Transference happens. We could argue about how much, exactly how, and whether the name is right, but that would be pointless. The point is that we can, at times, react towards another person as though they were not who they actually are (friend, boss, shop assistant etc), but an important other from our own past or distant lives.
The Concise OED describes attitude as settled behaviour indicating opinion, and attitude of mind as settled mode of thinking. It calls to mind a sort of consolidation or gathering in preparation for doing something, and an orientation of intent and approach.
My dictionary does not refer to the spirited and somewhat oppositional sort of attitude that is sometimes associated with adolescence.
Both meanings apply in understanding what I mean by Therapeutic Attitude. A grounded, consistent, aligned position is needed, and this needs to be oriented towards the subject of the therapeutic intent (in clinical contexts the patient or the clinical problem). But this settled alignment and orientation is not enough. It is no use being too appeasing or mainstream. At some point the person needs to reach a place that they, or the government of the day, did not expect or want. This is the more (at least potentially) oppositional aspect of attitude. Without it, what follows risks being neither therapy, nor in the untrammelled interests of the person.
It would be foolish for me to advertise, with shoddy writing, something that according to the generous endorsement it has received is written well. I could hardly do better than to quote from these endorsements:
‘Informed by a lifetime of experience in the author’s own field of child and adolescent psychiatry, the “therapeutic attitude” for which he argues has much to offer caring clinicians in every area of medicine.’
– Professor Bill Fulford, St Catherine’s College, Oxford
‘Anyone working in the field of child and adolescent health, education or social services will come away inspired and refreshed by Andrew’s candour, his ironic humour and superb writing.’
– Dr Sebastian Kraemer, Honorary Consultant, Tavistock Clinic
‘ This is a timely, important book because the attitude so beautifully described and illustrated is in danger of being squeezed out of us. Reading it will help you survive through difficult times whilst rekindling the hope that things could and should be done better.’
– Penelope Campling, medical psychotherapist and co-author of Intelligent Kindness: Reforming the Culture of Healthcare
‘This book inspires hope that we can recover a kind of professionalism that has been undermined by our current target-driven culture. Andrew West’s vision is compelling. A book that should be read by all those involved in commissioning services as well as by practitioners.’
– Sue Gerhardt, author of Why Love Matters
I can direct you to Karnac Books where you can get a better idea of this title and order it:
Of course I would love it if you ordered it from your local “High Street” bookshop. Blackwell’s in Oxford have it in stock, for example, and at the time of updating (Sept 2018) Blackwell’s Online have it at a reduced price! Alternatively, you may want to by it online, using one of Ethical Consumer Magazine’s high-scoring sites.
Please take a look, read, comment, recommend…..