Institute for Integrative Psychotherapy

Integrative Psychotherapy Books

English language books by Richard Erskine may be ordered from Karnac Books at

by Charles Bowman
Indianapolis Gestalt Institute

Beyond Empathy
A Therapy of Contact-In Relationship

Richard G. Erskine, PH.D., Janet Moursund, Ph.D., Rebecca Trautmann, M.S.W.
 Bruner/Mazel, 1999, 380 pages

Beyond Empathy might well be titled "Beyond Rogers, Perls, Kohut and Berne." In erudite, understandable and nontechnical language, the authors speak directly to the reader, weaving the best of the different schools of psychotherapy into three major tools of the trade: inquiry, involvement and attunement. This is accomplished through a writing style best described as parsimonious and elegant. Words flow from definition to description to example clearly. The transcripts and vignettes punctuate the theory and make 

Perhaps the field of psychotherapy is taking a path similar to much of American culture--moving from a position of overvaluing "rugged individualism" to one of appreciating the individual in relationship to his or her environment. This model of relational psychotherapy concerns itself with the whole field: the person's inner experience, the give and take of living in the world, and the therapeutic relationship itself. In the psychotherapy world of managed care, where "brief-is-better" and reductionist theories reign supreme, this approach, which actually values the self and the soul, is not typically welcome. However, even the most skeptical practitioner will find this book valuable as a tool for importing human loving and caring into the therapeutic relationship. The authors outline how to infuse these very human traits into the work in highly ethical and enlivening ways.

In short, the word that best describes this book is "useful." It should be required reading for any serious student of psychotherapy -- at a Master's or Doctoral level. Integrative Psychotherapy harvests the best from Psychoanalysis, Gestalt therapy, TA and other theories to create a method that highlights and respects the profound process of human change in a setting that is charged and lively for both therapist and client. To use on of the authors' own metaphors, they weave their theory and narrative like a Master Chef who combines Thai, French and American cuisine into a unique feast!

The Institute for Integrative Psychotherapy is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists, by the National Board of Certified Counselors for counselors and by the American Board of Examiners in Pastoral Counseling for pastoral counselors. The Institute for Integrative Psychotherapy maintains responsibility for this program and its content.