‘It is surely worth reading, not only by the author's fellow psychiatrists, but also by psychologists in general’ — Contemporary Psychology. ’I found this book a joy to read. Each chapter sets out the orthodoxy in question, then proceeds to explain lucidly the author's difficulties with this orthodoxy and to suggest an alternative way of looking at the issues’ — Self and Society Psychotherapy's influence seems all pervasive today. But to what end? Is helping people really therapy's main mission? This provocative book explores the alternatives to psychotherapeutic orthodoxies on such vital issues as sexuality; the self; the unconscious; creativity; and the dilemma of evil. Erensto Spinelli challenges psychotherapy, asking if it has retreated from its early promise of being a pivotal agent in our attempts to discover what it means to be human, in exchange for its current role as a pacifier of personal and social unease.

I am not a Noun: The Vagaries of the Self

I am not a noun: The vagaries of the self

Who am I?

This question, I would suggest, remains the most fundamental among the many asked of psychotherapists by their clients. It is, as well, the seminal question asked by all of us whose reflections upon existence are structured within the parameters of Western culture and history. And, because it is a question that is bounded by the constraints and suppositions of our civilization, the manner in which we construe it reveals a number of implicit assumptions that ought to be made explicit. Among these assumptions, the most important (at least as far as psychotherapy is concerned) are the following:

  • The self is a ‘thing’, an ...
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