Forthcoming August 2013
Michael R. Edelstein, Ph.D., Richard K. Kujoth, Ed.D., and David Ramsay Steele, Ph.D
Psychotherapy is booming. More people are in therapy than ever before. Yet to most people, ‘therapy is therapy’. They have no idea of the vast differences between different schools of therapy.
There are hundreds of different kinds of psychotherapy. Two psychotherapists will give diametrically opposite advice in a similar situation—and a third will carefully refrain from giving any advice. People choosing a therapist, or referred to therapists by medical doctors, insurance companies, or courts, are usually completely unaware of the major differences among therapists.
Therapy Breakthrough is the first book to explain clearly what goes on in therapy, showing how different it can be from one therapist to another, according to the differing theories and differing methods of the different types of therapy.
Nearly all of the hundreds of types of therapy can be put into two big camps: Psychodynamic or PD therapy and Cognitive-Behavioral or CB therapy. PD therapists believe that emotional problems are caused by hidden forces in our unconscious minds, forces that cannot be observed directly and that resist being uncovered. CB therapists, by contrast, maintain that the roots of people’s emotional and behavioral disturbances can be identified by fairly simple direct questions, and these problems can then be tackled by straightforward techniques. PD therapy typically lacks any sense of direction and takes a long time—perhaps a lifetime—while CB therapy has usually accomplished its goals within a few forty-five minute sessions.
CB therapy has risen from being almost nonexistent in the 1950s to being the leading type of therapy today. This has been a revolution in psychotherapy, but most people, including those in therapy, have no idea what has been going on. The most famous real therapists (like David Burns, Wayne Dyer, or Phil McGraw) are all CB therapists, while the therapists portrayed in popular fiction or drama (like The Sopranos or Monk) are still nearly always PD therapists.
Therapy Breakthrough is written from the standpoint of CB therapy. It explains the differences among types of therapy, and shows their very different ways of tackling people’s problems. It argues, from psychological research, from philosophy, and from common sense, that PD therapy is founded on mistaken theories of the mind. It shows how you can be your own therapist, and apply CB methods directly to your own problems.
Michael R. Edelstein is a psychotherapist in San Francisco. He co-authored Stage Fright: 40 Stars Tell You How They Beat America’s #1 Fear (2009) and Three Minute Therapy: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life (1997).
Richard Kujoth is a psychotherapist in Urbana, Illinois.
David Ramsay Steele is author of Atheism Explained: From Folly to Philosophy (2008) and co-author of Three Minute Therapy: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life (1997).