Creative Therapy in Challenging Situations introduces readers to the innovative approaches that therapists sometimes take when standardized, paint-by-numbers routines don’t work. Each chapter presents the story of one or more difficult psychotherapy situations followed by the therapists’ descriptions of what they did and why, as well as the outcome that resulted. The authors and their stories span a wide variety of theoretical approaches and contexts, showing how clinicians can improvise beyond everyday scenarios and techniques. This collection of provocative, instructive vignettes from well-known practitioners often generates “You said what?!” reactions while encouraging readers to think creatively in the moment in order to reach healthy, innovative outcomes from the trickiest and most unexpected therapeutic scenarios.
Table of Contents
About the Contributors
1. "You Said What?": Introduction and Invitation, Michael F. Hoyt and Monte Bobele
2. The Accidental Drug Dealer, Andrew T. Austin
3. A Different Kind of Education, Bob Bertolino
4. On a Small Island Off the Coast of Texas, Monte Bobele
5. A Violent Life: Using Brief Therapy "Logics" to Facilitate Change, Flavio Cannistrá
6. Transforming Trauma and the Migration of Identity: Accepting the "Call" from Outside the Cave, Jim Duvall
7. Heating Up to Cool Down: An Encountering Approach to Ericksonian Hypnotherapy and Brief Therapy, Douglas Flemons
8. Looking "Outside the Box" for Client Strengths, Joseph A. Goldfield
9. The Rock-n-Rollers Remixed: Back to the Future, Shelley Green
10. Going "One-Down", Michael F. Hoyt
11. "No Way – You Gotta Be Kidding!": Using Ordeals to Promote Problem-Stopping, Michael F. Hoyt
12. However Great the Question, It’s the Answer That Makes a Difference, Chris Iveson
13. 120 Centimeters from Sainthood, Hillary Keeney and Bradford Keeney
14. Random Effects of Ambiguity Along the Pathway Toward Health, David V. Keith
15. When Impatience Gets the Best of Me, Jeffrey Kottler
16. The Single Stroke: What Makes "Zingers" Zing?, Michelle Ritterman
17. Our Clients Are Able and Strong: MRI Problem-Solving Brief Therapy in Action, Karin Schlanger and Esther Krohner
18. Frida Kahlo is Sassy, Clara Haydee Solís Ponce and Pedro Vargas Avalos
19. Beyond Reason and Insight: The 180-degree Turn in Therapeutic Interventions, Terry Soo-Hoo
20. They Said What?: Themes and Lessons, Michael F. Hoyt and Monte Bobele
Michael F. Hoyt, Ph.D., is a psychologist based in Mill Valley, California. He is
the author/editor of numerous publications, including Single-Session Therapy
by Walk-In or Appointment; Brief Therapy and Beyond; and Therapist Stories of
Inspiration, Passion, and Renewal.
Monte Bobele, Ph.D., is Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Our Lady of the
Lake University in San Antonio, Texas. He is the co-editor of Single-Session
Therapy by Walk-In or Appointment and When One Hour is All You Have, and the
author of numerous other publications.
"It is my pleasure to highly recommend this book to therapists and to all the helping professions. There is much wisdom in these articles that carry on the strategic tradition of helping people to overcome their challenges."
—Cloé Madanes, author of Changing Relationships; The Therapist as Humanist, Social Activist, and Systemic Thinker; Strategic Family Therapy; and more
"When what you’ve been doing with clients hasn’t been working and you find yourself hoping they’ll cancel their next appointment or quit therapy altogether, don’t despair. Creative Therapy in Challenging Situations is the antidote to stale and ineffective clinical thinking—it will spark your imagination, help you break through frustrating impasses, and make you fall in love with your work (and clients) all over again. Savoring each chapter triggered thoughts about my own creative moments and distant memories of hanging out with Steve de Shazer and learning to think the unthinkable. I love this book!"
—Michele Weiner-Davis, LCSW, author of Healing from Infidelity: A Divorce Busting Guide to Rebuilding Your Marriage After an Affair, Change Your Life and Everyone in It, The Sex-Starved Marriage, and more
"Creativity is highly prized in the therapeutic endeavor, borne of a necessity to respond quickly and effectively to the rapidly shifting landscape and complexity of people’s problems. Michael Hoyt and Monte Bobele have shined a bright spotlight on diverse patterns of therapist creativity, drawing out examples of innovative interventions by an array of experts who insightfully explain ‘the methods to their (apparent) madness.’ Creative Therapy in Challenging Situations will undoubtedly challenge and enlighten even the most experienced clinicians."
—Michael D. Yapko, PhD, clinical psychologist and author of The Discriminating Therapist and Trancework: An Introduction to the Practice of Clinical Hypnosis, 5th Edition
"After I started reading this book, I found it hard to put down. It is simply fascinating. In a way, this is a modern version of Jay Haley’s classic book, Uncommon Therapy, about the work of Milton H. Erickson. Creative Therapy in Challenging Situations: Unusual Interventions to Help Clients is a thoroughly intriguing book that opens doors and possibilities."
—Rubin Battino, MS (Counseling), PhD (Chemistry), author of When All Else Fails: Some New and Some Old Tools for Doing Brief Therapy; Expectation: The Very Brief Therapy Book; Healing Language; and Ericksonian Approaches: A Comprehensive Manual (2nd ed.)
"Such a brilliant collection! When conventional approaches to stuck cases fail, playful caring (or caring play) can succeed. Hoyt and Bobele gather clinical stories from the raconteurs of the brief and family therapy worlds in this collection of therapeutic interventions, and we reap the wisdom. More than once, I found myself exclaiming, ‘You said WHAT?’ as I read. Exceptional and inspiring!"
—Frank N. Thomas, PhD, LMFT, professor of counseling and counselor education at Texas Christian University, clinical fellow and approved supervisor at the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, and co-author/co-editor of Tales from Family Therapy, Masters of Narrative and Collaborative Therapies, the Handbook of Solution-Focused Brief Therapy, and more