Social constructionist thought transforms psychotherapy, opening new vistas in understanding and practice. This work provides a brief introduction to social construction, and then illuminates the landscape of change. Special emphasis is given to topics of therapeutic communication, narrative, and therapeutic practices both traditional and contemporary. Critical chapters focus on the oppression of psychodiagnostic categories and the neuro/biological and pharmaceutical investments that support them. Additional chapters provide a range of insights into the poetics of therapy, collaborative practices with clients, and the broader flow of relationships in which therapy takes place. Lively discussions with therapy doyens, Mony Elkaim and Michael Hoyt, conclude the work. This book contains Kenneth Gergen's major contributions to therapeutic thought and practice. Earlier writings are updated and orchestrated, and original chapters added to reflect his most recent thinking on therapy as a process of collaborative construction.
--- from the publisher
"This is one of the most exciting books to appear in decades. Kenneth Gergen has identified some of the most pressing problems and promising responses for those who offer professional life counsel. I recommend this book with enthusiasm." --Michael Mahoney, Salve Regina University
Author of Human Change Processes
"Kenneth Gergen has had a sustained and dedicated interest in the therapeutic world for over three decades. He has joined with therapists and other scholars around the world to explore the 'consequences of intellectual work for societal practices.' Written in a personal tone that is warm, inviting and positive, Therapeutic Realities is a must-read and a rich resource for those well-versed in social construction therapy practices and those newly exploring it."
--Harlene Anderson, Houston Galveston Institute
Author of Conversation, Language and Possibilities: A Postmodern Approach to Therapy
"Useful to both novice and experienced practitioners, this book offers a thoughtful and provocative invitation to reconsider many of the cannons of therapeutic practice. Gergen's purpose, however, is not to establish a new regime of truth, but to expand the options available to clients and practitioners. This is an important contribution to the discourse on the therapeutic relationship and the processes of personal change."
--Stanley L. Witkin
Department of Social Work, University of Vermont
With Therapeutic Realities, Ken Gergen once again shares his astounding gift for surveying the landscape of contemporary social practice with a balance of rigorous scholarship, innovative thinking, and compassionate common sense. If you're interested in deeply considered reflections on where the therapy field has traveled, along with visionary proposals for its future, this book belongs in your library.
--David Paré, University of Ottawa
Co-editor of Collaborative Practice in Psychology and Therapy
Co-director of The Glebe Institute, A Centre for Constructive and Collaborative Practice