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Review Essays of Academic, Professional & Technical Books in the Humanities & Sciences


see Vikor Frankl, Psychotherapy, Carl Jung, psychological theory

Body-Mind Psychotherapy: Principles, Techniques, and Practical Applications by Susan Aposhyan (W. W. Norton & Company) An alternative therapy bringing both emotional and physical processes into the therapeutic process.

Body-Mind psychotherapy takes the basic tools of mind-body integration (such as body awareness, breath, touch, and movement) and joins them with an awareness of emotional development. The key techniques of this somatic approach are presented. Any therapist interested in alternative methods of practice will benefit from the skills and techniques presented here.

Aposhyan developed BMP, which integrates somatic techniques into the basic framework of psychotherapy, and has been teaching it to psychotherapists for two decades. She has found that many of therapists are concerned about boundary violations and the confusing use of touch, so here she presents them as a simple and safe approach that does not rely on touch, but is fundamentally about somatic awareness and body-mind integration.

Philosophy, Psychology, and Psychologism: Critical and Historical Readings on the Psychological Turn in Philosophy edited by Dale Jacquette (Kluwer Academic) presents a remarkable diversity of contemporary opinions on the prospects of addressing philosophical topics from a psychological perspective. It considers the history and philosophical merits of psychologism, and looks systematically at psychologism in phenomenology, cognitive science, epistemology, logic, philosophy of language, philosophical semantics, and artificial intelligence. It juxtaposes many different philosophical standpoints, each supported by rigorous philosophical argument. Philosophy, Psychology, and Psychologism is intended for professionals in the fields indicated, advanced undergraduate and graduate students in related areas of study, and interested lay readers.

Among the dichotomies that have divided philosophers, the rift between psychologism and antipsychologism represents some of the most heated metaphilosophical debate. The problem of whether and in what sense logic, mathematics, philosophical semantics, epistemology, and metaphysics are explanatorily related to psychology has been a fundamental watershed in the contemporary philosophy.

The battlelines between psychologism and antipsychologism were first drawn in the mid-nineteenth-century. If logic, to take a conspicuous example, studies patterns of inference from thoughts to thoughts, then it has appeared to some theorists that logic is a branch of psychology that can best be understood in terms of the most advanced psychological science. Against this psychologistic view of logic, antipsychologistic opponents have argued that logic is not a descriptive theory of how we actually think, but a prescriptive account of how ideally we ought to think. Logic on this conception is independent of the empirical facts of psychology. The inherently subjective nature of thought content appears diametrically opposed to the objectivity of the eternal truths of logic, and of philosophy of language and mathematics. To preserve the objectivity required of a rational a priori rather than empirical a posteriori science, antipsychologists have rejected the idea that philosophy is grounded in even the most rigorously scientific psychology.

The psychologism-antipsychologism dispute can thus be interpreted as a deeper controversy about how philosophy can best be made scientific. There are two conflicting desiderata of science that provide a basis for the opposition between psychologism and antipsychologism. Science wants both to be objective and dependent on empirical facts. In physics, chemistry, biology, astronomy, and the other hard sciences, there is no collision of these values. It is peculiarly in the case of psychology, where the empirical facts of psychological experience have at least traditionally been regarded as essentially subjective, that a division has emerged between two opposed ways of trying to make logic and other philosophical subdisciplines (broadly, according to one ideology or another) `scientific'. The comparatively late development of psychology as a science as well as the subjectivity of psychological phenomena can be seen in this light as partly responsible for the dialectical confrontation between psychologism and antipsychologism. The two categories signify the legitimate but incompatible interests of these fundamentally irreconcilable requirements for a scientific psychology.

If one could arrive at a satisfactory metaphysics of mind, then the apparently insurmountable impasse between psychologism and antipsychologism might simply disappear. Instead, one finds only further manifestations of these two different ways of thinking about the empirical facts of subjective psychological occurrences reflected also in the philosophy of mind. Here they appear in longstanding oppositions between phenomenology and cognitive science, or between nonreductive intentionalist substance or property mind-body dualisms and eliminative or reductive behaviorism, materialism, functionalism, or computationalism in the cognitive psychological sciences.

