Bad Therapy : Master Therapists Share Their Worst Failures book cover
1st Edition

Bad Therapy
Master Therapists Share Their Worst Failures

ISBN 9780415933230
Published October 18, 2002 by Routledge
216 Pages

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USD $48.95

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Book Description

Bad Therapy offers a rare glimpse into the hearts and mind's of the profession's most famous authors, thinkers, and leaders when things aren't going so well. Jeffrey Kottler and Jon Carlson, who include their own therapy mishaps, interview twenty of the world's most famous practitioners who discuss their mistakes, misjudgements, and miscalculations on working with clients. Told through narratives, the failures are related with candor to expose the human side of leading therapists. Each therapist shares with regrets, what they learned from the experience, what others can learn from their mistakes, and the benefits of speaking openly about bad therapy.

Table of Contents

The Authors
1. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Parameters of Bad Therapy
2. Jeffrey A. Kottler: The Thing Is
3. Jon Carlson: Stories Without Endings
4. Peggy Papp: A Public Humiliation
5. Arnold A. Lazarus: A Huge Dose of Humility
6. Violet Oaklander: If I Learned Something, Then I Can Forgive Myself
7. Richard Schwartz: The Critical Parts of Me
8. William Glasser: I Can't Wait Until You Leave
9. Stephen Lankton: Speaking the Client's Language
10. Francine Shapiro: I Need to Have Safeguards in Place
11. Raymond Corsini: Don't Get Stuck With One Approach
12. John Gray: Being in Bad Therapy
13. Frank Pittman: I Take a Lot of Risks
14. Sam Gladding: I Zigged When I Should Have Zagged
15. Susan M. Johnson: I Felt Quite Helpless
16. Pat Love: Listening to My Inner Voice
17. Art Freeman: We're Not as Smart as We Think We Are
18. John Norcross: 50 Minutes of Pure Hostility
19. Len Sperry: Letting Things Get Personal
20. Scott D. Miller: I Should Have Known Better
21. Michael F. Hoyt: I Was Blind at the Time
22. Richard Stuart: I Expect Too Much
23. Michele Weiner-Davis: Struck by a Bolt of Lightning-Again!
24. Some Common Themes and Lessons Learned

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Jeffrey A. Kottler, Ph. D., is Professor and Chair of the Counseling Program at California State University, Fullerton. He is author of over 45 books in the field, including Doing Good, Making Changes Last and the New York Times bestseller, The Last Victim. Jon Carlson, Psy.D., Ed.D. is Professor of Psychology and Counseling at Governers State University and a psychologist with the Lake Geneva Wellness Clinic in Wisconsin. He is the founding editor of The Family Journal and has written more than 20 books.


"...I believe that all psychotherapists would benefit from this book, regardless of level of experience. Graduate students would benefit as well because it is never too early to learn from the mistakes of others. The authors and contributors are more than credible authorities in the field. They are the experts, the movers and shakers in the field of psychotherapy research and practice...The book is simply delightful. The contributors, well-known experts in the field, are very candid and it is obvious that they have reflected on and learned from their mistakes. It is very readable and enjoyable. I found myself not being able to put it down. It is a book that you can easily learn from and I believe it should be required reading for courses in psychotherapy." -- Doody Review, January 2003
"This book is a must read for students of therapy of all ages and persuasions - a casebook of how to fall in your face and get up knowing more than before the fall." -- David E. Scharff, M.D., International Institute of Object Relations Therapy and co-author of Object Relations Individual Therapy
"With astounding candor and with a great deal of humility, twenty-two of the world's master therapists reveal their worst mistakes and failures, and guess what? They are the same ones all of us make. Every psychotherapist will learn from these revelations and will be more empowered to be more confident and humble. You must read this book; you and your clients will greatly benefit." -- Nicholas A. Cummings, Ph.D., Sc.D., Former President of the American Psychological Association, author of 23 books including, Focused Psychotherapy: A Casebook of Brief, Intermittent Psychotherapy Throughout the Life Cycle
"This book is a comfort to those of us who practice the "impossible art" of psychotherapy, because it shows how to admit mistakes, study why we made them, and become better therapists in the process. These cases are worth several graduate courses in psychotherapy." -- William J. Doherty, Ph.D., Director, Marriage and Family Therapy Program at the University of Minnesota, and author of Soul Searching: Why Psychotherapy Must Promote Moral Responsibility
"Jeffrey Kottler and Jon Carlson beautifully guide several outstanding therapists to be exceptionally candid about some of their worst cases. Not only will this book be very helpful to other practicing therapists, but also to general readers... A forthright and unusually valuable book!" -- Albert Ellis, Ph.D., President, Albert Ellis Institute, New York City and the author of A Guide to Rational Living