• 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

Pressing for Policy Changes
Pressing for policy changes

So far we have focused largely on psycho-political initiatives aimed at deep structural change in society – political or cultural transformation. Now we will consider initiatives with a more tightly focused goal, where therapists and counsellors seek to influence governmental and/or social policy in particular ways. Even here, there is a characteristic tendency to look deeper, to ask – just as therapy asks with individual clients – what the fundamental conditions are which have created the existing policies.

‘Emotional Literacy’

Psychotherapists and Counsellors for Social Responsibility (PCSR) was set up in the UK in 1995 as ‘a forum for psychotherapists, counsellors and members of other professions who wish to influence and broaden the political process’ (PCSR, n.d.); among its founders ...

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