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Alternative Psychotherapies


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments Chapter 1 Introducing the Issue of Alternative Psychotherapies Chapter 2 Regression Therapies: Back to Babyhood Chapter 3 Repression and Remembering in Alternative Psychotherapies Chapter 4 Energy Therapies Chapter 5 Bodywork, Passive and Active Chapter 6 All About Attachment Chapter 7 Understanding and Treating Autism Chapter 8 Special Education and Treatments for Developmental Disabilities Chapter 9 Conclusion: Regulating Alternative Psychotherapies References Index About the Author

About the Author

Jean Mercer, PhD, is a developmental psychologist and author of a number of books on early development and critical thinking in psychology. She is a Fellow of the Institute for Science in Medicine and a member of the Society for Research in Child Development, the American Psychological Association, and the World Association for Infant Mental Health.


Many patients seek the services of alternative health care providers for mental health issues. There are various forms of alternative treatment, and the claims of enthusiasts are often embarrassingly unreliable. Alternative Psychotherapies: Evaluating Unconventional Mental Health Treatments cuts through this plethora of mis-information and provides a concise, well-researched, and extensively referenced guide. It differentiates the naively harmless from the overtly dangerous, the bizarrely implausible from the somewhat rational, and the hopelessly ineffective from the potentially helpful. This authoritative text is a most useful addition to the literature on alternative therapies. It fills an important gap and should be studied by all who look after patients with mental health problems. -- Edzard Ernst, MD, PhD, emeritus, University of Exeter
A valuable-in fact, an invaluable-book. In a world in which clients and clinicians alike are inundated with hundreds of psychotherapies, a book that critically examines the science and pseudoscience of alternative psychological treatments is essential. Using the lens of both history and research, Mercer turns an appropriately skeptical eye toward a host of interventions based on questionable psychological premises. Readers will emerge with a much better understanding of why evidence-based treatment is necessary as a safeguard against dubious claims in psychotherapy. An extremely useful resource for current and would-be psychotherapy clients, psychotherapy researchers, and psychotherapists themselves. -- Scott O. Lilienfeld, PhD, Emory University
Dr. Mercer has devoted her career to protecting children from harmful psychotherapeutic practices. Now, in Alternative Psychotherapies, she gives readers the tools for evaluating a wide range of unconventional therapies themselves. Once again, Dr. Mercer has done a great public service in writing this book and helping to ensure that individuals in need will receive safe and effective treatments and steer clear of potentially dangerous ones. -- Brandon Gaudiano, PhD, Alpert Medical School of Brown University and Butler Hospital
Mercer's book Alternative Psychotherapies represents another blow of the mallet of rationality and science in the longstanding and seemingly never-ending game of psychotherapeutic whack-a-mole. . . .Mercer jumps right into the fray, building upon her many previous assays into the scrum. This engaging book will be a keen read to everyone-members of the public interested in counseling, professional psychotherapists, academic psychologists, and graduate students in the mental health professions. * American Psychological Association *

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