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The Dialogical Therapist

Several good books exist about systemic understanding in therapy and a few about dialogic understanding. However, none trying to bridge the gap between these two world views, which have some similarities, but also a whole array of differences. The most striking one is the very vantage point for observation each of them holds. According to systemic theory, we exist only in and because of the network of relationships we are embedded in. In dialogic theory, we inhabit different worlds, and we need dialogue (we need engaging in that hard struggle that is proper dialogue) in order to make them communicate with each other. Putting these different views together poses problems but a good dialogic exercise too.The author found it increasingly necessary as he felt the longer the more uncomfortable with the more conventional versions of Batesonian systemic wisdom he had adopted in previous years, while at the same time he could not feel convinced by some of the new ideas about dialogue, where one was compelled to get rid of everything she thought valuable in systemic understanding. This book is an attempt to find a bridge.
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Table of Contents

Contents1 Understanding and influencing2 Text and context3 Practices and theories4 Hypotheses and dialogues5 Therapists and clients6 Frames and relationship7 Dialogues and systems8 Questions and statements9 Presence and absence 10 Selves and technologies

About the Author

Paolo Bertrando MD, PhD, psychiatrist and psychotherapist, was on the faculty of the Milan Centre for Family Therapy from 1993 to 2013. He is currently the Director of the Systemic-Dialogical School of Psychotherapy in Bergamo, Italy. Dr Bertrando is Associate Editor for Italy of the 'British Journal of Family Therapy'. He is the author of several scientific articles and books including 'The Times of Time' and 'Systemic Therapy with Individuals', both with Luigi Boscolo, and 'The Dialogical Therapist'. His current interests are in the emotional dynamics of systemic therapy, the analysis of contexts in systemic theory and practice, and the consequences of economical and social change on therapists and clients.


'In his new book Paulo Bertrando confirms his reputation as a highly respected theoretician, a chronicler of the development of ideas in the field of family therapy and systemic practice, and a writer of unusual clarity. Here he demonstrates his ability to identify the strands of new thinking and new practice, critique them, and open them up to scrutiny in such a way that the reader understands more clearly how the ideas and techniques can take their rightful place among the vast array of ideas in the systemic field. But in addition to positioning his ideas, Bertrando cites the epigenetic process that enables his to build a new model of his own based on his original work with the Milan model, but moving on to incorporate much of the new thinking in this field. For example, he describes the dialogic therapist as someone whose therapy is guided by the use of systemic hypotheses but who also works in a more collaborative manner, in dialogue, to produce a hypothesis actively created by both therapist and clients.'- David Campbell and Ross Draper, from the Series Editors' Foreword

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