About Joel S Bergman, PhD
Joel S Bergman, PhD, is a former Senior Faculty Member of the Ackerman Institute for Family Therapy in New York City, where he is also in private practice. He is a Supervisor of Psychotherapy in the psychology doctoral programs at Yeshiva University and CUNY. He is author of Fishing for Barracuda: Pragmatics of Brief Systemic Therapy (W.W.Norton), and an Approved Supervisor and Fellow of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. A frequent guest lecturer and workshop leader, Dr Bergman is well-known to clinicians throughout the world for his lively, humorous, and creative approaches to individual, couple, and family therapy. He has written a new book which is almost competed. An excerpt from this new book is available on this website.
Fishing For Barracuda
Fishing For Barracuda? Is this a book about therapy? Most certainly!
In fact, it is about working systemically with the most challenging families and individuals, the ones who have already defeated therapist after therapist. At the same time, Joel Bergman presents a multitude of therapeutic tactics that will be useful with a wide range of families, from minnows to submarines.
Drawing extensively upon his own experiences as a therapist and as a family member, Bergman shares strategic interventions that are paradoxical, humorous, shocking, and effective. He focuses in particular on the therapist’s need to “stay alive”, to control the momentum towards change, and to make every therapeutic session dramatic and meaningful.
As the title implies, some families can involve therapists in potentially lethal contests. Bergman’s goal is to balance the odds, to help therapists develop the skills to change families quickly. Numerous case studies demonstrate his pragmatic way of using rituals, metaphors, and other strategies to hook families and then send them on their way with new resources – without being devoured!