James A. Stump has written a short, shiny e-book which is not only a delight to read but also offers a succinct introduction to the world of counseling and psychotherapy.
This little booklet is dedicated to all clients who want to improve their lives through their examination of faulty beliefs and behaviours
and Stump delivers, outlining the reasons people seek therapy, phases of the therapy process, when an individual might consider counselling, modes of therapy, finding and choosing a therapist, privacy and financial concerns, and more. Although written for a North American audience, I believe most of the content would translate well across borders – the chief exception being information particular to the USA’s health system, though even that I personally found helpful, as I mentally translated it into an Australian context.
Stump’s writing can be delightfully direct: “So get it into your head: Nobody else is gonna fix your life for you. You are going to have to learn how to be different. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying to you.” I might have found this confronting, if he hadn’t established his credentials as someone who obviously – and thoroughly! – knows his subject matter. As it was, I really enjoyed this down-to-earth approach.
I’ve been in therapy for, wow, eight years this year – though due to one therapist retiring and an interstate move, I’m into my third therapeutic relationship. This gives me something of a knowledge base from which to assess Stump’s work, albeit from a consumer’s perspective. In my opinion, there wasn’t a false note in the book. I’d highly recommend it as a resource for someone who’s considering counselling or psychotherapy, either for one particular issue or, as he puts it, “if you’re wondering ‘Why am I such a mess and why is my entire life all screwed up?'”
If I had one minor bone to pick, I’d say that to me, counselling and psychotherapy are two closely related but slightly different processes; but, hey, I’m neither a counselor nor a therapist, so what would I know?!
This e-book is also very affordable. My recommendation? If you’re considering therapy, or you love someone who is, grab this little treasure with both hands. It’s a quick read – I got through it in about an hour – but well worth the time spent.
My rating? 5/5. Do you have a favourite book on therapy or counseling? I’d love to hear about them! Feel free to comment in the space below.