Book of the Month: A Straight Talking Introduction to Therapy by Matt Wotton and Graham Johnston
We're thrilled to announce our September Book of the Month is A Straight Talking Introduction to Therapy: What it is, why it works, how to get it
The book pulls together practical information and up-to-date research to examine the efficacy of therapy, and to help potential therapy clients understand better what they may gain from it
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Graham Johnston and Matt Wotton met when they were civil servants working in Whitehall. Now they are psychotherapists in private practice who have just published a short but essential book on what therapy is, how it works, and why three-quarters of those who have tried it would recommend it to friends and family. They are believers, but they certainly don't want you to just take their word for it.
A Straight Talking Introduction to Therapy: What it is, why it works, how to get it is is both practical and insightful. Both therapists are keen to tackle prejudices and preconceived notions about their profession, and to inspire clients to seek out and recognise the best level of therapy. They want therapists to be rigorous and helpful, but also to be more open about the way they work, and what clients can expect to get for their hard-earned cash. As Wotton says, "Why spend your hard-earned money on therapy and not holidays or massage? You have to know it's going to make a difference."
As they write in their introduction "Good therapy can change your life. That’s why we wrote this book."
As the founder of Welldoing, I understand well that people can be very confused, even frightened of trying to find a therapist. It can seem magical, mysterious, offputtingly obtuse. Johnston and Wotton have a great, forthright style, while sharing well-considered advice and information. Here's a sprinkling of their philosophy:
- A therapist who really knows your profession or industry or understands your life circumstances might be more helpful, even if their length of training or professional status doesn’t match that of others
- When looking at potential therapists, probe and be curious. Be open-minded but sceptical. If they are evasive or unclear, move on.
- Don’t make training and expertise the sole criteria for your choice. Interpersonal chemistry and fit really matter in therapy. If you don’t get on with a therapist, they won’t be able to help you.
- Therapy is expensive, but therapy can cost the equivalent of a take-away coffee, croissant and a sandwich each day a week. Breakfast at home and take a packed lunch to work.
- There is no such thing as a perfect therapist, and you don’t need the perfect therapist to make meaningful changes in your life.
- No one is 100% ready for therapy. If you’re really not ready, don’t start; you’ll be wasting your time and money. But if you are ready, do it.
Yes, there are footnotes and references in this book, but it is plain-speaking, highly readable and makes a credible, logical case for seeking professional help if you need it. For this reason, we are delighted to make it Welldoing's Book of the Month for September.
Graham Johnston and Matt Wotton are verified Welldoing psychotherapists and the authors of A Straight Talking Introduction to Therapy: What it is, why it works, how to get it