Reviews for Now It All Makes Sense

“I have just finished reading Now It All Makes Sense, and it is magnificent – in its humanity, its clinical relevance, and its theoretical importance. It is a daring and creative achievement in offering a new model of psychological treatment which Dr. Stockton designates as ‘self-knowledge therapy.’

“In ten powerful and moving case histories, he documents impressive behavioral changes by focusing almost exclusively on the resistance of characterological defense mechanisms to self-knowledge. And in an additional chapter entitled, ‘It’s All My fault She’s Sick,’ Stockton presents his own case history with an honesty and humanity that are stunning.

“I hope that therapists of all disciplines and all theoretical persuasions will read this book. I believe they will be intellectually challenged as well as inspired by the author’s dedication to his patients and the courage of his own self-disclosures. “Now It all Makes Sense is a book that deserves attention. It is work of science and a work of art.”

Richard C. Simons, M.D.
Past President
American Psychoanalytic Association
Denver, Colorado


“A joy! I finished Now It All Makes Sense in two sittings and am re-reading some of the chapters. Finally, a book that helps the layman to understand how the mind works and to make both professional and layman aware of the importance of self-knowledge in becoming a mentally and emotionally healthy human being. I loved this book. I found it so readable and felt that Dr. Stockton pushed every button of concerns that people have and since I am always a happy ending person I just hope that this goes on and on - people finding help and solutions to concerns. My husband is reading it now and we both felt Dr. Stockton’s own chapter touched buttons with us.”

Marceline Kirks
Creede, Colorado


“Dr. William J. Stockton has written a marvelously lucid book. Once started, you cannot put it down. Free of jargon, the ten clinical cases are compelling because Dr. Stockton not only informs the reader of his thinking before his interventions, but has a particularly gifted manner, in the initial contact, of drawing out and engaging his patient’s interest in pursuing self-knowledge as the essential method for relief of symptoms driven by unconscious conflict. I would recommend this book not only to clinicians, but to the public as a demonstration of the importance of self understanding for the relief of emotional distress.”

Harold W. Wylie, Jr., M.D.
Former Director, Baltimore-Washington Institute for Psychoanalysis
Training and Supervising Analyst, Baltimore Washington Center for Psychoanalysis
Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Georgetown University Medical School
Washington, DC


“I wasn't sure what to expect when I began Now It All Makes Sense. I was interested to read it, but honestly I thought it would probably be a bit dry and dense. Instead, the book is remarkably interesting and accessible. The writing is crisp, clear, and conversational, skillfully so, drawing the reader into each of the life stories as they unfold, chapter after chapter. While we may not all find ourselves in a counselor's office during our lifetimes, we all struggle with significant difficulties in our lives and it is encouraging to know that many of the aspects of our lives and personalities that are out of kilter are not hopelessly so. After reading each of the case studies in the book, who would not be interested in self knowledge therapy and its obvious benefits?

“I especially appreciated that each chapter was devoted to a unique ‘patient,’ and his or her path to emotional healing. I truly marveled at how even deeply disturbed and broken lives could be salvaged with the aid of wise therapeutic counsel. How about a sequel featuring another 10 or so case histories? I'm sure there are others like me who eagerly began each chapter wondering if the featured ‘patient’ shared any of our own particular problems so that we could benefit, gratis, from Dr. Stockton’s insight as a psychoanalyst.

“I'm truly thankful that Dr. Stockton has written this book. It is a gift to anyone who has ever felt they were losing the battle to live a joyful and useful life.

“My only quibble; it is hard to believe that a potential patient calls and is scheduled for the very next day!”

Melissa Yager, Farmer
Edgar, Montana


“William Stockton’s Now It All Makes Sense provides a wonderfully jargon-free explication of the great value of psychotherapy. He makes a major step in moving from the terms ‘psychoanalysis’ and ‘psychodynamic psychotherapy’ to the conception of ‘self-knowledge therapy.’ Ten cases are described in which this therapy reduces suffering and enhances functioning to a degree any clinician would be happy to achieve.

