When All Else Fails

Some new and some old tools for doing brief therapy

By: Rubin Battino


Products specifications
Attribute name Attribute value
Size: 234 x 156mm
Pages : 208
ISBN : 9781845908942
Format: Paperback
Published: December 2014

For a number of years, Rubin Battino has been presenting professional workshops on the art of very brief therapy. He defines very brief therapy as seeing clients only once or twice, with any additional sessions being the client’s choice. In his new book, When All Else Fails: Some new and some old tools for doing brief therapy, the emphasis is on the many approaches that can be used as rapid and effective methods for working with clients. The author feels that the essence of brief therapy is the expectation of the therapist (which is transmitted to the client one way or another) that only a few sessions will be needed to resolve realistically and satisfactorily the client’s concerns.

The book addresses both new and old ways of doing brief therapy. Some of the new ways include: expectation; the power of pauses; chatting as therapy; poetry; healing language; touch; laughter and others. Some of the old ways include: Gestalt therapy; bioenergetic analysis; neuro linguistic programming (NLP); encounter groups and group therapy; and ideomotor signalling; psychodrama; narrative therapy, provocative therapy and hypnosis. The last is an important part, both directly or indirectly, of all of the methods discussed. Whenever a client ‘goes inside’ during a session, they are effectively in a trance state.

A therapist who can choose among a variety of brief therapy techniques is more than likely to be in greater command of the therapeutic process as he or she will be able to choose exactly those techniques that fit their client’s situation and their personality. This book offers the professional a myriad of options for a more well-rounded practice.

Picture for author Rubin Battino

Rubin Battino

Rubin Battino MS has a private practice in Yellow Springs, Ohio. He is an Adjunct Professor for the Department of Human Services at Wright State University, and has over twenty five years of experience as a facilitator of a support group for people who have life-challenging diseases and for caregivers. He is a Fellow of the National Council for Hypnotherapy (UK), and also a Fellow of two chemistry societies. Other publications by Rubin include: Healing Language. A Guide for Physicians, Dentists, Nurses, Psychologists, Social Workers, and Counselors; Howie and Ruby. Conversations 2000 - 2007;, That's Right, Is it Not? A Play About the Life of Milton H. Erickson, MD, and Using Guided Imagery and Hypnosis in Brief Therapy and Palliative Care.

Click here to listen to Rubin's interview with London School of Clinical Communications and Hypnosis.


  1. When Rubin Battino has authored a book I know it is always going to be such an informative and inspirational read, and this one was no exception. He speaks from a place of vast therapeutic experience and with great technical and theoretical knowledge, but most of all he talks with passion! This book is underpinned with philosophical undertones about what it means to be human, what is important in life, why people need therapy and how they can benefit from it, while referring to Victor Frankl, Bandler and Grinder, Erickson and many other quality authors that have inspired him (and myself over the years).

    In Part I there are many gems that will enlighten or remind you (depending on your experience) just how the simplest of things said, and the stance held in your therapy room, can make such a difference to clients in all their stuckness and quickly help them find their answers. Therapy is such a human to human experience which can so often get lost in theory and models, but Battino brings things right back to you and me, person to person.

    In Part II he is “wondering over the fields of psychotherapy” but you get so much more than this. You are given the chance to be informed about 12 different approaches that not only leave you more knowledgeable about different therapeutic modalities, but most importantly it gives you further tools to use in your therapy room that will make a difference, and further reading guidelines to find out more.

    Therapy is about helping individual people with their individual issues in a way that is meaningful to them, and this book reminds us of this very important fact in a down-to-earth, practical and inspirational way. Thank you, Rubin.

    I shall be highly recommending this book to our trainees and supervisees.
  2. Another excellent, and sometimes provocative book from Rubin Battino that refreshingly embraces the current move towards pluralism in therapy. Exploring the modern requirement for very brief therapy When All Else Fails delves into a cornucopia of techniques, unashamedly giving new relevance to old approaches that have, as a result of unwarranted bias towards more populist approaches, fallen out of favour.

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