|Basic InformationMore InformationLatest NewsQuestions and AnswersVideosLinksBook Reviews| Maximizing Effectiveness in Dynamic Psychotherapy Self-Compassion in Psychotherapy101 Healing Stories101 Things I Wish I'd Known When I Started Using HypnosisA Primer for Beginning PsychotherapyA Therapist's Guide to Understanding Common Medical ProblemsACT With LoveAlready FreeAssessment and Treatment of Childhood Problems, Second EditionBad TherapyBefore ForgivingBeing a Brain-Wise TherapistBiofeedback for the BrainBody PsychotherapyBody SenseBoundaries and Boundary Violations in PsychoanalysisBrain Change TherapyBreaking ApartBuffy the Vampire Slayer and PhilosophyBuilding on BionCare of the PsycheChoosing an Online TherapistClinical Handbook of Psychological DisordersClinical Intuition in PsychotherapyClinical Pearls of WisdomCo-Creating ChangeCompassion and Healing in Medicine and SocietyConfessions of a Former ChildConfidential RelationshipsConfidentiality and Mental HealthConfidingContemplative Psychotherapy EssentialsCouch FictionCounseling with Choice TheoryCritical Issues in PsychotherapyCrucial Choices, Crucial ChangesDecoding the Ethics CodeDepression 101Depression in ContextDo-It-Yourself Eye Movement Techniques for Emotional HealingDoing ItE-TherapyEncountering the Sacred in PsychotherapyEnergy Psychology InteractiveEssays on Philosophical CounselingEthics in Psychotherapy and CounselingEveryday Mind ReadingExpressing EmotionFacing Human SufferingFairbairn's Object Relations Theory in the Clinical SettingFamily TherapyFavorite Counseling and Therapy Homework AssignmentsFlourishingFlying ColorsGod & TherapyHandbook of Clinical Psychopharmacology for TherapistsHandbook of Counseling and Psychotherapy with Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual ClientsHealing the Heart and Mind with MindfulnessHealing the Soul in the Age of the BrainHeinz KohutHow to Give Her Absolute PleasureHow to Go to TherapyIf Only I Had KnownIn SessionIn Therapy We TrustIn Treatment: Season 1Incorporating Spirituality in Counseling and PsychotherapyIs Long-Term Therapy Unethical?Issues in Philosophical CounselingIt’s Your HourLearning from Our MistakesLetters to a Young TherapistLogotherapy and Existential AnalysisLove's ExecutionerMan's Search for MeaningMetaphoria: Metaphor and Guided Metaphor for Psychotherapy and HealingMindfulness and AcceptanceMindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for DepressionMindworks: An Introduction to NLPMockingbird YearsMomma and the Meaning of LifeMotivational Interviewing: Preparing People For ChangeMulticulturalism and the Therapeutic ProcessOf Two MindsOn the CouchOne Nation Under TherapyOur Inner WorldOvercoming Destructive Beliefs, Feelings, and BehaviorsPhilosophical CounselingPhilosophical MidwiferyPhilosophical PracticePhilosophy and PsychotherapyPhilosophy for Counselling and PsychotherapyPhilosophy PracticePhilosophy's Role in Counseling and PsychotherapyPlato, Not Prozac!Psychologists Defying the CrowdPsychology, Psychotherapy, Psychoanalysis, and the Politics of Human RelationshipsPsychosis in the FamilyPsychotherapyPsychotherapyPsychotherapy As PraxisPsychotherapy for Children and AdolescentsPsychotherapy for Personality DisordersRational Emotive Behavior TherapyRational Emotive Behavior TherapyRationality and the Pursuit of HappinessRecovery OptionsRent Two Films and Let's Talk in the MorningSaving the Modern SoulSecond-order Change in PsychotherapySelf MattersSelf-Compassion in PsychotherapySelf-Determination Theory in the ClinicSexual Orientation and Psychodynamic PsychotherapyStrangers to OurselvesTaking America Off DrugsTales of PsychotherapyThe Art of HypnosisThe Case Formulation Approach to Cognitive-Behavior TherapyThe Crucible of ExperienceThe Education of Mrs. BemisThe Fall Of An IconThe Gift of TherapyThe Great Psychotherapy Debate: The Evidence for What Makes Psychotherapy Work The Husbands and Wives ClubThe Love CureThe Making of a TherapistThe Mummy at the Dining Room TableThe Neuroscience of PsychotherapyThe Neuroscience of Psychotherapy: Healing the Social BrainThe New PsychoanalysisThe Philosopher's Autobiography The Portable CoachThe Portable Ethicist for Mental Health Professionals The Present Moment in Psychotherapy and Everyday LifeThe Problem with Cognitive Behavioural TherapyThe Psychodynamics of Gender and Gender RoleThe Psychotherapy Documentation PrimerThe Real World Guide to Psychotherapy PracticeThe Schopenhauer CureThe Talking CureThe Therapeutic "Aha!"The Therapist's Guide to Psychopharmacology, Revised EditionThe Therapist's Ultimate Solution BookThe UnsayableThe Wing of MadnessTheory and Practice of Brief TherapyTherapyTheraScribe 4.0Thinking about ThinkingThriveToward a Psychology of AwakeningTracking Mental Health OutcomesTreating Attachment DisordersWhat the Buddha FeltWhat Works for Whom? Second EditionWhy Psychoanalysis?Yoga Therapy
