Thursday, May 22, 2014

#CBR6 Reviews #13-15: Psychotherapy, Spirituality, Ethics, Art Therapy, and a Whole Number of Things...

They may technically be textbooks, but I read them from front to back. And considering how I’ve been powering through so many lately, the last thing I want to do when I have free time is read anything for myself, even something fun (guess that means more time for drawing One Direction fanart portraits… I mean… uh…??).

And so, here are my reviews #13-15, for the following books:
- Spiritual Care and Therapy: Integrative Perspectives by Peter Van Katwyk
- Ethical Issues in Art Therapy (2nd Ed) by Bruce Moon
- Issues and Ethics in the Helping Professions by Gerald Corey, Marianne Corey, and Patrick Callanan

Starting with the introductory-type book on Spirituality within the therapy profession by Peter Van Katwyk, the book did a good job of covering a number of topics largely focused on family systems and the integration of spirituality therein. There were a number of diagrams focused on helping styles and orientations that were well thought-out, but perhaps could have used a bit more explanation. For an introductory book, there seemed to be a lot of assumption that the reader would be reasonably versed in the language and concepts already.

Conversely, and to it’s great benefit, the Issues and Ethics in the Helping Professions text by Corey, Corey, and Callanan was written in a way that appeared to be sensitive to those who had little experience in the helping professions, but also included ideas and questions for those who were already involved in some areas of the field; this made it more applicable to the study and interest of a larger audience. In fact, despite the fact that this text was the longest, had the most technical information, and had the possibility to be the driest in terms of reading, I found it to be not only the most informative, but also the most engaging. When presenting a different range and types of ethical issues that both students and those working within counseling or psychology might face, the authors made sure to reiterate that they cannot give you all the answers for your ethical dilemmas, and that sometimes it depends on whatever body governs you wherever you work, but they did provide some helpful commentary and things to think about which might guide you in making ethical decisions. They also hit on points and issues that I never would have thought of in my current limited experience.

On the other side of the ethics coin was the text by Bruce Moon, on Ethical Issues in Art Therapy, which is the specialized stream that I am currently studying. Considering how art therapy itself is still quite an emergent field, the book was present in a similar manner to the one of Corey, Corey, and Callanan in that Moon made sure to state that he cannot give you any answers, and that you will need to determine the best course to take depending on the context and regulations of each case and ethical issue you face. However, he seemed to leave you out in the water a bit more to question what exactly you would do, without any real suggestions or things to consider. That is not to say that he didn’t pose questions to work through, but the whole book seemed to be an exercise in generating more questions and (for myself anyways) a bit of anxiety and rushing to look at the specific ethics codes that I will likely be following where I am from and for the bodies I will possibly be looking to in the future. However, I did leave reading this book with knowledge and awareness of some of the unique ethical issues and questions that art therapists might face in their field that those in other helping professions might not.

All in all, these texts were reasonably informative and helpful to me at this point in time, however, I definitely feel as though Issues and Ethics in the Helping Professions by Gerald Corey, Marianne Corey, and Patrick Callanan was the most well-presented, the most thorough, and yet somehow the easiest and least tiring to read despite its length as compared to the others.

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