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A review from issue 72 of Breathe:
by Joy Manné
North Atlantic Books. US$ 13.95
(available through Airlift and Watkins in the UK)
This book could just as easily be called Common Sense Therapy, Therapy
from the Heart, A Guide to Good Quality Therapy or something similar.
Being privileged enough to have read the manuscript before the book
was published, I know that at some stage the working title actually
was something like "the discerning person's guide to good therapy".
This is exactly what this book is all about. In her, as always, very
crisp and clear language, Joy goes through the many aspects of the client
- therapist relationship and brings to the reader's attention the many
pitfalls and weaknesses in conventional psychotherapy and therapy from
the head or ego rather than from the heart and soul. To differentiate
the conventional or ego-oriented therapy from what she regards as good
and healthy therapy, she has invented the term "Soul Therapy".
I could give a very thorough description of what the book covers, but
I am not sure this is necessary. Instead I will give an example, a flavour
of how the book is written, that will speak very clearly for itself.
This is how Joy describes Soul Therapy Skills: " On the Soul Quest,
we are all teachers, we are all therapists, we are all students, we
are all clients. We all have something to teach: it may be as simple
as sharing our knowledge or giving useful information; it may be a special
insight or observation; it may be sharing an important experience. We
all have something healing to offer: it may be as very simple as common
sense or practical advice; it may be a period of quiet and receptive
listening. We are always learning, wherever we are on our Soul Path."
In my view this quote gives a very good picture of the humble, loving
and wise description of true healing - a situation where all involved
are there for a reason, all give and take on equal terms, even if the
situation may seem one-sided at first glance.
Joy describes her book as a "cookbook" for those who want
to become "Master-chefs" or "Alchemists". I would
say that the book is a must to read for anyone who is a therapist or
wants to become one. To be a therapist means to be on a constant path
of personal development. Unfortunately it is a road with many pitfalls
and wrong turns. A good therapist needs all the guidance and support
s/he can get and as a guide book Soul Therapy is as useful and indispensable
as an A-Z map-book.
Review by Gunnel Minett