The disagreement over scientific ideals for psychology might be expected to fuel an inexhaustible dialectic between psychologism and antipsychologism. Such an interaction could provide the basis for a healthy and fruitful exchange in which competition from opposing sides could be harnassed for the sharpening of distinctions and refinement of arguments. To a limited extent, the opposition has continued and remains alive and well in the form of conflicts between realism and intuitionism or conceptualism, and between proponents and opponents of the program to naturalize or scientifically psychologize some of the traditionally nonpsychological philosophical disciplines like epistemology and metaphysics. In most ways, however, the psychologism-antipsychologism dispute has not exhibited this type of productive dialectical synergy. The rhetoric surrounding especially antipsychologistic philosophical discussions is revealing for its extraordinary degree of animus; it suggests the perception of a very ingrained division in outlook that cannot be overcome by a consideration of arguments with shared presuppositions, but that is directed polemically out of desperation at the presuppositions themselves.

Psychologism has largely withered away under the criticism of historically influential antipsychologists. The objections have appeared both from within analytic and in the continental schools of philosophy. Among analytic philosophers, the most strident assault on psychologism originates principally with Gottlob Frege and his many followers, including Bertrand Russell, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Rudolf Carnap, and others; while in the nonanalytic European tradition, Edmund Husserl and Martin Heidegger are perhaps the most noteworthy ostensible antipsychologists. The friends of psychologism, whether or not they would be willing to identify themselves as such, have continued the struggle under a variety of different banners, which is itself an important feature of the rhetoric of psychologism and antipsychologism.

To consider these problems, Jacquette invited a slate of distinguished scholars to present their perspectives on the history, philosophy, and rhetoric of psychologism. The papers with some overlap are presented roughly in historical sequence, by which the reader can trace certain themes through the development of the most significant episodes of the psychologismantipsychologism debate. The present collection of essays draws on three distinct sources of recent discussion of the philosophical problems of psychologism. The papers by Rolf George, Carl Posy, J.N. Mohanty, Joseph Margolis, and Jacquettes Introduction were first published in a special issue of the journal Philosophy & Rhetoric, which Jacquette guest-edited in 1997. Earlier versions of the essays by Michael Jubien, John H. Dreher, and Jacquette were presented as feature contributions to an invited symposium on 'Psychologism: The Current State of the Debate at the American Philosophical Association, Pacific Division, Albuquerque, NM, April 5-8, 2000. Finally, the essays by Werner Stelzner, Martin Kusch, Vincent Colapietro, Michael Bradie, Paul A. Roth, and Selmer Bringsjord and Yingrui Yang were specially commissioned for inclusion in this volume. Altogether, the expositions of critical and historical dimensions of psychologism offer a detailed picture of recent thinking about the problems and opportunities for philosophical understanding posed by various proposals for taking a psychological turn in philosophy. Philosophy, Psychology, and Psychologism represents vigorous survey of the best arguments for and against the issues involved in a critical philosophy of mind.

Perfectionism: Theory, Research, and Treatment by Gordon L. Flett, Paul L. Hewitt, PhD (American Psychological Association) A strong case can be made for the claim that perfectionism is endemic to Western culture. Popular phrases such as "No one is perfect" and "Learn from your mistakes" reflect the attention paid to trying to be as perfect as possible and to keep flaws and shortcomings to a minimum. Some authors have even suggested that everyone wants to be perfect. Was Alfred Adler (1956) correct when he suggested that the striving for perfection is a basic part of the human response to feelings of inadequacy and inferiority?

To our knowledge, this book represents the first attempt to integrate contemporary theory and research on the nature of perfectionism. It presents the work of many of the leading investigators in the field in one volume. The authors have reported some of this work in previous book chapters and journal articles, but this volume also includes extensive descriptions of newer work, including some studies that are described in print for the first time.

Our empirical work has been guided by concerns about the debilitating nature of perfectionism, and most of the offerings in this volume focus on perfectionism as maladaptive. Some authors have expressed concern that current research in this field does not place enough emphasis on the positive aspects of perfectionism and that a focus on perfectionism and psychopathology promotes a negative view of perfectionism. Perhaps the most vexing question in this area involves how to understand highly talented perfectionists who have attributes that are seemingly adaptive yet who come to experience significant impairment and find themselves in dire need of assistance. Just how does perfectionism as a core aspect of personality come to be associated with distress, both for individual perfectionists and for their family members? Several contributors to this volume address this issue, either directly or indirectly, by identifying factors that are associated consistently with maladaptive forms of perfectionism.

