Behind the Voices is a snapshot Q&A featuring the hosts and guests of MHPN’s Book Club podcast series.
The rules of engagement are simple: MHPN asks four questions, and our hosts and guests provide their answers. What’s the point? To get a sense of the voices behind each episode … How they think, what they’re currently reading, what they’ve learnt through or since their initial conversation, and what book they’d want to discuss next on Book Club.
Read on to hear from Dr Rick Yeatman and Dr Paul Cammell of MHPN’s podcast Book Club episode: Reflections on Psychotherapy from Jerome D. Frank’s ‘Persuasion and Healing’.
The Book Club podcast series essentially is a conversation between two mental health practitioners.
Can you identify and describe a moment or comment during your conversation that sparked a new perspective on Persuasion and Healing and / or the broader topic of psychotherapy?
RICK YEATMAN: I think the most interesting part of the discussion revolved around how a mental health professional should approach their own learning about psychotherapeutic techniques. The discussion about hermeneutics and the interpretation of another person’s problems also provided food for thought.
PAUL CAMMELL: Rick said the book was influential in making him appreciate the common factors and universal value of psychotherapy, but he also felt a bit suspicious of the zeal and orthodoxy of psychotherapy schools. It made me think again, about what being eclectic or integrative means, when being a psychotherapist.
If Jerome Frank, the author of Persuasion and Healing was alive and here with you now, what would you like to say to him or possibly ask?
And… if Frank were to listen to your episode, how do you think he would respond?
RICK YEATMAN: I would ask Frank about how he would structure psychotherapy training for new mental health students. I think he would have probably enjoyed our discussion, but may have pestered us with questions about what has happened in the field since his musings (he died in 2005).
PAUL CAMMELL: [I’d ask Frank]… “how would [you] relate [your] ideas from previous editions of the book to the contemporary climate of psychiatric and psychotherapeutic practice?” I’m sure, like any author, he’d be chuffed that his work is still engaged with and is influencing contemporary clinicians!
To give our readers a sense of the person behind the voice of Book Club, can you tell us what you last read for pleasure and / or what you last read for work, and sum each up in three words?
RICK YEATMAN: Truganini- by Cassandra Pybus. The strange ways humans behave, tragedy, Australia The Little Stranger- Sarah Waters. Wonderful writing, fear, unputdownable.
PAUL CAMMELL: For pleasure: “Double Blind” by Edward St Aubyn – a dark wit; and for work: “Persuasion and Healing” – still relevant for teaching.
If you had a chance to talk about another book / text of your choosing on Book Club, what would it be and why?
RICK YEATMAN: An introduction to physical methods of treatment in psychiatry. 1964. Sargent and Slater. I believe it is essential to understand the past to avoid repeating errors in the future. This standard text-book of the time would be a shock to most readers. One wonders what those 2 generations ahead will think of current text-books pertaining to our field of interest.
PAUL CAMMELL: Our Necessary Shadow [by] Tom Burns, good for this audience and format.