Book Review: The Talking Cure by Professor Gillian Straker and Doctor Jacqui Winship

Published in 2019 by Pan Macmillan Australia

Genre: Non Fiction, Society and Social Sciences, Self Help.

Page Count: 258

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Sypnosis from Pan Macmillan Australia:

‘Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.’ Carl Jung

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’s life-changing.

In The Talking Cure, psychotherapists Gill Straker and Jacqui Winship bring us nine inspiring stories of transformation.

They introduce us to their clients, 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 replicated in our everyday lives by the simple practice of paying attention and being 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 transformative 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 a little bit mad.

My Review:

Review copy provided by the Publisher, Pan Macmillan Australia, in exchange for an honest review, all thoughts are my own.

This was such a fascinating, thought provoking read! I was instantly drawn in to both the authors’ perspective, as well as the patient’s.

There were so many fascinaying character and case studies, such as the first patient, Meredith, who was struggling with her younger daughter’s temper tantrums, which were affecting not only her mentality, but also causing slight fractures in her marriage, with her husband berating their daughter for her childish antics. So yes, you could definitely say that from the first study, I was definitely feeling sympathy and sorry for the patients. We also had a couple of stories from patients where, in their parents eyes, they felt inadequate, and that had definitely transferred over to their adult life, even making them question their self worth in adult life and relationships.

Furthermore, it struck me as fascinating that I was able to see glimmers of myself, even scenarios featuring people I know, in these situations that were outlined in this book. I definitely think the authors did an amazing job, bringing these stories across the page, even though the people and discussions were in an essence, fictional, of course they were based upon truth, identities naturally hidden to preserve patient confidentiality.

I throughly enjoyed the structure of this book too, rather than just having everything presented as a long narrative, each person’s case study is initially presented before us, then we have sub sections I suppose, about a certain factor that may contribute to the person feeling how they are, perhaps followed by a second or third instance, and then several checklists about what is best to be done if the reader sees themselves reflected in these case studies, as well as the outcomes regarding the person’s mental health or even social situations which can be affected, as well as personal bonds being fractured, such as feeling inadequate in other people’s eyes.

As I was reading, I could clearly tell how not only the patients’ were affected by this book, but also the psychotherapists- they too, had to carefully monitor not only their patients, and of course they were affected by what was being confided to them, I mean, who wouldn’t be? I, as a reader and here as a reviewer, definitely only have the highest praise for both these medical professionals and just admire how they were able to get to the core of everything that had been bringing their patients close to breaking point, all whilst maintaining their professional demeanour, and not even once breaking composure! Definitely not something I could’ve done!

All in all, a highly profound and thought provoking read! I definitely recommend to everyone!

Happy Reading,


Add The Talking Cure to your Goodreads TBR here:

About the authors (from Pan Macmillan Australia)

Prof 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 has more than twenty years of experience as a clinical psychologist, psychotherapist and supervisor. Jacqui works with adults, adolescents and couples and believes in the power of the therapy relationship to enable individuals and couples to grow, heal and thrive. She is based in Sydney.


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