• 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

Conclusions to Part I
Conclusions to Part I

A individual can be said to suffer from repression of political potential if he or she cannot engage with a political theme that, consciously or unconsciously, is exercising that individual. My clinical experience is that people are already much more engaged politically than they think they are. (Samuels 1993, 59, original italics)

I want to draw out three themes from the material presented so far. First, to reiterate what has already been said, the fact that a large majority of explicitly political therapists are on the left is partly the reflection of a general cultural truth: conservatism usually presents itself as normal, natural and central. One feature of radicalism is that it ‘politicizes’ reality, while conservatism depoliticizes it: one ...

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