Back to Reality: A Critique of Postmodern Theory in Psychotherapy

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W.W. Norton, 1995 - Psychology - 296 pages
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Within psychotherapy the influence of postmodern theory, with its underlying antirealist philosophy (that the knower makes rather than discovers reality), has been growing exponentially. Yet none of the many - and proliferating - writings on this use of postmodern theory has scrutinized the problematic implications, both theoretical and applied, of this trend. This book fills that gap with the first thorough critical assessment of the theory and practice of the postmodern narrative therapy movement, a movement that now includes therapists who represent such disparate schools as family/systemic, cognitive, psychoanalytic, feminist, and constructivist therapies. In calling for a modest realism in all psychotherapy theory and practice, Held delineates a realist philosophy of knowing in terms that are accessible to readers who are not philosophers by training. She concludes by considering not only the theoretical implications of adopting an antirealist approach to therapy, but also the ethical/practical implications of that trend.

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