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  • Cited by 15
Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
November 2009
Print publication year:
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Book description

The many different therapeutic models in use today can lead to blind spots in clinical practice. This important and timely book gives a balanced synthesis, based on actual cases, evidence, practice and experience, to describe the process of psychotherapy and identify the fundamental elements that lead to good outcome across all its schools. In the course of developing a consistently reliable, effective, practical psychotherapy, Digby Tantam pinpoints four essential principles: addressing the person's concerns; taking into account their values and personal morality; recognizing the role of emotions; and binding it all into a narrative treatment for symptom relief, resolution of predicaments, release from addiction or sexual problems, and finding happiness through intimacy. This book is essential reading for psychiatrists or clinical psychologists looking for a straightforward framework for short-term psychotherapy and anyone working long-term with patients using a psychotherapy model.


‘Tantam writes in a contemporary manner, peppering his work with case histories based on actual clients, as well as giving examples based on protagonists from novels and myths that memorably illustrate salient points. This lends it a gently ironic tone, which is a welcome change from ‘dry’ theory. Moreover it provides guidance on how to sensibly embark on more sophisticated interpretative techniques which would give confidence to even the most apprehensive trainee … In summary, I highly recommend this book for its non-intimidating style, portability and humanistic approach to both short-term and long-term therapy. I would consider it valuable reading for the current psychiatric syllabus.’


‘This in-depth and detailed book is very different than others in this field because of its unique focus …’.

Source: Doody's Notes

'Tantam incorporates all the major psychotherapeutic schools of thought in his framework. Although not sparing them criticism, he goes out of his way to do justice to their potential contributions … offers a valuable new integrative framework for the practising psychologist and may be regarded as essential supplementary reading to the postgraduate student.'

Source: South African Journal of Psychology

'Digby Tantam [] is ideally qualified to produce this book, which aims to 'describe the process of psychotherapy and identify the fundamental elements that lead to good outcome across all schools' … I would recommend this book if you are interested in a framework that adapts what works from evidence into a structured and practical approach. It achieves what it sets out to do, praise indeed given its scope and ambition.'

Source: Journal of Psychosomatic Research

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