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 16: Challenging Bias and Ideology
Challenging Bias and Ideology
Psychotherapy and counselling have been massively and often justifiably criticized for treating some behaviour as ‘normal’, ‘healthy’, etc., and other behaviour as deviant and ‘neurotic’. Issues cited include gender; sexual orientation; ethnic group and culture; and class.
These matters are still being fought out in therapy, just as in the world in general: it would be wrong to expect therapy to solve them in isolation. But one criticism we will encounter is precisely of therapy's unwillingness to give up this isolation and engage with such issues – to exist ‘in the real world’.36 In Jeffrey Masson's words:
Every therapy I have examined … displays a lack of interest in social injustice. Each shows a lack of interest in physical and ...