• 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

The Institutions of Psychotherapy
The institutions of psychotherapy

As well as struggles between different bands of practitioners, there are also power struggles within therapeutic institutions: therapists seem no less aggressive and power-seeking than any other human group. An excellent and well-documented example is the International Psychoanalytic Association; but similar processes of exclusion, faction-forming and manipulation occur across the board. Why do therapists apparently find it so difficult to apply their understanding of human motivations and relationships to their own institutions? As Robert Young asks:

Why do the leaders – as distinct from the followers, patients and supervisees – behave badly? Why aren't they stopped? Why is it so hard to take account of issues of power, patronage and economics? Why, when we do, can we not provide ...

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