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Transforming Themes: Creative Perspectives on Therapeutic Interaction
Paul J. Leslie
Phoenix Publishing House / Softcover / 2021-07-01 / 1912691981
price: $38.95
160 pages
In Stock (Ships within one business day)

An engaging guide to a conceptual therapy that offers therapists more freedom and an enhanced interaction with clients.

A theme is a topic of discourse, a subject of discussion, or a dominating idea. In other words, a theme is what a story means. Themes shape our relationships, values, and traditions, both individually and collectively, and if a theme is harmful, it can create ‘problems’. This book is a pragmatic approach to helping clients to change. The premise is that by assisting clients to change the limiting themes they themselves constructed, their own natural problem-solving abilities and healing resources can be activated.

Transforming Themes challenges the dominant view of psychotherapy as a structured, reductionist process. Instead, it views psychotherapy as an alive, unrehearsed interaction that embraces healing when it is focused on the role of ‘therapeutic themes’. These themes are the entrenched frames of references or contexts from which clients perceive their lives. In any interaction, each participant has a unique worldview. When clients come to therapy, they bring their problems in the form of a theme: ‘the woman who can’t forgive’ or ‘the child who is a terror’. Any potential statement or action performed within this theme merely strengthens the problem. Only when the theme of the therapy session has shifted can clients gain access to inner resources to shift perspectives and begin inner transformation.

Effective therapy results from moving clients into more flexible, empowering themes. These changes occur as a result of the dynamic interaction between therapist and client, which embraces improvisation, creativity, and novelty, rather than adherence to specific theories or techniques.

Using historical and modern research and colourful case studies, this work will help professionals understand how to easily adapt and apply creative and resourceful therapy interventions, no matter what therapeutic orientation they endorse. This book will enable therapists, counsellors, psychologists, and social workers to gain access to creative, effective methods which help their clients heal while increasing effectiveness and enjoyment in clinical work.

Table of Contents:

About the author

Theme-oriented therapy

Psychotherapy as theme creation

Cocreating new themes

Thematic patterns and rituals

The soldier who was secretly a hippie

The heart of an artist

The eccentric professor


About the Author:

Dr. Paul J. Leslie is a psychotherapist, researcher, trainer, and author in Aiken, South Carolina. He specialises in resource-directed approaches to working with individuals and families. Paul is a licensed therapist in the states of Georgia and South Carolina, and a National Board Certified Fellow in Hypnotherapy. He has a doctorate in Counseling Psychology and is presently the coordinator of the psychology program at Aiken Technical College. He has authored six books including Potential not Pathology: Helping Your Clients Transform Using Ericksonian Psychotherapy and The Art of Creating a Magical Session: Key Elements for Transformative Psychotherapy. Paul is a popular trainer of mental health professionals in the areas of solution-based therapies, Ericksonian hypnosis, and creative therapy applications. His website is

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