• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

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

Conclusions to Part II
Conclusions to Part II

Several central issues start to emerge in Part Two. The overarching one, perhaps, is ‘human nature’. What are people like? What do we have to be like, and what can be changed by upbringing, by education, by general social or material environment? These are key questions of political theory, setting up the framework within which it is meaningful to argue over goals, strategies and tactics. And they are clearly questions on which psychotherapists might be expected to have views.

It is arguable, in fact, that psychotherapists necessarily have views on these issues: it is scarcely possible to undertake the activities of psychotherapy without them. Mostly these consist of beliefs about which qualities and activities are ‘natural’ and ‘healthy’, and ...

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