Freud's Converts

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Karnac Books, 2008 - Psychology - 217 pages
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This work is an exploration of the relationship between psychotherapy and religion.

Sigmund Freud and Carl Rogers were chosen for this exposition because both of them were seduced by the high status given to science. Both founders of psychotherapies, they left a legacy that is not that of the scientists they claimed they were. The problematic relationship that each had with religion has had lasting effects on the work and attitudes of their respective followers.

In order to explore this relationship effectively, Vicki Clifford begins with a critical examination of the historical context in which both Freud and Rogers worked, and how, in their determination to be scientists, both missed the importance of the religious. She then continues with an exploration of the effects of this legacy on the work of contemporary psychotherapists.

The resistance from psychotherapists to embrace religion has been complex, although, as this book illustrates, today there are some who are acknowledging the importance of the spiritual. That psychotherapy functions as a religious movement has been excluded by practitioners in their determination to reflect the wishes of their founder, which was that their work should be regarded as science. Psychotherapists have traditionally been considered the custodians of the real and their clients are the ones suffering from delusions. With respect to their attitudes to religion--not least the spiritual--the positions seem to be reversed.

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Vicki Clifford

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