Hanging by a Twig

Understanding and Counseling Adults with Learning Disabilities and ADD

By Carol Wren, with psychotherapeutic commentary by Jay Einhorn

W. W. Norton Professional Books


"Hanging by a Twig is one of the best books of its kind that I have read (and I have read quite a few!). What distinguishes this volume is the authors' breadth of knowledge and the depth of their compassion. The reader gets not only excellent information but also sensitive treatment of the emotional issues that so dog and complicate the world of learning problems and ADD. I will treasure this book and recommend it to everyone interested in the topic."

—Edward M. Hallowell, M.D.
Psychotherapist and author of Driven to Distraction

 Table of Contents

Excerpts from Hanging by a Twig

Reviews and comments

Ordering information

Book on audiotape

Carol Wren's home page

Jay Einhorn's home page













This book brings psychotherapists and counselors into the personal dimension of learning disabilities and provides them with practical insights and guidelines for assessment and treatment. Carol Wren shares compelling stories of adults with LD and ADD, whose own words reveal their anger, depression, and anxiety as they struggle to succeed in work and life. Listen, for instance, to Mary, whose metaphor provides the title of the book:

In America the philosophy is you've got to do better. Inside, though, there is that fearing, because of that "Yes, you can, yes, you can." And you're afraid that you're falling off a ledge on the side of a canyon and you're hanging on to a twig...

Cognitive and emotional issues often interact in very subtle ways and can affect the LD client's perception, communication, self-esteem, and personality development. These interactions have powerful external consequences as well, including strained family relationships, poor work histories, and the inability to "read" people and form friendships. LD and ADD can also keep clients from participating meaningfully in talk therapy. Wren's framework encourages readers to listen for LD and ADD in their adult clients.

Successful treatment begins with the psychotherapist's ability to understand a client's experiential world and establish an emotionally healing relationship based on that understanding. Wren's framework of personal stories and information about learning disabilities highlights this experiential world and shows professional readers how to listen for LD and ADD in their adult clients. Jay Einhorn's psychotherapeutic commentary adds specific guidance on treatment, so therapists can recognize their LD clients' cognitive limitations and their compensatory ways of dealing with the world.

(From the dustjacket)

Published by W.W. Norton: NY & London, 2000.
ISBN 0-393-70315-0. USA $32, CAN. $45.

CAROL WREN, PH.D., is an associate professor in the School of Education at DePaul University in Chicago. Other publications include Language Learning Disabilities and the LD Perspectives booklet series.



JAY EINHORN, PH.D., is a clinical psychologist and director of the Cove Center for Adults at the Cove School in Northbrook, Illinois. Other publications include Leadership in Health Care and Human Service Organizations.

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