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Bishop, B. (1989). Consuming Psychotherapy by Ann France. Published by Free Association Books 1988; 258 pp.; £27.50 hardback; £9.95 paperback.One to One by Rosemary Dinnage. Published by Viking 1988; 219 pp.; £12.95 hardback.. Brit. J. Psychother., 5(4):595-596.

(1989). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 5(4):595-596

Book Reviews

Consuming Psychotherapy by Ann France. Published by Free Association Books 1988; 258 pp.; £27.50 hardback; £9.95 paperback.One to One by Rosemary Dinnage. Published by Viking 1988; 219 pp.; £12.95 hardback.

Review by:
Bernardine Bishop

Both these books about psychotherapy are from the couch rather than from the chair. In both patients and former patients describe their experiences. In both what is being discussed purports to be analysis or analytical psychotherapy. Both are worrying, sad and enraging. Both say more for the patience of patients than the therapeutic qualities of therapy. Yet these books are also very different. Consuming Psychotherapy is by someone who in the course of her suffering and attempts to get better has done a lot of thinking and reading and offers well-argued and well-read conclusions about what therapists should and should not do. In One to One twenty people who have been in therapy tell their stories to Rosemary Dinnage. She has evidently aimed to get a cross-section of types and a fair representation of shades of failure and success - you don't feel she has an axe to grind- so this, like the other but in a different way, is an important and instructive book for readers of this Journal.

Ann France (a pseudonym if I ever met one), a university lecturer in modern literature and author of several books in her own field, became a patient three times and now assesses her experiences. Did each or any therapy help? If so, how? If not, why not? Would things have been as bad without therapy? Worse still? Her three years with Sybil were ‘relatively straightforward and untraumatic’. There were ‘positive albeit nebulous gains’. With Harriet things went very differently.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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