The Heroic Client

By Barry Duncan, Psy.D. and Scott Miller, Ph.D.

[Barry Duncan is a professor of Family Therapy at Nova Southeastern University. Scott Miller is an international workshop presenter and co-director, with Barry Duncan, of the Institute for the Study of Therapeutic Change (see their website Barry and Scott have co-authored over 100 articles and 13 books.]

The book that will lead psychotherapy away from the dinosaurs and into the age of The Heroic Client.

Psychotherapy has for too long miscast the therapist in the starring role in the drama of change. Furthermore, long-divided along disciplinary lines, therapists helplessly watch as the field is increasingly medicalized and turned over to those interested only in the bottom line. The result: Clients are reduced to diagnostic labels with fewer options and therapists are left without provisions for demonstrating the value of the services they provide–leaving both oppressed by practices in which they do not believe.

This controversial book challenges the traditional focus on diagnosis, “silver bullet” techniques, and magic pills, exposing them as empirically bankrupt practices that only diminish clients and hasten therapy’s extinction. Instead, Barry Duncan and Scott Miller advocate for the long-ignored, but most crucial factor in therapeutic success-the innate resources of the client. The Heroic Client not only shows how to harness the client’s powers of regeneration to make therapy effective, but also how to enlist the client as a partner to make therapy accountable.

The Heroic Client

  • Advocates for a true partnership with the client in all aspects of therapy.
  • Shows how to tailor the relationship to the client’s ideas about change and personal goals.
  • Offers a simple, valid, and reliable way of legitimizing therapy to third party payers without divulging confidential information.
  • Provides the tools of knowledge necessary for therapists and consumers to question mental health authority and subvert business as usual.

The Heroic Client inspires therapists to boldly rewrite the drama of therapy, recast clients in their rightful role as stars of the therapeutic stage, join with clients to legitimize services to third party payers, and form an identity separate from the medical model.

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