“One of the ten patients is himself in which a therapist helped him understand the terror behind ‘it is all my fault she’s sick.’ Could Stockton have been his own therapist? We’ve all heard long, jargon-filled answers to that question. Stockton’s answer gets to the core: It won’t work because ‘there is no one to keep you honest.’

“In this day of lumping of problems under a limited number of rubrics, a lumping that reduces individualization, a lumping that contributes to so many patients only reaching partial success, it is very satisfying to read these ten interesting cases of people who, through self-knowledge therapy, move from self-defeating behaviors to reaching their full potential.

“Highly recommended.”
Roger Peele, M.D., Psychiatrist
Former Superintendent, St. Elizabeth’s Hospital
Past Speaker of the Assembly, American Psychiatric Association
Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, George Washington University
Silver Spring, Maryland


“I find the cases very interesting and understandable to a layperson, and certainly the book is well written. I confess I read the first two chapters, then just had to skip over to read Dr. Stockton’s personal story [Chapter Five], which moved me to tears more than once. Talk about overcoming! He is greatly to be admired for the way he worked through all his difficulties and became the person he is today. Downright inspirational. Now I will get back to reading the rest of the book. Thank you Dr. Stockton, I feel this book will be helpful to me personally.”

Lovena Spradling
Okmulgee, Oklahoma


“It is not often that a third party is able to ‘sit in’ on the work of a psychiatrist to witness first-hand the interchange of doctor and patient and follow the healing process. It has been some time since I studied the writings of people like Valliant, White, Coles, Erikson, et al. I do not recall that any of their books provide the vantage point of Now It All Makes Sense. This book enables the reader - both professional and lay - to hear the spoken words, to see the body language and to imagine the underlying emotions. Though Stockton acknowledges that the iden-tities of the patients and the verbatim have been edited, there is a vivid and lively authenticity in his writing. Moreover, we have the benefit of his reflections during the dialogue. They add thickness and texture to the interchange.

“Stockton’s writing is compelling. Each chapter reads like a good mystery. Though some chapter titles diminish the suspense, I felt like I was following a skilled detective helping his client unearth clues and together solving the mystery. I realize this is only one element of the process, but not knowing how it will turn out maintains the interest of the reader.

“Though there are significant differences in objectives, I was delighted to discover similarities between his approach and the one I have followed in my work with congregations and in the Parish Resource Center. The process mirrors the steps of emotional debridement as he outlines and defines them. All this is to say that in the days ahead I will be quoting Stockton and using his insights as I train Center consultants and work with congregations.

“The initial reception of Stockton’s book at a recent psychiatric conference suggests that it will be widely read among his colleagues. I believe that it also could be used in the training of ministers in seminaries, in specialized programs of pastoral counseling, and for the individualized self guided learning of ministers. Though they would lack Stockton’s training, sensitivity, and skills, reading his book would enhance their understanding of the human condition, cultivate an appreciation for the work of the psychiatrist and provide them with a model for pastoral counseling. The process Stockton follows and his style certainly would enrich the clergy who read and reflect on his words. His simple and direct style of writing also makes his work accessible to the average reader.

“I hope that an ever growing number of readers join in celebrating this book.”

D. Douglas Whiting, Ed.D.
Presbyterian Minister
Former Professor, Lancaster Theological Seminary
Founder and President, Parish Resource Center, Inc.
Lancaster, PA


“Dr. Stockton’s book is a well written, lucid description of self-knowledge therapy, a form of psychiatry that depends on an alliance between doctor and patient in order to come to grips with problems through self-understanding. He presents ten clinical case studies that illuminate his methods and his subsequent successes. The reader is given an intimate view of therapy sessions including actual dialogue. Stockton’s clear, creative exposition must be helpful to the professional therapist and particularly so to lay persons. I recommend this book highly for the values of Stockton’s perceptive and effective approach. It’s also a very good read.”

Betty Sachs
Washington, D.C.


