THE IRONIES AND ART OF PSYCHOTHERAPY: A CALL FOR THE HUMANITIES

  • Howard Goldstein Professor Emeritus, Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland OH

Abstract

My purpose in this essay is not only to add to a genre of literature that represents the humanities, but to use a personal ethnography, a narrative account of my experiences in psychotherapy, with psychotherapists, and doing psychotherapy to illustrate the ironies, paradoxes, and other all-too-human idiosyncrasies that call for the wisdom of the humanities and the arts for the education for and practice of helping. It is a story that bridges over 40 years, most of my adult life and the total of my professional life Not only does the story begin without presuppositions; its origin is my initial state of confused innocence and naiveté. More than just a collection of anecdotes, the narrative mode has as its purpose the telling of more than it says in moral, critical, and cautionary terms. My license for this undertaking - augmented by whatever qualifications I have earned as a scholar, therapist, educator, and researcher - is age: simply, I have been around long enough -from the eras of Freud, Jung, and Rogers to those of Prosac and Wellbutrin have gathered a bit of wisdom about the vagaries of therapy.

 

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Published
2014-06-25
Section
General Submissions