PREORDER Therapeutic Improvisation by Michael Alcee
This week, we had the opportunity to ask Dr. Michael Alcée some questions in anticipation of the release of his new book, Therapeutic Improvisation: How to Stop Winging It and Own It as a Therapist. You can find our interview below! The book is scheduled for release May 17th and you can preorder your personalized, signed copy today by purchasing through our website.
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1) How did you come to write Therapeutic Improvisation?
While I've always been fascinated by the interconnection of the arts and psychotherapy, it was working at Manhattan School of Music that really inspired me to write this book. It dawned on me that therapy itself is an art, and that therapists are more like the great musicians, authors, and actors but don't give themselves credit for it.
Similarly, I saw that both artists and non-artists alike fail to see the full range and scope of their personal creativity. Even the best and brightest therapists weren't making this connection, and I felt we needed a work that could both celebrate and explain this, all in the context of how we're built neurologically.
2) What are you currently reading?
I'm always in the midst of reading several books at a time. Recently, I've been equally moved and fascinated by Richard Powers wonderful novel Bewilderment, a prescient story about attempting to stay connected to nature and humanity in a world of ecological turmoil, Jonah Lehrer's delightful book about the neuroscientific, psychological, and cultural significance of Mystery, and I'm now on to Daniel Pink's riveting book The Power of Regret: How Looking Backwards Moves Us Forward.
3) Do you have a personal favorite book of all time? If so, can you share it and tell us why?
It's a toss up between To Kill a Mockingbird and The Little Prince. While they are each so different, they both get at the surprising and difficult truths that only come by going through the process of wonder, disillusionment, and re-enchantment. They also each recognize that while the world can have its real injustices, difficulties, and sorrow, there is always an unexpected way it can be treasured even in its imperfections.
4) Is there anything you are particularly looking forward to the publication of?
I can't wait for Susan Cain's new book Bittersweet to come out. Her first book about the power of introverts was so wonderful, and I'm excited to see how she takes on the topic of the paradoxical beauty of embracing sorrow and joy.
5) What’s next? Any upcoming book projects in the works that you can tell us about?
I'm toying with the notion of writing a general audience book about the "life hacks our therapists never teach us" based on Therapeutic Improvisation. I'd love for people to get excited and educated about how we work from the inside-out, and how we can all live life more creatively.
So many clients say to me, "I know how to use my phone better than I understand how I work myself. Why aren't we taught this earlier?" I'd love to be able to share the many insights therapists teach everyday but make it something that all of us can use whether we are in therapy or never set foot in a therapist's office at all.
About Therapeutic Improvisation: How to Stop Winging It and Own It as a Therapist
As a new therapist, it's so hard to make transformational moments out of all that's being thrown at you in sessions. You're just winging it, but deep down you know there's a way to make your sessions more dynamic and intentionally responsive. This book shows how to develop a keen ear and sharp eye for the many changes coming your way.
Examples from music, movies, and literature will illustrate how the scientific principles of interpersonal neurobiology can help you claim your artistry as a therapist. This inspiring and informative book will help you find your voice and navigate the complexities and joys of the mysterious relationship that is therapy itself. Supervisors and new clinicians alike will be refreshed by the innovative vision of mental health practice as having a flexible and creative capacity.
Michael Alcée, PHD, is a clinical psychologist in Tarrytown, New York, and mental health educator at Manhattan School of Music. He won the American Psychological Association's 2019 Schillinger Memorial Prize for his essay on the link between jazz and psychoanalysis.
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