Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Moments of Engagement

by Peter D. Kramer

"Spirited, subtle, suggestive, clarifying," — Robert Coles, New England Journal of Medicine

"Rare is it for so much eloquence, common sense, enthusiasm, and knowledge of psychiatry and psychotherapy to be united in one book and author." — Leston Havens

"Recently I have been able to view my day-to-day work as a a psychoanalyst, family therapist, and teacher of therapists afresh, through the shifting and often illuminating lenses offered by Peter D. Kramer in his special book, Moments of Engagement: Intimate Psychotherapy in a Technological Age. This book offers more than a refreshing look at our work—it helps us think about and articulate in new ways what we are already regularly experiencing . . . This is an absorbing book—one which reads almost like a novel—and it rewards the reader at almost every turn." — Justin Frank, Psychiatry

"The book is like one side of a conversation that is self-reflective, erudite and thoroughly engaging. It took me a long time to read, and for the best of reasons—I kept stopping to reflect on the issues Kramer raises, and to explore the connections between his thoughts and experiences and my own." — Judith Cingolani, Journal of Comparative Family Studies

"Kramer has written a self-reflective book on his experiences as a psychiatrist that in some ways is reminiscent of Theodor Reik's Listening with the Third Ear (1945), although Moments of Engagement is in the more modern framework of a currently practicing psychiatrist. Kramer reminds one of R. D. Laing's delight with paradox, and there are even echoes of Thomas Szasz's notion that perhaps mental illness is itself without 'real' meaning. In this soul-searching exploration of a medical therapist's odyssey, Kramer touches experiences and doubts that are shared by practicing therapists. There are no sure answers here; nor are there scientific procedures for helping people become 'normal.' However, this is an important work that is useful to well-educated readers interested in psychiatry. It is even more significant for experienced therapists who are not fearful of confronting psychotherapy as a human experience." — Choice (Association of College and Research Libraries, American Library Association)

"Penguin has . . . reissued Dr. Kramer's Moments of Engagement: Intimate Psychotherapy in a Technological Age, an exploration of the relationship between the therapist and the patient. In 1989 one critic said, 'His is a voice of earnest, unashamed speculation and reflection.'" — New York Times New & Noteworthy Paperbacks

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