Intimacy, Change, and Other Therapeutic Mysteries

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Published by: The Guilford Press
Release Date: September 7, 2004
Pages: 208
ISBN13: 978-1593850746

Stories of Clinicians and Clients


This unique collection of short fiction takes the reader on an engrossing journey beyond the terrain of the clinical text or case study. In skillfully crafted, richly nuanced stories, noted therapists and author David Treadway not only explores the ways in which therapy addresses client problems, but also illuminates the impact of clinical work on the therapist, how what happens in sessions spills over into the personal lives of both parties, and how we can understand the myriad, often unpredictable ways in which change occurs over time. Delving into vital personal, professional, and ethical issues that are often neglected in clinical training -- and offering insights to stimulate further thinking and discussion -- the volume is both deeply instructive and a pleasure to read.

Genuine and true to life, each story takes therapists and students into the types of complex situations they are likely to face in day-to-day practice. Treadway also ventures outside the therapy room to show the lives of clients and therapists unfolding side by side, and to highlight moments or circumstances that are turning points for different individuals. Themes addressed include burnout; Therapeutic mistakes balancing a practice with one's own family life, client suicide; and relationships between therapists and clients, appropriate as well as inappropriate. Some of the characters in these evocative stories are revisited over time, providing a window into processes of clinical change and growth, yet each story can also stand on its own. Reader-friendly features include a prologue and epilogue that reflect on the nature of the therapeutic endeavor, as well as thought-provoking questions at the end of each story, a study/discussion guide and suggestions for further reading.

Written with empathy and wisdom, this volume is a rewarding resource for psychotherapists from a range of backgrounds, including clinical psychologists, clinical social workers, couple and family therapists, and psychiatrists. It is also an invaluable tool for professional workshops or graduate training programs.


"I got completely caught up in David Treadway's vivid and compassionate ways of capturing the human spirit in, and, sometimes, despite therapy. Treadway's wonderful stories will do more to stimulate great discussion about our shared professional calling than any treatment manual ever could."
-Alan S. Gurman, Ph.D Department of Psychiatry, University of Wisconsin Medical School

"This is a wonderful book. It is a set of simple stories and questions that invite readers to reflect on these stories, and on themselves. It is a compelling journey into the dilemmas and complexities of being both a therapist and a client. Taking readers by the hand, the book leads them into the ambiguities and struggles of people caught up in the dance called psychotherapy. Eminently readable, and full of wisdom and compassion, these stories offer perspectives on the challenges of being a therapist that will be invaluable to beginning therapists and graduate students, as well as to seasoned clinicians."
-Susan M. Johnson EdD. School of Psychology, University of Ottawa, Canada,
and Ottawa Couple and Family Institute

"If you've had your fill of professional texts that read like a driver's manual, then this book is for you. The everyday drama, joys, and complexities of people's lives are illuminated in Treadway's stories of clients and therapists. Like the unfolding texts of our own lives, many of these stories let us see the characters over extended periods of time, offering a kind of historical sampling that deepens and enriches the experience of the reader."
-Jay Lappin, MSW,LCSW, Director of Family therapy, CENTRA, Marlton, New Jersey