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 ...Read MoreIn 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, and that this can only be done according to the therapists' own notions and prejudices, 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".Read Less
I have posted a review about the first book of a series of 5 written by J. Moussaieff Masson about psychoanalysis and therapy : The Assault On Truth. In this review I also recommended Against Therapy.
This series of books make sense independently of course, but the 5 books are richer in teachings together.
Again, Masson is not commenting here about a situation of dark social control and manipulation, he is investigating and THEN he forms his conclusions (how exotic). By no means he leaves us helpless, with the brilliant prospect of therapy smashed to smithereens : on the contrary, discarding damaging options redirects and saves time. And money (of course). And hopes of getting somewhere that makes sense.
There's life out of masochism, sadism, nosography and devious insults.
Copyright in bibliographic data and cover images is held by Nielsen Book Services Limited, Baker & Taylor, Inc., or by their respective licensors, or by the publishers, or by their respective licensors. For personal use only. All rights reserved. All rights in images of books or other publications are reserved by the original copyright holders.