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Psychotherapy and Politics
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Psychotherapy and Politics

First Edition


March 2000 | 192 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
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 appropriate topic for therapy and counselling?
 
Introduction
 
Psycho-Politics
Entering the 21st Century

 
 
PART ONE: PSYCHOTHERAPY IN POLITICS
`Right' and `Left' Therapists up to 1945

 
 
Alternative Realities
 
Therapy for the People
 
Deconstructing Mental Illness
 
Conflict and Community
 
Pressing for Policy Changes
 
Conclusion to Part One
 
PART TWO: PSYCHOTHERAPY OF POLITICS
 
Culture on the Couch
 
Psychohistory and the Family
 
Gender and Sexuality
 
The Roots of Hatred
 
Conclusion to Part Two
 
PART THREE: POLITICS OF PSYCHOTHERAPY
 
Psychotherapy under Totalitarianism
 
Psychotherapy in the Public Eye
 
The Institutions of Psychotherapy
 
Challenging the Institutions of Psychotherapy
 
Conclusion to Part Three
 
PART FOUR: POLITICS IN PSYCHOTHERAPY
 
Challenging Bias and Ideology
 
Challenging the Therapeutic Relationship
 
Beyond Therapy?
 
Conclusion to Part Four

`This book bristles with challenges, is richly referenced, rigorously and compellingly argued. Its interest for student counsellors is in helping us to understand the politics of our own positions, both institutional and ideological' - Counselling and Psychotherapy Journal

`This stimulating addition to SAGE's catalogues aims to give the practisng counsellor/therapist a multi-dimensional overview of the various ways in which the political and psychotherapeutic worlds interface' - Association for University and College Counselling Newsletter

`This is a truly outstanding book. In a world riven with anger, hatred, fear and aggression it provides a window of rationality, inspired by intelligence, understanding and humanistic principles' - The Journal of Critical Psychology, Counselling & Psychotherapy

`SAGE's invariably stimulating book series 'Perspectives in Psychotherapy', edited by Colin Feltham, is certainly fortunate to be graced by the latest addition from Nick Totton, who offers us a tour de force of the diverse and manifold ways in which therapy and politics interpenetrate and inform each other' - Richard House, Self & Society

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Nick Totton

Nick Totton is a psychotherapist and trainer in private practice in Leeds, UK. Trained originally as a Reichian therapist, he now practises and teaches his own synthesis, Embodied-Relational Therapy, drawing on psychoanalysis and Process Oriented Psychology as well as on Reichian ideas. More About Author

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