The Couch and the Stage: Integrating Words and Action in Psychotherapy — Robert J. Landy

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The Couch and the Stage: Integrating Words and Action in Psychotherapy
Robert J. Landy

Editorial Reviews
Review
Robert Landy has written a gripping and scholarly book that highlights the importance of re-engaging the imagination and replacing helpless paralysis with effective action in order to resolve people’s traumatic past. Since trauma causes people to feel deserted by god and man, engaging with others in play, improvisation, and rhythmical activities, and activating the mirror neurons in the brain, helps them re-establish a sense of synchronicity and human connection, new possibilities, and the transformation of traumatic experiences. (Bessel A. van der Kolk, M.D. )

Robert Landy’s brilliant new book provides an extraordinary and needed service to the fields of psychology, psychotherapy and the arts. His insights illuminate distinctions we have not seen before, trace paths that re-order our grasp of the past, and point to the evolution of trends that suggest a more creative and healthy future. This is a book you will re-read and quote; I already have done both. (Eric Booth )

Robert Landy’s latest contribution to action psychotherapies is an excellent critical introduction to dramatic and action therapies. Through historical analysis, theoretical discussion, and analysis of clinical practice, Landy demonstrates how creativity, spontaneity, and dramatic therapies constitute an integrative and holistic resource for psychological healing. Clinical case material and assessment resources as well as detailed applications of role method, psychodrama, and developmental transformations with a single client support his theoretical argument for a confluence between contemporary therapeutic healing and shamanism; between dramatic therapies and classic psychoanalysis. This is a must-read not only for therapists but for community activists, advocates, and health or development workers accompanying survivors of economic and political trauma. Landy’s discussion of dramatic and action therapies in clinical work with individuals are deeply suggestive of how an exploration of the past through creativity, spontaneity, and dramatic play in the present can serve as critical resources towards the collective construction of a better future and social transformation. (M. Brinton Lykes, Ph.D. )

This book is a monumental intellectual achievement destined to become a classic. Landy’s cogent and insightful rendering of the roots of action therapies alone provides a rich background study of this important and often poorly understood field. But Landy goes further, placing his own rich contributions to the field within this historic context. The reader is left with valuable tools with which to integrate an understanding of the strengths of the various action therapies and the significant role they play in serving the therapeutic community. The solid intellectual heritage of the field is explored in depth while opening possibilities to the reader for future innovation. A true tour de force, The Couch and the Stage will serve as a foundational guide to students and professionals in the action therapies, psychodynamic, constructivist and cognitive-behavioral therapies for years to come. (John Woodall, M.D. )

Let’s hear your story. More than that, let’s act it out. How the result can be so profoundly healing is explained in this superb guide to the action therapies. (Jonathan Fox )

From the Publisher
Special Features:

This is the first attempt to provide an historical overview of the action psychotherapies, beginning in traditional shamanism and early psychoanalysis. This book: –provides a rationale for a holistic and creative approach to psychotherapy. –explores how magic, science and art contribute to the development of psychotherapy. –argues for an inclusion of dramatic action within the mainstream of psychotherapy. –revisits the classical 1965 film, Three Approaches to Psychotherapy, adding a new perspective through the lens of the action psychotherapies. –calls for the integration of words and action in psychotherapy. –revisits the contributions of such lesser-known psychoanalysts as Otto Rank and Sandor Ferenczi, placing their work within the context of action psychotherapy. –provides a neuroscientific rationale for treating such disorders as trauma and post-traumatic stress through drama therapy and psychodrama. –views the fields of drama therapy and psychodrama as based in common sources, concepts, theory and practices. –explains why the metaphor of world as stage and life as drama has proven to be so resilient in the field of psychotherapy.

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