HOW CLIENTS MAKE THERAPY WORK: The Process of Active Self-Healing
By Bohart and Tallman.
It’s an old book, comparatively … 1999. In the last thirty years, I have filled a library with books that I’ve read about therapy (in all its guises), about human intricacy, about the so-called subconscious, about what it takes to persuade people that they are more powerful than they realize in the business of “getting better from the pit of mental-emotional problems.”
I recently read a review somewhere or other about this book. The writer said that they had studied it when in college, and wondered why it had not soared to great heights of professional appreciation. (I know why, but that’s for another article on pharmaceutical control of ‘health and healing’). So, I bought it.
Of course, I was immediately captivated by the humanistic premise of the authors, and it immediately echoed my own proposition that every person – no matter how much in pain – is already perfect!
In this book, Arthur Bohart and Karen Tallman convince us that (if I can put it in layman’s language) the idea that any therapist is smarter than their client, or that they may have some sort of power to heal, is a CROCK! This, then, aligns itself with the tenets of Af-x and all my work – in the saying that people have far more native healing potential – for themselves – than most therapists think (or can afford to think) and certainly much more innate ability to self-adjust or self-heal their emotional states than this great unwieldy and greedily money-driven mental health system of ours would ever dare to admit.
This post could easily run into pages and pages, so I’ll be briefer by saying that if this book, or others of this style that honoured human resources, were given much more notice in professional circles and more notice within the public readership, we would be a healthier, saner and more contented society. I recommend all therapists and would-be practitioners to read it.
I’m a stickler for being careful about word usage, not because some word use is wrong, but because a particular word used can be totally misinterpreted by the listener/reader as they introduce their own erroneous meaning to the word heard. Such words are therapy, healing, psychology, etc, and I’ll maybe leave that for the subject of another post.
But for the purposes of this review, I have to say that this book affirms the ‘Ian White dictum’ that with the exception of some unavoidable external issues or truly biomedical problems, the process of healing the mind and soul is entirely NATIVE.
The use of this word ‘native’ is a favourite of mine. In, say, computing sciences, it refers to software or data formats that are native to a system and requires no outside assistance or interference in order to maintain the health of the system. This is OK if you are comfortable with computer>mind analogies as a way of explaining unconscious patterning. I am, simply because the human unconscious DOES follow certain computer-like patterning ‘algorithms’ in order to remain on track!
But if you find the computer metaphor and correlation to be too simplistic, clunky or irreligious, then check out the definition of ‘native’ as: (of a quality) belonging to a person’s character from birth; innate.
In HOW CLIENTS MAKE THERAPY WORK: The Process of Active Self-Healing, we are offered an intelligent, humanistic and human-honouring insight into the real definition of healing and self-correction of mental and emotional complications and a rather damning view of the hubris under which many or most psychotherapists operate.
If you’re a psychotherapists, a ‘new-age shaman’, a practitioner of what you think are the ‘healing arts’ and you think you have something special that a client doesn’t already have, my suggestion is; buy this book, and don’t just buy it but read it!