Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Life Changing Lessons - Shrink Rap Radio podcast

Shrink Rap Radio had an old guest come back for a second interview. I also loved the first interview with prison psychologist Dana Houck when he spoke of his work with prisoners and his use of Jungian Psychology and archaic tales to help them deal with their issues.

Although Houck has had to leave the prison system -more about that below- he has spent time laying down his experience in a new book about Life Changing Lessons that his prisoners learned and that we can learn from them. It turns into a fascinating interview in which Houck retells how he managed to help hardened criminals to open up to their issues and get along in life. Some of these lessons are not so evident to the extent that interviewer Dr. David van Nuys is genuinely surprised and asks for further explanation. Houck achieved all this through a qualitative approach in group therapy. By nagging the clients, by applying tales such as the Odyssey and Three Little Pigs and digging into the prisoners' dreams.

The reason Houck has had to leave the institution is because his therapeutic approach is not as hard as CBT and other evidence based therapy methods. Tax payers and policy makers demand, probably rightfully so, some accountability for the services rendered to prisoners. But Houck and Van Nuys mark the dilemma this poses towards seemingly effective approaches such as Houck's and how to evaluate those creative and qualitative styles among the quantitative measures of main stream science. A highly recommended issue of Shrink Rap Radio - as per usual.

More Shrink Rap Radio:
Shrink Rap Radio - 200 great podcasts,
Technology and The Evolving Brain,
Nova Spivack,
Relationships and the brain,
Psychologist writer.