The Therapeutic Turn
How psychology altered Western culture
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The Therapeutic Turn evaluates the increasing prevalence of psychology in several areas of Western society: Western consumer culture, contemporary Christianity, self-help, sport and politics. Madsen proposes that there are problematic aspects to this development which are seldom recognised due to a widely held assumption that 'the more psychology, the better for everyone'. A recurring concern with psychological solutions is that they often provide individual solutions to structural problems. As a result, psychologists may be inadvertently increasing the burden on the shoulders of the people they are meant to help and, at the same time, our capacity to understand individual suffering in the light of major historical and political changes in society is becoming increasingly clouded.
The Therapeutic Turn presents an accessible and engaging critique of the influence of psychology within Western society. It will appeal to a broad audience of students, academics and lay readers interested in this aspect of modernity and contemporary society, and it will also be of great interest to practitioners and therapists.
1: Introduction 2: The consumer self 3: Crisis of authority: Philip Rieff's critique of Freud's worldview 4: Psychology and religion Interlude: Psychology in crisis? 5: The self-help culture 6: Psychology and sports 7: Psychology and neoliberalism 8: The psychology profession's ethos 9: Conclusion