In this book the author suggests that the techniques and aims of psychotherapy are open to abuse. He regards it as self-evident that the therapist makes demands on the patient that cannot be fulfilled and that the financial exigencies of the relationship are open to corruption. Masson sets out to show that "abuse of one form or another is built into the very fabric of psychotherapy", that "it is the nature of therapy to distort another person's reality" and that since it is the therapist's task to change people this can only be done according to the therapists' own notions and prejudices, so the psychological process is necessarily corrupt. The author delves into the practices of many well-known therapists. Beginning with cases from the 19th century when patients could be incarcerated while patently sane, he goes on to attack Jung as well as practitioners like Fritz Perls and Carl Rogers, attempting to demonstrate that whether the approach is confrontational or sympathetic, a benign despotism is not better than a malign one. Masson has also written "The Assault on Truth: Freud's Suppression of the Seduction Theory", "The Oceanic Feeling: The Origins of Religious Sentiment in Ancient India", "A Dark Science: Women, Sexuality and Psychiatry in the Nineteenth Century" and "The Complete Letters of Sigmund Freud to Wilhelm Fliess, 1887-1904".
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harper pbk,2003From the Back Cover:
In this ground-breaking and highly controversial book, Jeffrey Masson attacks the very foundations of modern psychotherapy from Freud to Jung, Fritz Perls to Carl Rogers. With passion and clarity, 'Against Therapy' addresses the profession's core weaknesses, contending that, since therapy's aim is to change people, and this is achieved according to therapists' own notions and prejudices, the psychological process is necessarily corrupt. With a foreword by the eminent British psychologist Dorothy Rowe, this cogent and convincing book has shattering implications for the world of psychotherapy today.
"A dynamic attack on one of the century's great creeds"
"A brilliant and courageous expose of the damage that unavoidably occurs in the name of 'psychotherapy'…essential reading"
MIKE LAWSON, Vice-Chairman, 'Mind'
"Clear and demystifying…we have much to thank Masson for"
NIGELLA LAWSON, 'Guardian'
"'Against Therapy' is a humane, insightful, and amazingly gentle argument. Masson's commitment to human dignity suffuses every part of his thesis"
"A guru against gurus"
D M THOMAS, 'Observer'
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Book Description FLAMINGO, 1992. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0006373879