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To Lead an Honorable Life: Invitations to think about client-centered therapy and the person-centered approach

To Lead an Honorable Life: Invitations to think about client-centered therapy and the person-centered approach

John Shlien

ISBN 978 1 898059 46 2 (2003)

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This long-awaited collection of the work of John Shlien is exactly what the subtitle says: 'an invitation to think about client-centered therapy and the person-centered approach'. It features John's best-known work alongside some lesser-know papers and a handful of hitherto unpublished essays. John Shlien was one of the most influential of Carl Rogers' students and associates, as a writer, researcher and academic. With a witty, provocative style as a writer and speaker, John was an insightful commentator and creative theorist, able to provoke vigorous debate wherever he went. This collection gives the reader a chance to sample the breadth of his ideas.
If you don’t read any other book this year, read this one. I insist. It will invigorate you if you have any heart (which you do). Tony Merry

Section 1: Psychological Health
•To Feel Alive:A thought on motivation;
•A Criterion of Psychological Health;
•Creativity and Psychological Health;
•A Client-Centered Approach to Schizophrenia: First approximation;
•Secrets and the Psychology of Secrecy;
•Macht Therapie Glucklich? Can Therapy Make You Happy?

Section 2: A Literalist Approach
•The Literal-Intuitive Axis: And other thoughts;
•A Countertheory of Transference;
•Embarrassment Anxiety: A literalist theory.

Section 3: Applications: Theory, Research and Life
•Basic Concepts in Group Psychotherapy: A Client-Centered point of view;
•Empathy in Psychotherapy: Vital Mechanism? Yes. Therapist's Conceit? All Too Often. By Itself Enough? No;
•The Robert W. White School.

Section 4: The Position of Client-Centered Therapy
•'Introduction';
•Theory as Autobiography: The Man and the Movement;
•Untitled and Uneasy.

I am so glad that Pete Sanders has taken on the task of editing this volume of John Shlien’s writings, because it will make these gems more accessible to future generations of students and scholars. Ronald F. Levant

This book is a magnificent editorial feat that reflects the honorable life of John M. Shlien by including most of his major papers. The book is a complex offering that reveals the complexity of the man. This is illustrated by the sometimes bold and sometimes subtle messages that lie within John’s writings. Jerold Bozarth, PCEP, (3), 3, p. 208. 2004.

John Shlien

John Shlien

John M. Shlien 1918–2002 A student, colleague and friend of Carl Rogers at the University of Chicago from the late 1940s, John Shlien moved to Harvard University in 1967 as Professor of Education and Counseling Psychology. Although dedicated to ‘pure’ Client-Centered Therapy, his career was marked by interdisciplinary projects at Harvard including the Robert W. White School and the Clinical Psychology and Public Practice program. He published many influential papers and chapters on a wide variety of topics in psychology, counseling and psychotherapy over nearly 50 years. He once wrote: 'At this point, it might be said of me: He is a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, where he served in every rank from instructor to full professor, suffering thwarted ambitions to be a jazz musician, a brain surgeon and a racing driver all the while. In 1968, invited to Harvard as Professor and Chair of a new program (of his own invention), an interdepartmental/cross faculty administrative nightmare (Medical School, Divinity School, Psychology and Social Relations, and the Graduate School of Education). Title: Clinical Psychology and Public Practice. Wonderful idea. Difficult to fulfill. At first succeeded, then failed, phased out after a dozen years, when I retired. What I love best: small children and big dogs'.

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