This stimulating book explores the long-standing relationship between psychotherapy and politics and argues that from the beginning psychotherapy has had a political face. Documenting instances where ideas from psychotherapy have been incorporated into the political agenda, the book demonstrates the practical value of psychotherapy as an instigator of social and political change. Related to this, attempts to understand and evaluate political life through the application of psychotherapeutic concepts are examined. The author poses a number of key questions, including: What is human nature? Are aggression and violence innate in us? Is the therapeutic relationship inherently unequal? And, is the political an a
Chapter 8: Culture on the Couch
Culture on the Couch
From Freud onwards, psychotherapy has frequently seen it as part of its job to diagnose the ills of culture at large. Conversely, some forms of therapy have offered either explicit or implicit support to conventional values – and hence have diagnosed new rebellious trends as pathological in nature. As we shall see, there is no fixed aspect to psychotherapy's view of society; except, perhaps, its belief in its own expertise on the topic.
Civilization and Repression
Freud was a widely educated man, who originally wanted to be a philosopher (Gay 1995, 118–19); he always related his psychological studies to a broad view of human nature and human culture. As psychoanalysis became more established Freud spoke publicly from the position of expert ...