“Dr. Stockton, through his skilled writing, invites the reader into his consultation room as he guides his patients in the work of self-knowledge. Hand in hand with his empathic description of the psychic pain and resulting maladaptive behaviors that each patient initially brings to him, Dr. Stockton explains clearly and understandably the self-knowledge theory from which he expertly and compassionately conducts their work together to identify and resolve the underlying unconscious conflicts of that pain. Now It All Makes Sense is an eminently readable book, both for the professional mental health provider as well as for anyone who has wondered how the process of psychological healing takes place.”

Diane Shaw Bennett, R.N., C.S.
Certified Clinical Nurse Specialist in Adult Mental Health
Tucson, Arizona


“I can hardly wait to get home each night so I can read more—I love it. The process is fascinating to observe and the results very believable. I keep hoping I’ll come to a ‘case’ like mine so I can learn even more about myself. I am still in the first chapter, but it is fascinating the insights I am getting into myself and other people. I went to Sherando Lake on Wednesday—I took the day off work —with my lawn chair and a picnic lunch and the book and sat there with my feet in the water. It was glorious - sunny day, cool breeze, and good book, and no phones ringing. Heavenly!!”

Carol Monroe
Nellysford, Virginia


Now It All Makes Sense is wonderful for a lay person like me. I’m so very glad Dr. Stockton chose the format he did. For fifteen years I’ve volunteered as a phone worker on Contact Lancaster Help-Line, logging up 1339 hours so far. I’ve just written a review of Now It All Makes Sense and dropped it in the director’s mailbox saying it is the most insightful and helpful book I’ve read that is so thoroughly aligned with Contact’s philosophy. It gave me a lot of clues of how better to respond to callers’ concerns, to choose among thoughts for the best one to which to respond. And, I quoted the paragraph at the bottom of p.27.

“So, you see, I not only enjoyed, even devoured, the book but will continue to benefit as I try to practice some of the learnings as I talk with people I’ll never see. (I’ll just have to imagine how they are dressed and their body language, I guess. That should be fun, too, and stimulate my life story writing episodes).”

Charlotte Whiting
Pastor, United Church of Christ
Adjunct Faculty, Lancaster Theological Seminary
Lancaster, Pennsylvania


“I'm enjoying Now It All Makes Sense. I have heard Dr. Stockton speak and I can just hear him as I read, which is joy enough. But he has done such a masterful job of describing the process of and the need for self-knowledge. This book affirms my own interest in self-knowledge and encourages me to do more. I really loved the account in Chapter One about the kleptomaniac breezing into Dr. Stockton’s office, proud of his successful robberies, and Dr. Stockton suggesting they talk about jail! I laughed out loud.”

Julia Schaeffer
Silver Spring, MD


“Congratulations to Dr. Stockton for his ‘thinking outside the analytic box’ fresh approach!”

Glenn E. Good, Ph.D, Psychoanalyst
Birmingham, Michigan


“During my years assigned at Walter Reed Army Medical Center I attended many excellent case conferences by Dr. Stockton. As a neurologist I grew to highly appreciate the diagnostic formulations and practical insights he presented. This book reminds me that his skills go far beyond those brief, efficient evaluations. How great it would be if we all could increase our self-knowledge.”

Darrell S. Buchanan, Neurologist, Col., M.C., U.S.A., Ret.
Cumberland, Maryland


“I truly relate to the self-knowledge and self-understanding therapy so brilliantly revealed in Now It All Makes Sense. As Fr. Thomas Keating, a Benedictine Abbot once said, ‘The practice of meditation and contemplative prayer is divine therapy.’ ‘Divine therapy’ and psychotherapy support one another.”

Milo G. Coerper
Lawyer, Episcopal Priest, and Contemplative Prayer Practitioner
Chevy Chase, Maryland


Now It All Makes Sense is excellent. This is an outstanding book that brings the reader into the doctor’s office. It is simplified for mental health professionals and lay people in a way that only a great masterful teacher could do. Thank you, Dr. Stockton, you are a great teacher.”

Patrick J. Sheehan, M.D., Psychiatrist
Laurel, Maryland