Over the years we have been interviewed by members of the media, and they continue to ask some basic questions that have yet to be addressed by perfectionism researchers. In the current volume, answers are not forthcoming to such questions as, To what extent is perfectionism a part of daily life? Are there cultural differences in perfectionism? Do people become more or less perfectionistic as they get older? Do women and men differ in the salience and importance attached to perfectionism? The dearth of information on those key issues underscores that much work remains to be done in this area. At the same time, we can take some solace from the many issues and questions that are addressed at length in this book. Those questions include, How is perfectionism assessed and conceptualized? How does perfectionism develop? What is the role of emotion in perfectionism? When is perfectionism irrational? Which aspects of perfectionism are adaptive and under what circumstances? How is perfectionism linked to stress? Why are perfectionists anxious? What interpersonal problems are associated with perfectionism?

Our primary goal for this book is to provide a source that will be useful for readers who are interested in contemporary research developments as well as for readers who seek insights that can be used to decrease levels of perfectionism among people they encounter in applied settings. Thus, the book is clearly geared toward clinicians and counselors who encounter distressed perfectionists on a regular basis. It is also aimed at educators who are concerned about perfectionistic students. Although no extensive research has been conducted on perfectionism from a treatment perspective, this volume includes theoretical insights and some empirical research about the difficulties associated with treating perfectionists. A focus on treatment reflects the growing need for basic information about how to help distressed perfectionists.

We are pleased that virtually all the authors whom we contacted accepted our invitation to contribute a chapter to this book. The various contributors may differ in their conceptualizations of the nature of perfectionism, but they share a common recognition of the importance and significance of research and theory on the perfectionism construct.

This book is divided into four parts. The first part serves as an introduction to some basic themes in the perfectionism field, beginning with chapter 1, in which we provide an overview of definitional issues, conceptual issues, and treatment considerations. In chapter 2, Murray W. Enns and Brian J. Cox provide a description and critical assessment of existing perfectionism measures. Enns and Cox provide a balanced account of those measures and point to areas for further investigation. Chapter 3, by Robert B. Slaney, Kenneth G. Rice, and Jeffrey S. Ashby, adds to this focus on assessment by providing a description of the development, structure, and research applications of the Almost Perfect Scale. The inclusion of a discrepancy component is an intriguing aspect of this measure; the role of discrepancies in perfectionism is important at both the applied and theoretical levels.

In chapter 4, we and our colleagues Joan M. Oliver and Silvana Macdonald provide an extended analysis of factors that contribute to the development of perfectionism and associated problems in parental stress. We also outline an initial model of the development of perfectionism, one that is based on the notion that numerous factors beyond those related to parental attributes contribute to the development of perfectionism. Chapter 5, by Wayne D. Parker, adds to the developmental focus of this segment of the book by providing an overview of his research on the nature and correlates of perfectionism in gifted children. Parker's research compares and contrasts the aspects of adaptive versus maladaptive perfectionism and shows that only a subset of gifted children are characterized by maladaptive perfectionism.

The second part of this book examines the role of social, motivational, emotional, and cognitive factors in perfectionism. It broadens the analysis of perfectionism by assessing the key correlates and processes that underscore this personality construct. In chapter 6, A. Marie Habke shows the relevance of perfectionism in relationship problems and the potential difficulties associated with perfectionistic self‑presentation. In chapter 7, Jennifer D. Campbell and Adam Di Paula illustrate the potential usefulness of examining specific facets of perfectionism and provide some much‑needed data on the link between perfectionism and motivational constructs. In chapter 8, June Price Tangney discusses the link between perfectionism and self‑conscious emotions; she focuses on the role of shame in social forms of perfectionism. In chapter 9, Albert Ellis provides his unique reflections on the link between irrational beliefs and perfectionism. He includes an expanded account of some specific processes that are involved in irrational beliefs and perfectionism and associated treatment implications. As Ellis notes, his chapter represents his most detailed assessment of the link between perfectionism and irrational beliefs. The focus on cognitive factors is elaborated further in chapter 10, in which Gary P. Brown and Aaron T. Beck provide an updated account of the role of dysfunctional attitudes and perfectionism in depression, supplementing Beck's classic work in this area.

The third part of the book focuses primarily on the important association between perfectionism and life stress and how the two combine to produce adjustment difficulties. In chapter 11, we provide an extended analysis of the role of stress processes in an attempt to identify the specific mechanisms involved in the association between perfectionism and various forms of maladjustment; our particular focus is on stress and depression. A key aspect of our proposed model is the link between perfectionism and stress generation. The association between perfectionism and stress is further evaluated in chapter 12, in which Kirk R. Blankstein and David M. Dunkley assess the role of coping, stress, and social support as mediating and moderating factors in the association between perfectionism and distress.

The final part of this book focuses on perfectionism as it relates to clinical disorders in the therapeutic context. This segment begins in chapter 13, in which Elliot M. Goldner, Sarah J. Cockell, and Suja Srikameswaran provide a cogent summary of the voluminous literature on perfectionism and eating disorders, followed by an initial model of the role of various dimensions in perfectionism. In chapter 14, Randy O. Frost and Patricia Martin DiBartolo provide an insightful analysis of the role of various dimensions of perfectionism in anxiety and obsessive‑compulsive disorder and associated traits. Next, Lynn E. Alden, Andrew G. Ryder, and Tanna M. B. Mellings summarize the role of perfectionism in social fears and advance their two‑factor theory of perfectionism and social anxiety in chapter 15. Finally, in chapter 16, Sidney J. Blatt and David C. Zuroff conclude the volume by discussing issues involved in the treatment of perfectionism and their innovative empirical research in this area.

The Dictionary of Psychology by Raymond J. Corsini (Brunner/Routledge) With more than three times as many defined entries, biographies, illustrations, and appendices than any other dictionary of psychology ever printed in the English language, The Dictionary of Psychology is a landmark resource. The most comprehensive, up-to-date reference of its kind, the Dictionary also maintains a user-friendly format throughout. This combination ensures that it will serve as the definitive work for years to come. With a clear and functional design and written in a highly readable style, the Dictionary offers over 30,000 entries (including interdisciplinary terms and contemporary slang), more than 125 illustrations, as well as extensive cross-referencing of entries. It has about 100 consulting editors.

This work is a excellent source of practical definitions for practicing psychologists and will be welcome for its utility and breath, if not for its analytical depth.

Contents: About The Author How to Use This Dictionary Preface Consulting Editors The Entries, A through Z Appendix A Prefixes, Suffixes, Affixes Appendix B DSM-IV Terms Appendix C The Greek Alphabet Appendix D Medical Prescription Terms Appendix E Systems of Treatment Appendix F Measuring Instruments Appendix G Symbols Appendix H Learning Theory Symbols Appendix I Rorschach Descriptors Appendix J Biographies

A WOMAN’S BOOK OF LIFE: The Biology, Psychology, and Spirituality of the Feminine Life Cycle by Joan Borysenko ($24.95, hardcover, 304, resources, notes, index, Riverhead Books, 1-57322-043-4)

Popular science has told us that there are four basic stages of life—childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and old age—and these stages are, for the most part, the same for men and women. Joan Borysenko, Ph.D., a medical scientist and psychologist, challenges this concept. She believes the feminine life cycle is a unique experience, not just a deficient version of the male lifecycle. This groundbreaking look at the female life cycle is explored in Borysenko’s new book A WOMAN’S BOOK OF LIFE. Renowned for charting new territory in mind/body science at Harvard Medical School, Borysenko, author of Minding the Body. Mending the Mind further delves into the interconnected loop of feminine biology, psychology and spirituality in A WOMAN’S BOOK OF LIFE. Women go through obvious physical changes during their lives but until now no one has seriously studied the psychological and spiritual effects these changes have on women.

Using a holistic approach, Borysenko examines many specific aspects of a woman lifecycle, such as the biology behind why women are attracted to certain people (and how this can affect women’s judgment in selecting a mate); the sociobiological factors behind divorce; and the psychospiritual opportunities behind hot flashes. These experiences. as well as many others, serve a powerful keys to unlocking a woman’s potential.

In a society that places little value on women as they grow older, Borysenko shows us the unique gifts of female maturation. "Older women are supposed to fade graciously — or gloomily — into the woodwork," Borysenko writes. "Yet, as studies demonstrate, the truth is that women continue to develop their strengths and actually bloom, rather than fade with the advent of mid-life." Through Borysenko’s insight, one learns how to embrace and celebrate life’s changes.

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