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Vitaker K. Midnight Meditation by a Family Therapist

Karl Whitaker will remain in the history of family therapy one of her most “avant-garde” classics: brilliant and controversial, sometimes shockingly harsh, prone to mysterious aphorisms that have been interpreted and borrowed for many years. In this book, the reader will find specific working methods, vivid cases from practice and, more importantly, ideas that help to better understand not only their clients, but also their own professional and family history.
The book is addressed to everyone who in their work is connected with family issues: consultants, school and clinical psychologists and, of course, psychotherapists.

IN THE MIDNIGHT Flicker
SENSE OF THE SECRET

Philosopher (passionately): Well, what’s the difference between psychotherapy and prostitution?
Therapist (poisonous): Their price has been falling over the years, and ours is growing.

This book is worth reading to anyone who has connected or is going to connect his life with one of the “helping” professions – not necessarily with family therapy. Of course, it is for those who are “just interested” in psychotherapy and psychology. And, of course – for everyone who is puzzled (frightening, bewitching, disappointing, etc.) the family as a phenomenon or problem. Each of these possible readership circles is wider than the previous one, and each reader will find himself in his own labyrinth of meanings, in his “magnetic field” emitted by the book.
This time, not a word about eccentricity, intravital and posthumous fame and the shocking metaphors of Karl Whitaker. The reader will find a detailed analysis of his practical work in our dances with the family.
The genre of this book is different, and its name fully reflects. “Midnight musings” is, of course, not quite “midnight musings,” and there is absolutely nothing to be done. In the circle of additional meanings of what we were forced – rightly, but incompletely – to call “reflection”, and “poetic thoughtfulness”, and “diffused mumble”, and “desire to find out, find out”, and “chimeras, bullshit, empty dreams” . In the neighborhood with seeming neutral and academic “reflections” – muses (muses), in the neighborhood – indistinct, and even just insane sentencing under the nose, nothing is known. The last Vitaker therapist skillfully owned as a working technique, as described in the book.
In fact, it all “flickers” with meanings as well as the name. The author does not explain his paradoxes, he simply mixes literal and metaphorical meanings and, in general, as if relieved himself of responsibility for what and by whom it will be understood: what they are ready for, they will understand.
And here is hidden one of the very important thoughts for him, which is carried out differently in many sections: the family (read – reality) is stronger than psychotherapy, experience is more important than training, and it should be so. It is impossible and unnecessary to explain, but you can tell.
It turns out that different readers – depending on their interests, theoretical orientation, preparation and just mindset – will read the same words, but different books – because the “messages” to them are different. (To some extent, this applies to any text, just Whitaker uses this mechanism intentionally.)
In general, he does a lot of things for a reason – for example, he “reveals the cards” and becomes intelligible and almost methodical at the very end of the book, first playing properly with a professional reader. Do not believe the mask of the eccentric grandfather remembered from insomnia! Look for double bottom, triple meaning and unexpected irony in the most inappropriate places. He will guide you anyway, but you will get much more pleasure.
However, there are quite simple thoughts in this complex book (for example, that psychotherapy is just such a job: not a lifestyle, not a “vocation”, and perhaps not even a diagnosis). Like any work, you can do it for many years (in the case of the author, all your life): change, make your small discoveries, arouse the interest of colleagues and be rejected or forgotten, respect (and even sometimes love) those who think differently. Own “technicians”, but never rely on them. Surprised at the new twists and turns of their own destiny Do not “burn out.” Separate work and just life and remember which is more important. To live every age, to raise children, to learn God knows how many students – and not only not to lose interest in the sixth day of an ordinary family at a reception, but even, perhaps, vice versa. “And to be alive, alive and only to the end …”

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