• 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

Psychotherapy in the Public Eye
Psychotherapy in the public eye

In democracies, psychotherapy and counselling have not had to struggle for existence and identity in the same ways as in totalitarian societies. However, psychotherapy still has a public existence, a representation of itself by itself and by others, which can often be problematic. In totalitarianism, we might say, psychotherapy is a foreign body, intrinsically alien to its environment. In open societies, it frequently finds itself playing an important role on behalf society. That role, though, can be an ambiguous one, a site where some of society's deep tensions and splits express themselves – and are sometimes mirrored in the splits and tensions of psychotherapy itself.

The Medical Model

A recurring example is the ambivalent relationship between psychotherapy and ...

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