While on vacation in St Maarten I brought along this book. American Therapy: The Rise of Psychotherapy in the United States by Jonathan Engel was not exactly what I expected. I enjoyed the book, but wouldn't be quick to re-read it or to recommend it to friends. I originally bought the book a few months ago and it had been collecting dust on my bookshelf. What drew me in was the title and cover. Yes, I judged this book by its cover. I did read the back, and of course that made me want it even more. The book is mainly about the history and (like the title suggests) the rise of therapy. It is divded into neat little chapters that discuss the main points in psychotherapy. There is also quite a bit of Freud-bashing as well.
While this book is extremely informative, it isn't for the casual reader. Engel does give plenty of background information, but it is still hard to wade through. I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone who isn't interested in, or currently working in, the field of therapy/psychology/pharmacology. I only enjoyed it becuase of my background-- Joe looked it over some and thought it was dry and boring. Unfortunately, I have to agree on some level with that statement also. It was really dry, and at times kind of boring. Lots of facts and figures to get through before really getting into the heart of psychotherapy and its rise. It is an educational book, so if you're interested in the field, it may be a good fit.
Not a book that draws you in and keeps you hooked, but a decent book regardless. Well written and informative, it reads more like a textbook than a leisure read. Just don't bring it on vacation like I did... it isn't a "relax on the beach with a fruity beverage in your hand" type of book!
write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow