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 6: Conflict and Community
Conflict and Community
Psychotherapy offers enormous resources for the political project of confronting conflict, through its work on and in groups. (A good general source on group work approaches is Shaffer and Galinsky 1974.) We will look at the more theoretical side of this in Chapter 11. However, many psychotherapy schools, in particular the analytic and psychodynamic ones, have been extremely reticent about trying to apply their knowledge of groups in a practical political context. Andrew Samuels has run workshops in this area (Samuels 1993, 27), although he does not describe them at all specifically in his published work on psychotherapy and politics. Another exception is Gordon Lawrence's work on ‘social dreaming’ (Lawrence 1998), emerging from the Tavistock tradition.
Encounter groups were developed by ...