Essence of Healing: A Quest for a MetaModel of the Psychotherapy of Trauma

Essence of Healing: A Quest for a MetaModel of the Psychotherapy of Trauma

Item Product Price QTY
31461 Essence of Healing $30.00
Author: Arthur Mones, Ph.D., ABPP
Book: 190 pages

Dr. Arthur Mones reflects on a 45-year career in psychotherapy and points out what has worked and what mistakes he’s made to provide guidance for new and seasoned practitioners. Dr. Mones traces his own career development in parallel with the historical changes in psychotherapy. The reader is introduced to the Internal Family Systems (IFS) orientation that guides Dr. Mones’ practice and learns how this system can be applied to conceptualize client symptomology from an adaptive strength-based framework to help clients experience improved mental health. Case examples illustrate the use of IFS as a practical treatment for a variety of psychiatric disorders. Callout text, illustrated notation, guided exercises and questions, and defined terms make the text interactive and engaging, making the book suitable for use as a teaching aide in a class, for practitioners to learn a new approach to family therapy, for those interested in learning more about their own mental health and useful strategies to improve functioning, or for clinicians to find companionship in the wisdom, wit, and insightful reflections of Dr. Mones on his academic, clinical, and personal growth in the field of psychotherapy.

The book traces the history of family therapy. It starts with its multidisciplinary origins in systems theory, as a non-pathologizing treatment meant to effect lasting change by addressing the immediate causes of individual dysfunction—the family and surrounding systems. The colorful and dedicated early pioneers in the field and their specific contributions to the field are reviewed. Dr. Mones weaves in his own personal experiences working with these individuals and what he has taken as valuable therapeutic knowledge to form his own integrated practice.

Dr. Mones describes his career-long quest to find the essence of healing—what are the essential elements that makes psychotherapy effective and brings relief to individuals suffering a wide range of disorder from trauma and dysfunctional systems. Readers will benefit from Dr. Mones’ decades-long experience as a supervisor and teacher through his writing and learn how, they too, can find the meaningful parts of therapy that work to inform their own practice to create lasting change in their clients.

The long parade of psychoanalytic approaches, later joined by behavioral and cognitive models,  and then upended by family systems thinking has passed us by and left those unafraid of change, unafraid of the politics of science, and undeterred by feelings of disloyalty to past generations of mentors to explore and work with very powerful and deep processes in human suffering to actually unburden the residue of trauma.”

What are leading clinicians saying about The Essence of Healing?

This is the journey of a thoughtful, excellent therapist, a curious mind with a persistent devotion to the quest for what makes psychotherapy work.

Across models from the mid-1950s to the present, Dr. Mones’ observation that the underlying effective methods adhere to what he calls ‘The Functional Hypothesis,’ i.e., that troublesome behaviors and feelings are to be appreciated as adaptations/survival strategies to our environments. This is a non-pathology approach that helps clients connect to and nurture their vulnerable parts.

Through reporting his own journey Dr. Mones helps us understand what is necessary to heal our and our clients’ wounds and create internal safety.”

-Marla Silverman, Ph.D.
Author: Keeping It Real: A Therapist’s Guide to Working With Couples
Psychologist, Supervisor, Trainer
IFS Certified Psychologist
Faculty, Past Director of Training: Gestalt Center for Psychotherapy and Training

I’m grateful to Art Mones for writing the book that he wanted to read.  He has written the book I have wanted to read for years. Through the quest to find the therapeutic approach that is most efficacious to lift clients out of their pain and trauma, Mones’ MetaModel centers on Internal Family Systems that joins other approaches that view psychological symptoms not as pathology but, placed in multiple contexts, as well-intentioned, adaptive attempts to survive.  As the client is held in an accepting and compassionate therapeutic relationship, with Second Order interventions, their symptoms lose their grip on mind and body and health is restored.  Journeying on this quest for the essence of healing, the reader is guided by the mastery of Mones’ vast professional experience and is held in his compassion, wisdom, boldness, gentleness and generosity.”

-Susan McConnell, MA.
Senior Lead trainer: IFS Institute
Author: Somatic Internal Family Systems Therapy: Awareness, Breath, Resonance, Movement and Touch.

 Art Mones' book reads as part memoir, and part primer well-suited for therapists in training, early career clinicians, and seasoned therapists seeking to expand their practice effectiveness with diverse populations in mental and emotional distress.

