, Volume 35, Issue 3, pp 471-476
Date: 16 May 2012

Alphons J. Richert: Integrating Existential and Narrative Therapy: A Theoretical Base for Eclectic Practice

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“Human change implies more than an absence of problems… life is more than an absence of suffering” (p. 367). In a climate that increasingly defines psychological distress in terms of a variety of biological symptoms to be identified and then promptly alleviated primarily through pharmaceutical intervention, Alphons Richert offers a rich psychotherapeutic alternative. Drawing from the main tenets of narrative and existential theories of therapy, Richert advocates for a method that focuses on helping the client find and embrace stories that are empowering in the face of life events that seem to prove the opposite. Rather than simply seeking a reduction of symptoms, Richert’s existential/narrative approach aims to provide clients with a better way of living. Interspersing his theoretical discussion with brief case studies to illustrate the effectiveness of a theory that integrates the somewhat disparate methods of existential and narrative therapy, Richert’s book serves as both a thorough