In Journey to Home, Dr. Rachel B. Aarons leads us through the structural underpinnings of different therapy methods, demonstrating that they all guide the therapy process in the same way. As we move through the book, the reader is gently led through the distillation of the twelve principles of the therapeutic process until Dr. Aarons goes one step further. She extends the process of coming to know oneself and others in an open and loving way to spirituality. After one has come to know and accept the self - the shadow as well as conscious elements - taking the next step leads us beyond therapy. She challenges us to decide the ultimate question, the meaning of life: is there nothing or is there the spaciousness of universal love? She suggests tools to use in making the spiritual journey to dissolution of self, bringing the book to a surprising ending.
I was particularly impressed with Dr. Aarons’ willingness to reveal elements of her own life to illustrate points she makes, as opposed to the more usual case studies. As a person who has been in therapy for many years, I know that a therapist is often most vulnerable and yet most real when she or he shares something of a personal nature to aid in the therapy process. Dr. Aarons’ philosophy training shines through as she leads us to consider the identity of “I” and asks questions that take us ever deeper into her topics. The strength of this book lies in Dr. Aarons’ discussion of the underlying principles and steps in each part of the therapy process and then its reaching beyond to the spirituality that requires us to let go of the self we so laboriously came to know and accept. Her bottom line message reflects her conclusions as to the essential therapeutic process and her belief in universal love. The two mirror each other.
Although this book was published in 2009, the book was actually completed in 1995. However; it remains fresh with a clear-eyed view of therapy that can only result from extensive training and the experience of working with clients over a 20-year period of time. Dr. Aarons’ book is thought-provoking, clearly written, and a fascinating read.
Catherine Callahan, long-term therapy client
(reviewed the day of purchase)