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Philosophy and Psychotherapy

Philosophy and Psychotherapy

December 1996 | 192 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
Challenging and incisive, Philosophy and Psychotherapy is the first authoritative work to apply philosophical discipline to therapeutic claims and counter claims. Author Edward Erwin discusses some of the key philosophical issues that have a particular relevance to psychotherapeutic theoryùautonomy and free choice, the nature of the self, epistemology, and values and moralsùas well as examining specific interdisciplinary issues that cut across the boundaries between philosophy and psychotherapy. In addition, he also looks at the crisis in psychotherapy today, offering a valuable philosophical insight into the debate about the proliferation and efficacy of therapeutic approaches. Philosophy and Psychotherapy breaks new ground and will encourage all psychotherapists, counselors, and applied psychologists to reexamine their practice and clarify their thinking. It is clearly a significant contribution to the critical analysis of one of the most influential systems of thought and practice of our time.
Autonomy, Free Choice and the Possibility of a Psychotherapeutic Science
Values and Morals
The Self in Psychotherapy
Postmodernist Clinical Epistemology
A Critique

Behavior Modification and the New Behaviorism
Cognitive Therapy and Behavior Therapy
Psychoanalysis and the Psychodynamic Therapies
The Crisis in Psychotherapy

`Erwin's argumentative skills and knowledge of the literature are remarkable and most of his original claims are persuasive....The merit of the analysis Erwin offers is to provide a well-informed and accessible account of the current state of psychotherapy, its history and its philosophical grounds' - Metapsychology Online

`Psychotherapy urgently needs to learn from philosophy... considering how much philosophy has to say about the human issues that psychotherapists work with and how much it can contributre in terms of clarity, consistency and breadth and depth of thinking about all this... Erwin's book makes philosophy accessible to psychotherapists. He shows how important philosophical analysis is in order to gain clarity about the theories and methods of psychotherapy... Erwin's book is an excellent antidote to psychotherapeutic complacency. It is a book that requires one to question oneself as a psychotherapist and which reveals how much remains hidden underneath professional pomposity and dogmatism... I would certainly recommend this book most strongly to all psychotherapists and counsellors, most especially to trainees' - The European Journal of Psychotherapy, Counselling & Health

`[The book] includes detailed and illuminating discussions about efficacy, the placebo effect and therapist "expertise"... For those readers who favour an empirical-scientific approach to counselling and therapy, and who view therapy, at least potentially or in principle, as an objective science, this will no doubt be a very useful and informative book... We should be grateful that Erwin has set out more fully than anyone to date the specifically philosophical case for a "science of therapy"; and those of a New Paradigm persuasion at least now know the nature of the arguments they will have to refute in order to sustain their position. I look forward with eager anticipation to their efforts, and to an emerging and fruitful engagement between philosophy and therapy - for both have a great deal to learn from each other' - Counselling, The Journal of the British Association for Counselling

`Erwin's analyses are interesting and intellectually provoking' - British Psychological Society History and Philosophy of Psychology Newsletter

`Stimulating, exciting - and not for the faint-hearted' - Professor Windy Dryden, Goldsmiths College, University of London

Edward Erwin