Friday, November 2, 2012

A Fabulous New Textbook: Wisdom and Compassion in Psychotherapy

Christopher K. Germer and Ron S. Siegel have outdone themselves with their second, decisive textbook on Mindfulness and Psychotherapy.  This book is an antidote to the saturation of "McMindfulness" books that have unfortunately populated the psychotherapy marketplace since publication of their first seminal textbook in 2005. By choosing to focus on the cultivation of compassion and wisdom—the two wings of enlightenment—they have relegated mindfulness back to its rightful place as a tool for cultivating these qualities rather than an end in itself. This allows their book to successfully elucidate the “deepening in” that has been so needed on the clinical use of mindfulness.

The beauty of this book is it features excellent chapters written by the crème de la crème clinicians and researchers who have long been involved in studying neuroscience of meditation and/or delivery of mindfulness and heartfulness interventions in mental health settings. Many of the contributors are IMP faculty, most are serious, longtime meditation practitioners, and there are even a few dharma teachers. The style of the book is largely secular and focused on offering information with a plethora of citations on the latest research. As in their first book clinical interventions are offered for patients and clinicians, and there is a wonderful chapter on cultivating wisdom through ethical conduct targeted specifically for psychotherapists. I was happy to see the inclusion of chapters on trauma, substance use disorders, and relationships, along with the usual topics of depression, anxiety and personality disorders. Bravo!

1 comment:

Ji Hyang said...

Thank you for pointing this out--
will be sure to recommend it to my friends and colleagues.