Telling the Truth: The Therapist’s Dilemma

Author(s) : Rob Hill

Telling the Truth: The Therapist’s Dilemma

Book Details

  • Publisher : Karnac Books
  • Published : February 2025
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 200
  • Category :
    Forthcoming
  • Catalogue No : 97837
  • ISBN 13 : 9781800132962
  • ISBN 10 : 1800132964
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‘Speak the truth here’ is a therapist’s invitation to their client – but is the same true for the therapist? Can and should psychotherapists speak honestly with clients and share the difficult truths they experience in the work? What are the limits and the implications of speaking out? Rob Hill examines therapeutic truthtelling and its impact.

Honesty is important in any relationship but within psychotherapy, honesty takes on a different dimension. The impact of speaking the truth has many repercussions to the therapeutic relationship and may harm the perception of the therapist in the eyes of the client or the relationship in its entirety. Thus, what are the limits of what a therapist can therapeutically share with a client? What are the implications of the therapist choosing to conceal what they congruently experience? Have therapists in the past been more able and more willing to tell the truth with their clients?

Rob Hill engages with these and many more questions, which lead into related territories – those of shame, power, love and hate, narcissism, intersubjectivity and madness – and invites the reader to consider them from a fresh perspective. Presented in essay form interspersed with ‘stories’ which focus on Hill’s inner reactions to working with various clients, the book seeks to evoke curiosity and contemplation rather than definitive answers.

Using language that is personalised and ‘immediate’ rather than academic and abstract, Hill hopes to engage all therapists, including those who rarely read academic and research literature. Telling the Truth is an enjoyable, thought-provoking, and accessible read that raises many important ideas. Rob Hill’s own honesty, insight, and openness in addressing this important topic makes this essential reading for practising therapists.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
About the author
Preface

Story I. ‘Hesitating’ (Part I)

Essay 1. Getting interested in the truth

Story II. ‘Hesitating’ (Part II)

Essay 2. Telling the truth in everyday life

Essay 3. Types of truth and truthtelling

Story III. ‘Things left unsaid’

Essay 4. Truthtelling and power I: In the royal palace

Essay 5. Truthtelling and power II: In the therapy room

Story IV. ‘Are you going to shoot me?’

Essay 6. Shame, privacy, and awe

Essay 7. Narcissism: What truth must not touch

Essay 8. Truthtelling, love, and hate

Story V. ‘Let me know when you trust me’

Essay 9. The impact of not speaking: Fatigue and madness

Essay 10. Narcissism again: Taking possession of the truth

Essay 11. Beyond narcissism: Sharing the truth

Story VI: ‘What’s The Point Of Me?’

Essay 12. The craft of truthtelling

Essay 13. Styles of truthtelling: Cynical provocation or Socratic attunement?

Essay 14. The last essay

Index

About the Author(s)

Rob Hill is a relational psychotherapist with a private practice in London, UK, in which he works with individuals, couples and families. He also offers supervision to other psychotherapists. His psychotherapy and supervision training was at Metanoia Institute, London.

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