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Ask the Mental Health Expert Archives 2001-2004

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Humanistic Therapy

Q. I am a researcher in the area of humanistic therapy. I wanted to know where I can find documented cases of therapy for practical learning?

A. The term humanistic therapy (HT) covers a lot of ground, as I'm sure you know. I generally consider HT to be subsumed within what I call the Experiential-Expressive approach, pioneered by individuals such as Carl Rogers, Fritz Perls, Viktor Frankl and others.

One more recent book that may help you with your search for case histories is Thomas Moore's Care of the Soul (1992). Moore -- a psychotherapist and former monk -- begins with a rather Jungian perspective, utilizing a variety of mythic archetypes in his analysis of emotional problems. However, he relates a number of detailed, personalized case histories that may be of help to you.

Finally, for a different slant on HT, you may want to see the books, Poetry in the Therapeutic Experience, by Arthur Lerner PhD; and Poetry as Healer, by Jack J. Leedy MD. Both these books explore the use of poetry and literature as part of the healing process, and do provide numerous case vignettes.

March 2002

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