Becoming Miracle Workers
Language and Meaning in Brief Therapy
Brief therapy is a postmodern treatment mode that treats problems as social constructions, encouraging those seeking treatment to replace personal troubles (negative stories) with new problem-solving skills (positive stories). The significant differences discussed in this book do not involve sociologists and brief therapists. The differences are between brief therapists, on the one hand, and practitioners of psychotherapy and family therapy on the other. One indicator of these is brief therapists' describing the people who seek their services as clients. The terminology may be contrasted with the language of patients used by many other therapists. At the very least, this difference suggests how brief therapy departs from therapy approaches that are based on the medical model.
Becoming Miracle Workers takes the reader inside "Northland Clinic," one of the most innovative and important centers of brief therapy in the world. Based on twelve years of research, Miller's book discusses how brief therapy has evolved into its present, postmodern form. He describes the details of brief therapist-client interactions, and the behind-the-scenes discussions among brief therapists about their clients' problems. This readable account of the workings of brief therapy invites readers to sit in on brief therapy sessions, provides them with new understandings of personal troubles as social constructions, and shows how brief therapists help their clients develop new, untroubled, life stories.
“Miller has really written two books: one is a polemical defense of postmodernism; the other is a set of techniques and approaches used in a facility that specializes in short-term interventions with troubled people… [T]his book would be a useful library addition and is easily accessible to undergraduate students. General readers; undergraduates through graduates.”
—M. W. York, Choice
"Miller's clear and well-written descriptions provide clinicians with a æbehind-the-mirror' view of social constructionism in action."
—Journal of Systemic Therapies
“Gale Miller does a fine job of examining how and why brief therapy works, based uon his many years of observation of “Northland Clinic”. . . . This book is packed full of theoretically and epistemological questions about the therapy itself and about the construction of knowledge.”
—Anne Figert, Contemporary Sociology