The Times of Time : A Perspective on Time in Systemic Therapy and Consultation book cover
1st Edition

The Times of Time
A Perspective on Time in Systemic Therapy and Consultation

ISBN 9780367226497
Published July 14, 2019 by Routledge
326 Pages

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Book Description

This is the most comprehensive study of the role of time in psychotherapy. It illustrates how time is experienced in different ways – individual time, family time, and social time – and how time can act as an invaluable metaphor in shaping clinical practice within a systemic approach, while maintaining connections with other approaches, such as psychoanalysis and cognitive therapies.

A seminal volume on this topic, the book looks at issues such as the duration of therapy; the relevance of past, present, and future in therapy; and the balance of memory and oblivion. It also includes a discussion of how time is framed in other disciplines, including sociology, history, and psychopathology, whilst exploring the concept in practical terms through case vignettes and complete case histories, including the transcripts of actual sessions. The reader is thus given a set of guidelines for dealing with time issues in therapy from a systemic perspective.

Originally published in 1993, the book has been updated to create a dialogue with contemporary theoretical debates, as well as social and technological changes. It will fascinate all psychotherapists, particularly those interested in a systemic practice.

Table of Contents

Series co-editor foreword

Foreword by Alan Cooklin


Note to the text

Foreword 1993 by Helm Stierlin


1. A journey in time: the beginning

2. Reasoning about time

3. Models of interactive time: family time

4. The observer and time

5. Times in consultation and therapy

6. Past into present

7. Future into present

8. Time and rituals

9. Three clinical cases

10. The two Messiahs




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Luigi Boscolo, psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, and systemic therapist, was part of the original Milan systemic team, led by Mara Selvini Palazzoli. He co-founded and co-directed the Centro Milanese di Terapia della Famiglia with Gianfranco Cecchin. He is also the co-author of Paradox and Counterparadox (1978), Milan Systemic Family Therapy (1987), and Systemic Therapy with Individuals (1996).

Paolo Bertrando, psychiatrist and systemic therapist, was trained in Milan by Luigi Boscolo and Gianfranco Cecchin. After 20 years as trainer at the Centro Milanese di Terapia della Famiglia, he founded with Claudia Lini the Systemic-Dialogical School in Bergamo (Italy). He is the author of, among others, Systemic Therapy with Individuals (1996, with Luigi Boscolo), The Dialogical Therapist (2007), and Emotions and the Therapist (2015).