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Spiritual Emergency/Emergence/Counseling
Record Type: Review   ID: 288

Transpersonal Psychotherapy (2nd ed.)

Boorstein, Seymour (Ed.).

 This revision of an important book is far more relevant now than when the earlier edition appeared because of increased awareness and demand for information on transpersonal forms of therapy and transpersonal concepts that can be used in any form of therapy. The first edition was a groundbreaking work, and 17 of the 26 chapters have been retained and some revised. The chapters that had to be omitted to make room for the new approaches are now represented in the literature by several books: Gestalt therapy, EST, meditation, body approaches, and the dream workshops of Montague Ullman. However, I regret that the chapter on "metaphor as experience" and Ehrenwald’s paper on the "existential shift" have gone. Charles Garfield’s chapter on dying patients and their conceptions of life after death has been replaced by Charles Tart’s "Helping the Dying." Boorstein points out that the new chapters for the most part emerged "from Hindu, Buddhist, Christian, Jewish, and shamanic traditions" (p. xii). Some chapters that have been retained, such as those of Walsh and Vaughan and Stanislav Grof have been revised. The new chapters are Edward Hoffman’s "An Introduction to Kabbalistic Psychotherapy," Boorstein’s "Clinical Applications of Transpersonal Psychology," Stephen Schoen’s "Gestalt Therapy and Buddhist Teachings," W. Michael Kane and Stephen Cope’s "When the Therapist is a Yogi," Sylvia Boorstein’s "Potential and Limitations of Psychological and Spiritual Insight," John E. Nelson’s "Madness or Transcendence," Boorstein’s "Relationship Psychotherapy: Lessons From the Spiritual Traditions," Roger Woolger’s "Past-Life Regression Therapy," Donald Evans’ "A Shamanic Christian Approach to Psychotherapy," Stanislav Grof’s "Healing Potential of Non-Ordinary States of Consciousness" (psychedelic therapy and holotropic breath work), and Boorstein’s "Anger and the Fear of Death." It is not clear whether the bibliography contains only references cited in the text or has additional citations of relevance. It is clear that although new citations from new chapters were added to the old bibliography, it is unchanged because citations from the omitted chapters are still listed in the bibliography. Unaccountably most of the items cited are from the 1970s or earlier. In addition to covering the older literature, a supplementary list of articles and books should have been added covering the now quite large literature on transpersonal forms of therapy or concepts relevant to it. Then, indeed, this would be the guide to transpersonal psychotherapy. Even without it, is the best book available. Many of the chapters deal in part with EHEs and what, in effect, is the EHE process.
Publisher Information:Albany: State University of New York Press, 1996. 587p. Bibl: 545-571; Contributors: 573-578; Index: 579-587
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