by Ellen G. Horovitz and Staffan Elgelid (Editors)
Review by Beth Cholette, Ph.D. on Aug 18th 2015
I am clinical psychologist who values a holistic approach to treatment. As a yoga practitioner a well, I strive to incorporate yogic concepts into my own therapeutic approach, and so this book seemed a perfect fit for me. As I read through the volume, however, I found myself wondering about who exactly the intended audience was; more on that in a bit.
Editor Ellen G. Horovitz concludes her Introduction by noting that the intention of Yoga Therapy: Theory and Practice is to "open a dialogue" (p.4) about yoga therapy by sharing the expertise from some top practitioners in the field. To start, her co-editor, Staffan Elgelid (along with co-author Erin Byron) presents a chapter on defining yoga therapy via a compilation of various definitions. Other chapters in Section I describe how yoga came to the west, review the increasing acceptance of yoga therapy in the west, and discuss the potential for incorporating yoga therapy into human institutions.
Section II addresses specific Models of Practice. Here is where the contributors begin to get into more specifics about the "how" of yoga therapy. Several of the offerings are science-based, beginning with the initial accounting of how yoga impacts the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) described in "Yoga and Neuronal Pathways." Renowned restorative yogi Judith Hanson Lasatar builds on this by reviewing exactly what occurs when the PNS is activated and emphasizing the importance of achieving this level of relaxation as it can be accomplished through yoga. Similarly, therapist Sheri Kreher discusses the areas of the brain that are triggered by anger, explaining yoga's role in replacing painful emotional reactions with a relaxation response. Other chapters talk more generally about how yoga can support the body in responding to stress, including providing an "emotional detox" (Benjamin Lorr), assisting special populations such as healers (Joanne Wu), and providing a possible alternative to the more traditional medical model (Staffan Elgelid).
The remaining essays read mostly like case studies. I was most intrigued by Chapter 12, "An Ayurvedic Lifestyle and Diet." This chapter detailed a study which assessed subjects who volunteered to take part in a two-month ayurvedic-based "cleanse." Unfortunately, although 212 subjects volunteered, only 52 completed both the pre- and post-cleanse measures. The authors themselves admit that the results from this small, rather homogeneous group are likely not overly generalizable. The last few contributions to the collection did suggest interesting applications of yoga therapy, including yoga asana and art therapy incorporated into family therapy, yoga breathwork and postures with mental health clients, yoga as an adjunct to mental health therapy, and finally, the "Music of Yoga/Yoga of Music" as described by internationally known yogi FranVois Raout.
Ironically, although I am both a mental health practitioner and a yoga practitioner, I believe that my actual "takeaway" from this book was rather small. That is not to say it wasn't a worthwhile read, for it was, yet it merely confirmed most of what I already knew to be true--i.e., that yoga, in its many forms (including postures, breathing, and other, even music) is extremely beneficial to overall health and mental health. What this volume did not do was to provide me with specific practical applications for incorporating yoga therapy into my own work, at least not beyond the things that I already do. But perhaps that is a topic that the editors may wish to consider for a follow-up volume, Yoga Therapy: Practical Applications.
© 2015 Beth Cholette
Beth Cholette, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist who provides psychotherapy to college students.