As Don D. Jackson points out in his stimulating foreword, Jay Haley is not a psychiatrist or a psychoanalyst or a clinical psychologist. He is a Communications Analyst, using the insights of communications analysis to attempt to discover common factors in various psychotherapeutic techniques and to devise simple but effective psychotherapeutic interventions. In this slim but fascinating volume he has managed to be stimulating, provocative, and disturbing. The reviewer states categorically that no one will read this book without being fascinated, amused, awed, irritated, angry, provoked to deep thought, curious, and stimulated to review further his own theoretical orientation to his work.
Haley begins with definitions of a new (to me) language, involving such strange terms as symmetrical, complementary, and metacomplementary relationships, communications and metacommunications, rules and metarules, and the posing and handling of paradoxes and therapeutic paradoxes. He then proceeds to discuss, in terms of communications theory