Reviewer: Christopher J Graver, PhD, ABPP-CN(Madigan Healthcare System)
Description: As the title suggests, this book addresses common myths and taboos among psychologists and other therapists through the use of case examples and thought provoking questions.
Purpose: The purpose is to expose seldom discussed taboos and uncomfortable topics in the hopes of enlightening therapists and trainees regarding important issues that are critical to clinical practice.
Audience: The book is written by well known authorities in clinical practice and ethics. It is mainly intended for individuals who provide psychotherapy, whether they are psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, or marriage and family counselors. Some of the overarching lessons included in this book also would be appropriate for anyone involved in patient care.
Features: This is a reader-oriented book with clear delineation of chapter topics and subheadings within each topic. There is a logical progression of issues throughout the book, yet any chapter can be read in isolation without losing important information. The use of case examples is helpful, as always, but the challenging self-study questions that accompany the cases are a real strength of the book. In addition, there is an entire chapter devoted to commonly avoided questions that make for a useful self-assessment and would provide ample opportunity for discussion in group settings. Finally, the appendix includes research findings regarding the characteristics and frequency of certain taboo behaviors among therapists, thus normalizing some of these exigent issues.
Assessment: The fact that the authors are willing to tackle these uncomfortable topics in an insightful, tactful, and stimulating manner makes this book well worth reading. This second edition expands the focus from therapist-client sexual relationships to include many other professional topics. It would not be out of place in a training program's ethics course and the use of it in continuing education, even for experienced therapists, would be well considered.