Coyote Speaks describes the strengths, the strategies, and the resilience a therapist needs to work successfully with alcoholics and addicts. It reports what a therapist sees, hears, smells, and feels in the midst of treating those yet to achieve sobriety, those recently sober, and those with years of recovery behind them. In the Navajo cosmology, those possessed by Coyote are neither inherently evil nor morally lacking, but like alcoholics and addicts they suffer from a malady of the soul as much as the body. The provocative humor of Coyote stories illustrates the mercurial and quixotic nature of the alcoholic and addict in treatment, while evocative case histories from the author's private practice reveal the humanity behind a disease that binds two individuals in a struggle toward honesty, humility, and sobriety. Coyote Speaks explores the darkness of alcohol and drug addiction, the humility we accept when we acknowledge our limitations as therapists, and the redemption we witness as we attend to a disease that is at best treatable. It is about caring enough, sometimes too much, and about knowing when to let go. It is about the importance of examining the trickster in each of us, and it is about listening, when Coyote speaks.
This book presents the problem of alcoholism and addictions from the point of view of the trickster as symbolized in the Native American myths of Coyote. The author demonstrates how various coyote stories dovetail with personal clinical histories, and also provides an overview of how psychotherapy works and does not work with alcoholics in a very human and understandable way.--Thomas Kirsch, M.D., Immediate Past President, International Association of Analytical Psychology, Zurich