However it is conceived and described by psychotherapists with different orientations, a stronger ego is a universally-acknowledged goal of therapeutic work. Inner Strengths is the first book to meet the need for a comprehensive treatment of approaches to ego-strengthening in psychotherapy. It provides contemporary psychodynamic, object relations, self-psychology, ego state, and transpersonal theoretical models for understanding how and why ego-strengthening occurs.
The authors are experienced psychotherapists who integrate hypnosis into their own practice of psychotherapy. They have been active in developing the newer, projective-evocative ego-strengthening techniques emphasizing the utilization of patients' inner resources. They survey the history of ego-strengthening efforts and show how that which has been considered intrinsically hypnotic connects with the great traditions of psychotherapy. Additionally, they offer step-by-step instructions for a diversity of ego-strengthening methods that can be used for patient self-care, internal boundary formation, and personality maturation in a wide range of clinical conditions. Their discussion of the fundamental concepts of ego-strengthening draws on their theoretical and clinical explorations of dynamic internal resources such as memory, strength, wisdom, self-soothing, and love. Throughout the book, theory is balanced by an unusual richness of extended clinical examples and a wide variety of practical ego-strengthening scripts.
Clinicians need not be trained in hypnosis to find Inner Strengths clarifying and helpful reading; the fundamental points so vividly made by the authors are relevant to many nonhypnotic-therapeutic interventions and issues.
"This is an outstanding book which combines thoughtful scholarship with clinical utility. While primarily conceptualizing egomastery techniques from a contemporary psychodynamic perspective, the book is transtheoretical with applicability to both hypnotherapy and to more general psychotherapy. Enhanced self stability, self efficacy and self esteem form the heart of nearly every psychotherapeutic encounter and process. I suspect that this book will prove to be a central text for any psychotherapist's library. I recommend it with enthusiasm."
—Elgan L. Baker, PhD, ABPH^L
President, Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis; Indiana Center for Ps
"In a book that ranges from psychoanalytic to transpersonal perspectives, and from treating dissociative disorders to facilitating patients' self-care, Claire Frederick and Shirley A. McNeal present a treasury of concepts, techniques, and examples that will enrich any practitioner who explores them. Inner Strengths is an inspirational commentary on the human condition, its resilience, and how divided, broken, and violated selves can be mended through the wise application of psychotherapeutic procedures that are at the cutting edge of clinical practice."
—Stanley Krippner, PhD
Saybrook Graduate School; Coauthor, The Mythic Path; Coeditor, Broken Images, Br
"Inner Strengths is an important book for all clinicians working with traumatized patients. Drs. Frederick and McNeal draw upon the major psychotherapeutic and hypnotic traditions to present an integrative approach to ego-strengthening treatment that is grounded in both respect and compassion for the client. In easily read prose, important concepts are robustly defined, linked to the theoretical literature, and clinically explained and illustrated by means of detailed case examples. The authors' considerable scholarship and clinical acumen guide both novice and experienced clinicians through an informative and wide-ranging exploration of both hypnotic and non-hypnotic ego-strengthening techniques."