Directly inspired by the work of Jerome D. Frank and his field-defining book Persuasion and Healing, this volume of essays by distinguished contemporary scholars broadly assesses the current state of research and practice in psychotherapy.
Editors Renato D. Alarcón, a former student of Frank's, and Julia B. Frank, his daughter and coauthor, bring diverse perspectives to this work. Each chapter, based on one of the themes of Frank’s classic book, offers honest critique and fearless criticism of psychotherapy as it has evolved in the twenty-first century. Contributors update classical psychotherapeutic concepts such as demoralization, hope, meaning, rhetoric, and cultural variation and add new insight into how the neuroscience revolution affects our understanding of mental organization and psychotherapy. As Frank did in his own time, these authors challenge the claims made for the specificity or superiority of cognitive behavioral, psychodynamic, and other varieties of psychotherapy, providing an honest evaluation of the value and limitations of many competing approaches to diagnosis and treatment. They also focus attention on psychotherapies for special populations, including children, people with serious medical illness, and those with culturally and religiously diverse backgrounds.
Like Persuasion and Healing, The Psychotherapy of Hope advocates not for any particular approach but for psychotherapy more generally grounded in principles of evolutionary biology, culture, narrative, and behavior change. It provides researchers, theorists, and practitioners of every level of training with a genuinely phenomenological approach to a wide range of psychiatric issues. Echoing Frank's voice, in particular his emphasis on the commonalities of suffering and the therapeutic power of hope, this book offers scholarly wisdom and practical advice on how to understand psychotherapy broadly—and to apply its basic principles to the greatest benefit of patients.