Literature and Therapy: A Systemic View

Author(s) : Liz Burns

Literature and Therapy: A Systemic View

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Literature and Therapy: A Systemic View is an invitation to the world of literature, drawing us into the creative and imaginative spaces which lie between readers and their choice of novels, plays and poems. In this world, the fundamental importance of emotion and intuition is recognised, as is the power of literature to promote transformations of meaning in every day life and in therapeutic practice. Its potential to contribute depth and diversity to therapists' personal/professional development is explored via literary reflections and qualitative research findings. Liz Burns defines the terms literature and therapy broadly, emphasising their mutual relevance in contemporary and historical contexts, acknowledging the richness of literary resources and signposting accessible routes to their use in clinical practice. A systemic view, highlighting relationships, calls to the reader to explore both therapy and literature with fresh eyes, newly motivated thoughts and a lightening heart.

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'This is a stunning book! It brings into sharp relief the profound relevance of literature, in all its forms, for training, practice and continuing professional development in the psychological psychotherapies. Liz Burns has managed to illuminate the relationship between reflection in action and reflection on action in our therapeutic work, using literary metaphor as an explanatory vehicle. She has peppered the book with illustrative and helpful exercises, for trainers, trainees and practitioners. Her love and appreciation of how the literary speaks to all our experience shines throughout this book - read it!'
- Professor Arlene Vetere, Deputy Programme Director, Department of Psychology, University of Surrey

'Every therapist should read this book. It cannot help but open up rich areas of thought and reflection which will enhance the therapist's own personal and professional development as well as providing some extremely useful ideas for direct work with clients. The author's own clinical experience, theoretical understanding and love of literature shine through. The result is an exciting blend, a stimulating and joyful read and a book I wholeheartedly recommend to therapists at all levels of experience.'
- Judith Lask, Programme Leader, Family Therapy Courses, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London


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