IN OUR OWN HANDS: A Woman's Guide to Self-Help Therapy by Sheila & Lucy Goodison Ernst

IN OUR OWN HANDS: A Woman's Guide to Self-Help Therapy

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Self-help group therapy (not consciousness-raising) for women, by two who participated in such a program in London. Promoted, of course, are lots of touchy-feely exercises; but there is also a fairly detailed run-through on Gestalt therapy, Encounter, psychoanalytical dream/fantasy work, Psychodrama, and the like. The authors are earnest and intelligent evaluators of each school of therapy; they never quite succeed, however, in establishing leaderless groups as superior to the traditional therapist-centered arrangement. Then, too, many of the therapies outlined seem potentially the most dangerous in unprofessional hands: Encounter, for instance, is a confrontation therapy that by the authors' own admission ""can leave individuals raw and hurt, vulnerable and insecure"" when improperly handled (though cautions are issued to minimize this possibility). And, at the very least, effective Psychodrama is extremely difficult to direct without prior experience (this much, again, is acknowledged). A good way, then, to gain insight into how group therapy functions in the absence of a trained professional--but to be applied with care.

Pub Date: Oct. 20th, 1981
Publisher: Tarcher--dist. by Houghton Mifflin