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The Big Answer


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A Guide to Psychotherapy

a book by Gerald Amada

(our site's book review)

Gerald Amada, in A Guide to Psychotherapy, is clear that a good counselor or shrink doesnít tell a client/patient what to do to solve his problems. He explores the unwarranted shame connotations and the ignorance that surrounds the issue of people who need psychotherapy. He looks at the high level of bigotry and mythology that surrounds the subject in most cultures.

This thoughtful book is for the layperson. The book is an introduction to psychotherapy that provides clear and direct answers to commonly asked questions about psychological treatment: How do I know when to enter therapy? How do I go about selecting a therapist? Does Psychotherapy really work?

When you enter into psychotherapy, you set out on a journey that has the potential to change your entire outlook-to move you in a more positive direction in your relationships and career, and to advance your own self-awareness and self-esteem.

Of course, people who really need this book are the ones who wouldn't think to go look for it. But then, that is true of most self-help books. You constantly meet individuals who need serious help, but never see them reading or even seeking such tomes.

Amanda considers these qualities to be essential in therapists:

  1. Respect: The ability of a therapist to recognize a clientís personal worth and right to make his or her own choices.
  2. Empathy: The capacity to be accurately attuned to another personís feelings.
  3. Genuineness: The quality of being authentic beyond the role and techniques used in therapy.
  4. Warmth: The capacity to show concern, appreciation and regard for the client.
  5. Patience: The ability to listen attentively without judging, oversimplifying or intruding.
  6. Ethical values: A thorough knowledge of and commitment to the ethical principles of the mental health profession.
  7. Humor: An ability to observe and communicate the comical and absurd aspects of the human condition.

Unfortunately, he favors psychoanalytic psychotherapy, which is normally too expensive for most people. However the advice he gives to people with problems in his book is good. Incidentally, those involved with younger people need to learn about Child Psychology. Another worthy area of psychology is Transactional Analysis. Also, people need to avoid drugs but get therapy since it's not brain defects but past emotional traumas and deprivations that hold people back.

Feeling Good is a great book to empower the treating of depression as well as ridding oneself of negative thoughts and emotions resulting mostly from parenting errors
Feeling Good is a great book to empower the treating of depression as well as ridding oneself of negative thoughts and emotions resulting mostly from parenting errors

We favor cognitive behavioral therapy. David D. Burns is a therapist as well. Dr. Burns' model of cognitive behavioral therapy is very thorough, yet it is easy to understand and incorporate into one's daily living. He recommends cognitive behavioral therapy as the first line defense in dealing with mood disorders, e.g., depression. It is the fastest, easiest, and one of the most effective therapies, and often one of the cheapest. Especially if you just buy his book, Feeling Good, and use it as a self-help guide, with or without a therapistís aid.