Publications July-November 2014
Passions, persons, psychotherapy, politics
Andrew Samuels is one of the best known figures internationally in the fields of psychotherapy, Jungian analysis, relational psychoanalysis and counselling and in academic studies in those areas. His work is a blend of the provocative and original together with the reliable and scholarly. His many books and papers figure prominently on reading lists on clinical and academic teaching contexts.
This self-selected collection, Passions, Persons, Psychotherapy and Politics, brings together some of his major writings at the interface of politics and therapy thinking. In this volume, he includes chapters on the market economy, prospects for eco-psychology and environmentalism; the role of the political Trickster, particularly the female Trickster; chapters on the father; on relations between women and men and his celebrated and radical critique of the Jungian idea of ‘the feminine principle’. Clinical material consists of his work on parents and on the therapy relationship. The book concludes with his seminal and transparent work on Jung and anti-semitism and an intriguing account of the current trajectory of the Jungian field.
Samuels has written a highly personal and confessional introduction to the book. Each chapter also has its own topical introduction, written in a clear and informal style. There is also much that will challenge long-held beliefs of many working in politics and in the social sciences. This unique collection of papers will be of interest to psychotherapists, Jungian analysts, psychoanalysts and counsellors – as well as those undertaking academic work in those areas.
Relational psychotherapy, psychoanalysis and counselling: Appraisals and reappraisals (edited with Del Loewenthal)
Is therapy’s relational turn only something to celebrate? It is a major worldwide trend taking place in all the therapy traditions. But up to now appreciation of these developments has not been twinned with well-informed and constructive critique. Hence practitioners and students have not been able to engage as fully as they might with the complex questions and issues that relational working presents. Relational Psychotherapy, Psychoanalysis and Counselling: Appraisals and reappraisals seeks to redress this balance.
In this unique book, Del Loewenthal and Andrew Samuels bring together the contributions of writers from several countries and many therapy modalities, all of whom have engaged with what ‘relational’ means – whether to espouse the idea, to urge caution or to engage in sceptical reflection.
Relational Psychotherapy, Psychoanalysis and Counselling: Appraisals and reappraisals presents clinical work of the highest standard in a way that is moving and draws the reader in. The more intellectual contributions are accessible and respectful, avoiding the polarising tendencies of the profession. At a time when there has been a decline in the provision and standing of the depth therapies across the globe, this book shows that, whatever the criticisms, there is still creative energy in the field. It is hoped that practitioners and students in psychoanalysis, psychotherapy counselling and counselling psychology will welcome this book for its cutting edge content and compassionate tone.
Psychotherapy and Politics International, 12:2 (2014)
Appraising the role of the individual in political and social change processes: Jung, Camus and the question of personal responsibility – possibilities and impossibilities of ‘making a difference’
The paper is an attempt to open discussion on the role of ‘the individual’ in contemporary progressive and radical political discourse and criticism. Academic stress on the contexts in which individuals operate whilst necessary and useful, cuts us off from sources for thinking about such a role. Jung’s ideas about the relations of individual and social/collective are important and suggestive yet require extensive revision. Camus’s book The Rebel is useful in making such revisions. Centrally, the paper proposes new thinking about ‘broken’ and fractured’ individuals as it probes the limits of personal responsibility. Questions of individual political ‘type’ or ‘style’ are posed, intended to provide a novel account of how political attitudes, engagements and behaviours may be conceptualised.
International Review of Sociology, 24:1 (2014)
Economics, psychotherapy and politics
The paper explores the application of ideas derived from psychotherapy to questions of economic and social policy. It is argued that disputes concerning human nature underlie many debates on economic theory. Class is reviewed from internal and emotional perspectives. Psychological obstacles to the achievement of economic inequality are explored and ways of overcoming them critically discussed. Particular attention is paid to the operation of economic sadism in the behaviour of individuals and societies. A range of possible gender differences in relation to money is reviewed. Inherited wealth is explored from the perspective of ‘therapy thinking’. The paper proposes that we reconsider what is deemed to be realistic and what is deemed to be (hopelessly) idealistic in thinking about economics. The paper concludes by proposing a deeper discussion of the problematic of sacrifice in connection with sustainable economics.
European Journal of Psychotherapy and Counselling, 16:3 (2014)
Everything you always wanted to know about therapy (but were afraid to ask): Social, political, economic and clinical fragments of a critical psychotherapy
Three seemingly consensual propositions concerning psychotherapy and counselling are examined critically. All turn out to be unreliable, tendentious and even damaging: (i) Psychotherapy and counselling can be free and independent professions provided therapists, acting together, fight for them to be that way. (ii) Psychotherapy and counselling are private and personal activities, operating in the realms of feelings and emotions – the psyche, the unconscious, affects rooted in the body. Above all other factors, the single most important thing is the therapy relationship between two people.
(iii) Psychotherapy and counselling and psychotherapy are vocations, not jobs. Therapists are not only motivated by money. In developing his critiques of these propositions, the author utilizes social, political and economic perspectives. The author reviews new clinical thinking on the active role of the client in therapeutic process and suggests that a turn to the legendary figure of the Trickster might be of benefit to the field. The author locates his arguments in his experience of the politics and practices of psychotherapy and counselling and engages in self-criticism.
Journal of Analytical Psychology, 58:5, (2014)
Political and clinical developments in analytical psychology, 1972-2014: Subjectivity, equality and diversity – inside and outside the Consulting Room
Utilizing Jung’s idea of theory as a ‘personal confession’, the author charts his own development as a theorist, establishing links between his personal history and his ideas.
Such links include his relationship with both parents, his sexuality, his cultural heritage, and his fascination with Tricksters and with Hermes. There follows a substantial critical interrogation of what the author discerns as the two main lines of clinical theorizing in contemporary analytical psychotherapy: interpretation of transference-countertransference, and the relational approach. His conclusion is that neither is superior to the other and neither is in fact adequate as a basis for clinical work. The focus then shifts to explore a range of political and social aspects of the clinical project of analytical psychology: economic inequality, diversity within the professional field, and Jung’s controversial ideas about Jews and Africans. The author calls for an apology from the ‘Jungian community’ for remarks about Africans analogous to the apology already issued for remarks about Jews. The paper is dedicated to the author’s friend Fred Plaut (1913-2009).