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American Therapy: The Rise of Psychotherapy in the United States
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American Therapy: The Rise of Psychotherapy in the United States

3.2 of 5 stars 3.20  ·  rating details  ·  40 ratings  ·  13 reviews
From Freud to Zoloft, the first comprehensive history of American Psychotherapy

Fifty percent of Americans will undergo some form of psychotherapy in their lifetimes, but the origins of the field are rarely known to patients. Yet the story of psychotherapy in America brims with colorful characters, intriguing experimental treatments, and intense debates within this communi
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published October 30th 2008 by Gotham (first published 2008)
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I picked up this read in the dollar bin when Borders was going out of business several years ago, and had yet to actually read it now three long years into my doctoral training in clinical psychology. I am glad I have waited thus long to pick it up, as I can now appropriately critique it's value in the significance it places upon the different movements within the psychological community over the past 100+ years. First of all, I feel that this was generally a good historical overview of the rise ...more
Elevate Difference
American Therapy: The Rise of Psychotherapy in the United States reads like a well-written history text, well, because it is one. While perhaps not the best reading selection for a brain that is, like mine, in a state of pre-holiday scatter, the book provides an often fascinating account of the history of therapy in the United States, including not just key figures and movements within the field, but also the uniquely American characteristics that have influenced psychotherapy.

Engel, the author
mostly ok overview of the history of psychotherapy in the US by a historian of science. Clear, concise writing, good mix of research reviews and quotes from prominent individuals. My quibbles were:

1. The organizational structure is odd -- randomly mixes chapters on specific problems (e.g., alcohol abuse) with chapters on treatment approaches (rise and fall of psychoanalysis, rise of biological psychiatry) with professional/social trends (struggle for legitimacy as an independent profession for s
Fletcher Wortmann
I liked this just fine - a very basic rundown of the development of the field over the past century and a half. I do think the author's assumption that the decline of organized religion is responsible for the recent prominence of substance abuse is misguided, and I would have liked more information about the history of the American mental hospital, which is basically glossed over in favor of outpatient care. A fine place to start reading on the topic, as far as I can tell.
Camille Mccarthy
Good overview of the history of psychotherapy and other forms of therapy in the United States. The author has a sense of humor and this makes the book a lot more interesting than it could have been. I found the organization to be a little strange and I wish he'd had more examples for some things but overall it was a good read for anyone interested in a brief overview of therapy in the United States.
Alex Templeton
This book's title gives it away. I found it interesting, as I studied psychotherapy in college, and it was a well connected narrative about how the different schools of therapy evolved initially from Freud and then from one another. It was a bit dry at times, though; I would only recommend it as pleasure reading to someone who had a genuine interest in the subject.
Ann Marie
A nice, very readable review of the history of therapy dating back to WWII. Especially interesting was the information presented on the fields of psychiatry vs social work vs psychology.
i feel like this was just an overview. i wanted more! but then, i am a nerd. a nerd who is now looking to read more on melanie klein because she's bonkers.
Jan 22, 2012 Peeps added it
Interesting history of psychoanalysis; however, the grammatical incorrectness towards the end became distracting.
An excellent overview of psychotherapy as it is practiced in general but especially in the United States.
Kym Janisch
couldn't get past the firsr chapter. this book was incredibly too dry and boring for me.
Jun 09, 2009 Fatima marked it as to-read
On NY Times book review Dec 2008
so far, it's fascinating.
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