We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Durham e-Theses
You are in:

Psychotherapy as social critique

Tees, Sheila E (1996) Psychotherapy as social critique. Masters thesis, Durham University.



Several commentators on psychotherapy have suggested that certain features of contemporary society are creating additional psychological problems for people. They argue that traditional individualistic approaches to psychotherapy cannot account theoretically for the social dysfunctions which could be responsible for psychological problems. The focus of such dysfunctions are de-ethicalised human relations either due to social institutional constraints (forms of macro-conduct) or the uncoupling of micro-conduct (person to person activities) from macro-conduct. I examine recent approaches to psychotherapy to find out whether they consider contemporary features of social existence in their accounts. My aim is to provide an account of psychotherapy which considers personal and social existence co-relative to each other. Only by theoretically establishing such a relation can there be an adequate analysis of persons interacting with each other or their social practices. I propose three modalities, personhood, micro-conduct and macro-conduct for my account of psychotherapy. Each of these can influence the other. My approach to psychotherapy as social critique is organised around the principle of social and moral values which includes both persons as evaluators and the values pertaining to social practices in the social environment. I contend that such evaluators are moral agents with both species-related and individual attributes of intentions and powers and also what I term, knowledge-ability. I suggest that the process of evaluation is a skilled process involving feedback between persons and their practices as a result of which persons can regulate and modify their social practices. This skilled process establishes also the regulatory methodological features of psychotherapy practice which can give rise to psychotherapeutic betterment. I have achieved an account of social psychotherapy that is relational and developmental and in this respect allows for psychotherapeutic betterment. The account which I offer is not a normative account but is one which is available for empirical enquiry.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Philosophy
Thesis Date:1996
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:24 Oct 2012 15:08

Social bookmarking: del.icio.usConnoteaBibSonomyCiteULikeFacebookTwitter