A Review by Tim Brunson, PhD
Over the years mental health clinicians develop unique ideas and procedures, which the find to be extremely effective with their clients. For those who are always on the lookout for new methods Clinical Pearls of Wisdom: 21 Leading Therapists Offer Their Key Insights offers the reader a treasure chest of time-tested concepts. Immediately upon reading this anthology I felt that I had benefitted from the collective experience of many of the professions most competent practitioners. Edited by Michael Kerman, MSW, the founder of Leading Edge Seminars, this volume presents a concise series of chapters in which each therapist shares a few well-chosen pearls, a relevant case history, and a summary.
I was particularly impressed by the collection of contributing experts. Other than Carolyn Daitch, PhD, and Bill O'Hanlon, LMFT, two of my personal favorites for whom I have previously reviewed one or more books in the past, this work includes chapters by several highly respected clinicians, teachers, and authors in the fields of psychology, psychiatry, and therapy.
Clinical Pearls of Wisdom discusses the most frequently addressed presenting problems to include anxiety and depression, grief, working with couples, adolescents, and children, and trauma. Also, there was an excellent chapter on the therapist's attachment patterns by David Wallin, PhD, California clinical psychologist and author.
The main value that the reader gets out of this book is the opportunity to consider alternatives. Each of the authors' pearls represents a well thought out approach to the client's presenting issue. In every category you will find different approaches taken by experienced clinicians, who have developed their skills and refined their knowledge after very long history of working with clients. What particularly impressed me were the humility, humanity, and compassion shown by each of them.
Even though I must strongly recommend Clinical Pearls of Wisdom to mental health clinicians, it is also a book that would be appreciated by others in the healing profession. Indeed, there is a lot that anyone can learn from how these therapists manage helping relationships with their clients. Also, you will easily glean further understanding of the value of their professions and the problems faced by a large percentage of the people that all healers encounter.