Published 28 May 2019

The Talking Cure: normal people, their hidden struggles and the life-changing power of therapy

Prof Gill Straker and Dr Jacqui Winship


About The Book

 The idea for the book was born out of a question commonly posed by students: 'But what really happens in the therapy room? How does it work in practice?' 

In an effort to respond to this question, as well as to grapple with why it is that so many of their patients are high functioning individuals in many aspects of their lives yet troubled in others, Gill Straker and Jacqui Winship spent the next two years drawing on their combined decades of experience as psychotherapists to write The Talking Cure. While metaphorically allowing the reader to peek inside the therapy room and observe the process in action,  the book also breaks down the divide between therapist and patient and illustrates the kinds of issues that we are all vulnerable to. 

The essence of successful therapy is the relationship between the therapist and the patient, a dance of growing trust and understanding. It is an intimate, messy, often surprising and sometimes confusing business - but when it works, it is life-changing. In The Talking Cure, Gill and Jacqui bring us nine inspiring stories of personal transformation. They introduce us to their patients, fictional amalgams of real-life cases, and reveal how the art of talking and listening helps us to understand deep-seated issues that profoundly influence who we are in the world and how we see ourselves in relation to others. We come to understand that the transformative power of the therapeutic relationship can be partly replicated in our everyday lives by the simple practice of paying attention and being truly present with those we love. Whether you have experienced therapy (or are tempted to try it), or you are just intrigued by the possibilities of a little-understood but profound process, this wise and compassionate book will deepen your sense of what it is to be open to connection - and your appreciation that to be human is to be just a little bit mad.

About the authors

Professor Gill Straker

Gill Straker

 Professor Gill Straker is a highly experienced clinical professor in the School of Psychology at Sydney University. She has published widely in the area of psychotherapy and psychology. She is a passionate believer in the transformative power of authentic relating and is firmly of the belief that we all are engaged in psychological struggles that we tend to hide, including from ourselves. Gill has a private therapy and supervision practice in Sydney.

Dr Jacqui Winship

Jacqui Winship

 Dr Jacqui Winship has had twenty-five years of experience as a clinical psychologist, psychotherapist and supervisor. Jacqui believes in the power of the therapy relationship to enable individuals and couples to grow, heal and thrive. As a mother, she has plenty of sympathy for how hard it is to get it right as a parent and shares with Gill a keen belief that we are all grappling with our own brands of 'everyday madness' as we navigate what it is to be human. She is based in Sydney. 

 Gill and Jacqui share a close friendship which enhanced the iterative writing process. The finished product is an amalgam of both their voices.  

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