Constructive Psychotherapy

Theory and Practice

Michael J. Mahoney

Paperback
Paperback
October 20, 2005
ISBN 9781593852344
Price: $36.00 $30.60
302 Pages
Size: 6" x 9"
Copyright Date: 2003
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An invaluable teaching text and clinical resource, this is a book about how to do psychotherapy—how to apply the science of change to the complexities of helping people develop new meanings in their lives. Explaining constructivist principles and illuminating what a skilled clinician actually does in day-to-day practice, Michael J. Mahoney shows how to nurture the therapeutic relationship while implementing such creative interventions as centering techniques, problem solving, pattern work, meditation and embodiment exercises, drama and dream work, and spiritual exploration. Appendices feature reproducible client forms, handouts, and other useful materials.

“As I was in the midst of redesigning a course on theories of human change processes and clinical practice, it was serendipitous that I would receive a request to review [this book]....Constructive Psychotherapy is not only useful but offers so much more than a practical guide....[It] is a book that professors from a variety of disciplines, practicing psychologists, social workers, family therapists, and child and youth care practitioners can use in their classrooms and their offices.”

Journal of Constructivist Psychology


“Social work is a profession that puts compassion front and center; we're trained and encouraged to use both our hearts and our heads to help our clients. Michael Mahoney's Constructive Psychotherapy will go a long way to help us with our work. A constructivist approach views humans as empowered, as doing the best we can—to solve problems and make decisions as we strive to live our lives successfully—given what we know about ourselves and the world. What I like so much about this approach, and this book, is its ability to strengthen these qualities in our clients even as we encourage them to make crucial changes in their lives. Through its thoughtfulness and numerous examples of cases and techniques, this book is truly a practical guide to using a constructivist approach.”

—Aaron M. Brower, PhD, School of Social Work and Integrated Liberal Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison


“Michael Mahoney has long been a powerful voice in bringing a constructivist sensibility to the practice of psychotherapy. Constructive Psychotherapy cogently summarizes the theoretical underpinnings of this clinical approach and outlines a set of specific guidelines for constructive psychotherapy. Clinical vignettes amply illustrate the application of constructivist principles aimed at transforming emotional experiencing within the therapeutic bond. Masterfully written, the book will be an invaluable text for students of psychotherapy and will also provide a breath of fresh air to all practitioners wishing to enrich and humanize their therapeutic practice.”

—Robert D. Stolorow, PhD, coauthor of Worlds of Experience


“This beautifully written book contains the accumulated wisdom of an extremely thoughtful psychotherapy pioneer. I assume that Mahoney calls it constructive psychotherapy because to call it what it really is would be less catchy: a creative integration of narrative, cognitive, behavioral, experiential, body, and movement therapies with ancient wisdom traditions. Whether you consider yourself a constructivist or don't know what one is, you will find in these pages a multitude of useful ideas and techniques embedded in a philosophy of compassion and respect for clients, and you will enjoy reading it. It's truly a 'work of heart.'”

—Richard C. Schwartz, PhD, The Center for Self Leadership, Oak Park, IL


“This thoughtful volume offers the definitive exposition of constructivist psychotherapy. Michael Mahoney provides a treasure trove of insights that are both theoretically provocative and clinically illuminating.”

—Albert Bandura, PhD, Department of Psychology, Stanford University


“Dr. Michael Mahoney, one of the world's foremost authorities on human change processes, has put a lifetime of wisdom into this major publication. This is a superb how-to manual for therapists interested in leading-edge, innovative, and integrative clinical approaches. Mahoney's book is not just the best available account of constructive psychotherapy, but one of the best books I've read on psychotherapy, period.”

—Ken Wilber, author of Integral Psychology


“In a remarkably concise and coherent fashion, Mahoney weaves together a multitude of the richest sources of thinking about the human condition. He integrates ancient and contemporary views and bridges diverse theories and disciplines. His approach to the body in psychotherapy is truly revolutionary. This book is an instant classic. It will influence future developments in psychotherapy theory, research, and practice.”

—Giampiero Arciero, MD, PhD, University of Siena, Italy

Table of Contents

1. Constructivism: A Brief Introduction

2. Constructive Psychotherapy: An Overview of Practice

3. Constructive Assessment

4. Basic Centering Techniques

5. Problem Solving: Basic Behavioral and Cognitive Techniques

6. Pattern Work

7. Basic Process Work: Meditation and Embodiment

8. Drama, Fantasy, Dream Work, and Stream of Consciousness

9. Self-Relationship and Spiritual Skills

10. The Experience of Change

11. Being Human and a Therapist

Appendices:

A. Constructivism: History and Current Relevance

B. Consent Form

C. Personal Experience Report

D. Breathing Exercises

E. Body Balance Exercises

F. Relaxation

G. Mindfulness Meditatio

H. Mirror Time

I. Kindly Self-Control

J. Self-Comforting Exercise

K. Spiritual Skills Exercises

L. Human Change Processes: A Synopsis

M. Recommendations for Therapist Self-Care

N. Recommendations for Constructive Practice


About the Author

Michael J. Mahoney, PhD, until his death in 2006, was Professor of Holistic Counseling at Salve Regina University in Newport, Rhode Island, and Distinguished Consulting Faculty at Saybrook Graduate School and Research Center in San Francisco. Honored as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the World Academy of Art and Science, the American Psychological Association, and the American Psychological Society, Dr. Mahoney served as Executive Director of the Society for Constructivism in the Human Sciences.

Course Use

Serves as a primary or supplemental text in graduate-level clinical practice and psychotherapy courses.