Review of Self-Relations in the Psychotherapy Process

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Reviews the book, Self-Relations in the Psychotherapy Process by J. Christopher Muran (see record 2000-16556-000). The self is alive and well and living in psychology, at least if the contributors to J. Christopher Muran's stimulating volume, Self-Relations in the Psychotherapy Process, are to be taken seriously. The self is a central construct in psychoanalytic, humanistic, and cognitive-behavioral theories, but nowadays even some radical behaviorists find the self to be an important concept. Thus, the present is a propitious time for a book that presents the major theoretical approaches to the self in psychotherapy and, fortunately for us, Muran, by gathering the views of leading psychodynamic, humanistic, cognitive-behavioral, and radical behavioral thinkers, has assembled a volume of almost uniformly high quality. Inspired by postmodernism, especially by the growing popularity of dialogic and perspectival epistemologies, Muran has a constructed this book as a set of six dialogues among contributors of varying theoretical persuasions, and although I doubt that dialogic and perspectival epistemologies are necessarily postmodern, I nevertheless find that this volume's dialogic structure makes for interesting reading and adds to its intellectual contributions. Because Muran's contention, with which I agree, is that the self is not an isolated entity but rather part of a relational matrix, it is perhaps necessary for this book to be structured dialogically. Whether postmodern or not, this book is an important one, one that conveys a great deal about what it means to be human as we enter the 21st century. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved).