Putting patient first

Michael Hooper Capital-Journal

Mary Jo Peebles-Kleiger



Mary Jo Peebles-Kleiger, author of “Beginnings: The Art & Science of Planning Psychotherapy,” published by the Analytic Press, will sign copies of the book from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Monday at Heritage Mental Health Clinic, 2921 S.W. Wanamaker

Psychotherapy: Former Menninger instructor writes book

on effective treatment

By Michael Hooper

The Capital-Journal

A former Menninger instructor and graduate of the Topeka Institute of Psychoanalysis has written a book capturing a wide range of research that contributes to effective psychotherapy.

Mary Jo Peebles-Kleiger, Ph.D., wrote “Beginnings: The Art & Science of Planning Psychotherapy,” which cites the work of many professionals she met during her two decades of work at Menninger.

Peebles-Kleiger said she wrote the book to preserve the intellectual accomplishments at Menninger as well as its traditional approach toward treating the patient.

“I wanted to capture in print the way Menninger approaches the patient,” Peebles-Kleiger said in an interview from her home in Bethesda, Md. “They have a great deal of respect and humaneness for the people in front of them.”

Peebles-Kleiger entered Menninger’s post-doctorate program in 1978 and completed her Ph.D. in 1980. She worked, supervised and taught at Menninger until leaving in 2000. She is now in private practice in Bethesda.

Her book is 334 pages, including references. Her prose is thoughtful, evocative and empirical. She cites more than 500 authors, many from Topeka.

“Much of the spirit and content of this book was gleaned from lessons learned at the Menninger Clinic,” she wrote in her acknowledgements. “I was formed as a person and as a professional by my 22 years there, and I am grateful to have had a taste of the richness of that community.” She credited Fred Shectman, Marty Leichtman, Sid Frieswyk, Rich Maxfield, Irv Rosen, Bill Smith, Len Horwitz, Glen Gabbard, Mike Harty and Don Colson, who are cited extensively in her book.

In addition to a book-signing Monday, Peebles-Kleiger will be making presentations next week to Family Service and Guidance Center, University of Kansas Department of Psychology and the Greater Kansas City Psychoanalytic Society.

Shectman, Ph.D., a key mentor to her at Menninger, said: “Dr. Peebles-Kleiger is a true daughter of the original Menninger tradition. Dr. Peebles-Kleiger brings a keen mind, inquiring spirit and good heart to her patient care, teaching and supervising. She is able to draw the best out of others and thereby helps them become more than they thought they could be.”

Shectman said her book is especially timely as Menninger prepares to depart for Houston. Menninger, founded in Topeka in 1925, is expected to join Baylor College of Medicine in June.

“Dr. Peebles-Kleiger’s book documents a way of thinking, working, even being, which is hard won and easily perishable in a world which increasingly values the bottom line over humaneness and civility,” Shectman said. “In particular, Dr. Peebles-Kleiger demonstrates how disciplined and systematic inquiry based on an inclusive approach from multiple perspectives generates focused clinical information.”

Peebles-Kleiger cited a 1973 article written by Howard Shevrin and Shectman that argues for conducting a selective history of the patient rather than a comprehensive history. Peebles-Kleiger called that article “seminal” because it showed the value of obtaining a patient history that “flows out of the investigation of current emotions, behaviors and ideas.”

“That organizes our search into the past,” Peebles-Kleiger said. In other words, selective history helps the therapist cut to the chase and enlist the patient as an active member of his or her treatment.

The author said she spent two years writing the book.

Peebles-Kleiger said that in today’s world of managed health care, sound-bite television and impersonal, scanner-system checkout lanes, personal contact is disappearing.

“Personhood is slowly being eroded,” she said, and that is why it is critical that treaters preserve the space where the personhood of the patient could emerge.

Michael Hooper can be reached

at (785) 295-1293 or mhooper@cjonline.com.

Psychotherapy: Author cites Menninger tradition


Business brief

Facility managers

to meet Wednesday

The Topeka Facility Management Association monthly meeting will be from at 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Wednesday in the multi-purpose room at Westar Energy in downtown Topeka.

The group will join the ASIS group, and Candy Ruff will be speaking about new legislation (House Bill 2402) concerning state licensing on security guards.

Lunch is provided by TFMA.

RSVP to Don Jenkins at 575-1888.

— The Capital-Journal

Copyright 2003

Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning Company. All rights Reserved.

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