‘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.

Psychotherapy and the Challenge of Evil

Psychotherapy and the challenge of evil

It is all too easy to conjure up images of evil. Faced with such a task, my own mind provokes immediate and obvious thoughts of Pol Pot, Fred and Rosemary West, Pinochet, Stalin. Numerous competitors struggle for my attention, each raising up ever more explicit images of sickening brutality. I think of the violence enacted under the cause of political ideology, or religious faith, or racial and ethnic cleansing, or for purposes of economic expediency and the assertion of power. I think of clients who have been victimized by the rapist and the molester, whether a stranger or a once-trusted member of their family. I also think of those clients who were, themselves, the ...

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