Synopses & Reviews
This book deals with the age-old questions of persistence and change in human affairs. More particularly, it is concerned with how problems arise and are perpetuated in some instances, and resolved in others. It examines how, paradoxically, common sense and logical approaches often fail and in doing so compound an existing problem, while seemingly "illogical" and "unreasonable" actions succeed in producing the desired change.
The book is an outgrowth of the authors' joint work at the Brief Therapy Center of the Mental Research Institute in Palo Alto, which they established in 1966. It incorporates concepts of human communication, interactional (i.e., marital and family) therapy, the pathogenic and therapeutic effects of paradoxes (double binds), and of action-oriented rather than origin-oriented techniques of problem resolution.
While the book draws some of its examples from the field of psychotherapy, its premises regarding problem formation and resolution are applicable in the much wider and more general areas of human interaction, including large social systems and even international relations.
Three prominent American therapists detail their theories and strategies for promoting human change and dealing with related psychological problems.
About the Author
Paul Watzlawick is research associate at the Mental Research Institute, Palo Alto, and clinical professor at the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University Medical Center.
John Weakland has a private practice in Palo Alto, specializing in marriage, family, and child counseling.
Richard Fisch is a psychiatrist with a private practice in Palo Alto.