory, synthesizing both the supervisory method and relationship rather than dividing them, responsiveness to multiple arising characteristics rather than single points, and finally the supervisor being supervised themselves, rather than them being the sole evaluator of the trainee and their work. These differences highlight their insistence that integrative supervision is unlike any other, and requires special attention and method. 
   
The pair begins their volume by introducing and explaining integrative psychotherapy, as well as the historical background of the method. Interestingly enough, Norcross and Popple use the beginning of the book to outline the path they designate to becoming an expert integrative supervisor. The second chapter discusses the main points of integrative supervision: critical goals, unique functions, and the supervisory relationship. The third then discusses the methods of integrative supervision. These include video recordings, process notes, documentation, and parallel process, and they explain that the tailoring of the method to the specific supervisee makes integrative supervision so original. When the reader reaches the fourth chapter, they encounter the “nuts and bolts” of integrative supervision, describing the process and structure of supervision. The fifth and sixth chapter delve into the potential problems that can arise and their solutions, as well as a chapter selected for the supervisor in particular and how to work with these issues. The seventh chapter discusses and calls for further research on integrative psychotherapy, and the final chapter discusses the direction this research should head to.
   
While the book remains clear and concise, the pair struggles to explain their approach in light of their differentiation from current standards. Because of this approach, the relaying of information requires a strong understanding of supervision in general. This makes the reading seem like a start at square one, building the method from scratch, whereas a more traditional understanding of supervision already several squares ahead. That being said, Norcross and Popple do an excellent job of relaying it as best they can, not losing their audience nor casting any doubt on their theory. However, due to the differentiations, the book seems suited for someone who is already familiar with the basics of supervision standards and interested in a new model.
   
Understanding and accepting the challenge of tackling a large theory in a small book, Norcross and Popple clearly outlines their approach without any remnants of doubt or confusion. While some points seem as if they are claiming (and enforcing) superiority over other approaches, the pair successfully communicate abilities and values that lie in integrative supervision, solidifying this books place not only in the Supervision Essentials library, but indeed in the psychological zeitgeist.
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John C. Norcross, PhD, ABPP is a Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of Scranton and adjunct professor of psychiatry at State University of New York Upstate Medical University as well as a board-ceritfied psychology. With more than 400 publications and edits under his belt, Norcross has received a multitude of awards. He lives in Pennsylvania with his wife.
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Leah M. Popple is a staff psychologist at the University of Scranton Counseling Center. Graduating summa cum laude in psychology from Pennsylvania State University and achieving her MA and PsyD in counseling psychology from Marywood University, her research includes college student mental health and help seeking behaviors.
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Norcross, John C. & Popple, Leah M. (2017). Supervision Essentials For Integrative Psychotherapy.
Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Available in hardcover, paperback and eBook.
Paperback. 168 pages. Includes references and an index.
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Kevin Jeffrey Goldwater (Reviewer) studies Applied Psychology with a minor in music at New York University and is set to graduate in May of 2019. Born in Chicago, Kevin has done immersive research on psychoanalytic theory and the role of gender in today’s media. In addition to writing reviews for the IJP, he also writes reviews for Somatic Psychotherapy Today.

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Cain, S. (2016). Quiet Power: The secret strengths of introverts.
Reviewed by Monica Spafford, New York University

     In a society that praises and encourages extroverted behavior, Susan Cain’s book Quiet Power: The Secret Strength of Introverts is a lifeline for youth and adolescents who struggle to accept and find the value in their introverted tendencies. Building on previous research on introversion, Cain’s book serves as both a self-help guide for introverts and a learning tool for clinicians seeking to understand and better assist introverts.

     In Quiet Power, Cain communicates a variety of stories, some her own, that demonstrate how introversion can affect individuals in different contexts and how introverted behavior may be misconstrued in those contexts. For example, Cain tells the story of a summer camp bound, book loving, nine-year-old who dreamed about quiet reading time at camp instead of the activity-filled schedule she was greeted with as she arrived (p. 18). She was overwhelmed by the constant cheering and rowdiness and was judged and ridiculed because of her lack thereof (p. 19). Thus, she felt pressure to engage in what was deemed to be the socially acceptable behavior at camp.

     Additionally, Cain provides encouraging words for those who have been in stressful situations and have been made to feel less than because of their quiet temperament, while also suggesting ways to empower the self and find a place as an introvert in a world of extroverts. Cain implores readers to embrace their introversion and not utilize extroverts as a standard for ideal behavior. For example, Cain recalls another story about a nervous girl with a desire to win the Student of the Month award but her chances were slim because she did not verbally participate in class as much as other students (p. 34). She didn’t understand why she had to be extroverted to win an award or earn recognition; after all, just because she wasn’t constantly talking didn’t mean she wasn’t participating in other ways. She knew what she had to do to get the Student of the Month award, an award she desperately wanted, so she challenged herself to speak more in class (p. 35). It was difficult but she had excellent self-awareness and utilized her knowledge of her tendencies to shape her behavior in class. In doing so, she did not suddenly transform into an extroverted student but she could find her voice and relieve herself of some of the stress she felt during class discussions. Cain uses this story as a lead in to her discussion on class participation and gives students tips on how to be heard in class. Cain emphasizes that challenging yourself to participate in class, for example is not about changing who you are—it is more about adapting to the situation to allow yourself to be heard not just disappear into the background (p. 36). 

     Cain concludes her book by summarizing key points and strategies that can help introverts find their voice. For example, one key point to remember is “pursue those passions” (p. 231). Cain points out that nothing motivates us more than something we are passionate about or a goal we are working towards; therefore, like the student who used her desire to win the Student of the Month award as motivation, introverts should use their passion to find their voice and face their fears.

     Cain extends her thinking in an afterword that addresses teachers and how they can accommodate and encourage introverted students. For example, she suggests the think-pair-share method because it allows students to think, discuss with peers, and prepare before being asked to share with the class. She also provides a guide for parents at the end of the book on how to support and empower their introverted children. For example, she suggests that parents encourage their child to find an outlet, a passion that drives them. This will give them a context in which to build mastery and self-confidence and engage in self-expression

Quiet Power is an in-depth, experience-driven guide to the introvert experience and acts as an encouragement for those struggling with their identity as an introvert. Susan Cain makes the introverted experience relatable and works to eradicate previously held notions or stereotypes about introverts. Furthermore, she challenges introverts to find their voice, while still being who they are.

     Clinicians may find this book useful as they try to “step into the shoes” of patients who may be struggling with introversion. This book has the potential to be a guide for clinicians when they are interacting with introverted patients, suggesting strategies, and composing useful interventions that will help introverts embrace their introversion, not hide behind it.

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Susan Cain attended Princeton University and Harvard Law School. She is a co-founder of The Quiet Revolution and the author of the New York Times bestseller Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. She recently received a Harvard Law School’s Celebration Award for Thought Leadership.

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Cain, S. (2016). Quiet power: The secret strengths of introverts.
New York, NY: Penguin Random House. 
ISBN 978-0399186721.
Available in hardcover, paperback, audio book, and eBook.
Hardcover: 270 pages. Includes appendix and index.

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Monica Spafford (Reviewer) studies Applied Psychology at New York University and is set to graduate in May of 2018. She is a Research Assistant for the INSIGHTS Into Children’s Temperament research study at NYU’s Institute of Human Development and Social Change testing the efficacy of the INSIGHTS program, an evidence-based intervention that works to support children’s social-emotional development and academic learning. In addition to writing reviews for the IJP, she also writes reviews for Somatic Psychotherapy Today.


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