Art's expansion of Internal Family Systems theory reminds me of the old real estate marketing promo: "Location, location, location". Dr. Mones studies,  observes and sensitively uses his unique integrated model of healing trauma  within human contexts; the field of lived experience, drawing the necessary clinical material from past into present life; individual, family and couple contexts are the major sub-fields in his study.

His humanistically inspired quest is to generate a renewed, informed therapist use of self, and this central motive takes the reader on his personal and clinical journey. His non-pathologizing meta-model includes the study of how patients endure and cope with past or current pain and suffering by "going on being" (W.W. Winnicott). His chapters take the reader through many of the established psychiatric, and manualized  remedies, often short term, that foster "first" order change and symptom relief.Second order, or deeper lasting internal and interpersonal improvements, are at the center of his examination of psychotherapy theories,training, and practice. While giving major contributors to the field of mental health, and psychotherapy their due, Dr. Mones advances the knowledge base for practice in several ways: First he resists reifying his training, preferring a humble examination of his and other's subjectivity when repeating what they "know"; leaving doubt, uncertainty, and not assuming objective truth, as his scientific ethic.

Sections one, two and three connect the fields of study that provide the revisions that lead the reader to the essence of healing, and the limitations of other models in use, when defining what is the ailment to be treated, or in determining healing potential. Humility and experiencing vulnerability in the therapist and his clients are illustrated by vivid clinical vignettes with children, couples and families. The power of the examined self comes through regularly in the chapters, when healing is most difficult. Curiosity in this reviewer's experience, is a major therapeutic tool, but accessing it can become blocked by insecurities, guilt, or inhibition. Reclaiming or discovering therapeutic curiosity is dependent on the courage of the therapist and their supervisor. Dr. Mones refers to the influence of his mentors and consultants in his quest for a Meta-model. Additional material on the supervisor's role in teaching this model could be the  basis for a future book. I recommend this book for its clarity, the thorough examination of contextual contributions to client system's survival tools, including dysfunctional behaviors, and interpersonal relationships, cultural inheritances, and transformational potentials. Most important are the reminders of what goes into the "loving" heart of a capable therapist.”

-  Carl Bagnini, LCSW, BCD
Faculty member, Supervisor: The Adelphi Derner Institute of Psychoanalysis and The Couple Therapy Training Programs
Author: Keeping Couples in Treatment-working from surface to depth, Roman and Littlefield.
Former Senior and founding faculty: The International Psychotherapy Institute.
Faculty, Supervisor: The Training Institute for Mental Health.  

Unique compared to other books about trauma:

Compared to other books about trauma, The Essence of Healing utilizes the Internal Family Systems Model to understand and heal mental health issues, resulting from trauma, and other causes. The book helps clinicians understand the connection between external stressors and dysfunctional behavior through the use of The Functional Hypothesis, to frame problematic behaviors as a functional strategy to adapt to trauma. Unique features of the book are that it:

·         Employs a non-pathologizing approach to conceptualizing and working with trauma

·         Incorporates and strengthens systems in the individual’s life as resources to manage trauma. In cases of breakdown in those systems, examples, and strategies for repairing the structures are described.

·         Traces the author’s personal experiences at key moments in the historical treatment of trauma and mental health and how family systems therapy and major practitioners were informed by and incorporated common factors of efficacious treatment.

·         Describes strategies for integrating these major treatments into an effective integrated approach.

·         Provides the insights, wisdom, and humor of a seasoned mental health practitioner, along with personal anecdotes of a career in mental health treatment.

·         Provides worksheets, exercises, and case studies to aid in learning the concepts, making the book useful as a study tool for professional growth for individual, group, or educational development.


Art Mones, Ph.D., ABPP is a Diplomate
in Clinical Psychology and Faculty in the
Postgraduate Programs at the Derner
Institute, Adelphi University. He has served
as an AAMFT Approved Supervisor and
is a Certified IFS Therapist. His previous
publications include Transforming Troubled
Children, Teens and Their Families: An Internal
Family Systems Model for Healing, KidsWorld
Psychotherapeutic Board Game along with a
Therapist’s Guide to KidsWorld.
Art is based on Long Island, New York and in the Berkshires,
Massachusetts. He offers Workshops and Consultation Groups on
The Essence of Emotional Healing.