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Free Content Psychotherapy as Civics: The Patient and Therapist as Citizens

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The field of psychotherapy has failed to live up to its promise to be a force in the continued development of democracy by aligning itself with medicine and psychiatry. Psychotherapists must recognize that those with whom they work and disseminate information to are inevitably citizens and that they are redefining citizens as mental patients. By utilizing psychiatric diagnoses, which are in effect, moral labels, psychotherapy unwittingly helps create authoritarian political structures by convincing their patients and the public that they are essentially inferior and can do nothing to change that condition. A series of recommendations are made that suggest ways for psychotherapy to free itself from institutional psychiatry and medicine and build its own "house."
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Keywords: authoritarian/totalitarian; democratic/humanistic; political systems; psychoanalysis; psychotherapy

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Kingsborough Community College, City University of New York, NY

Publication date: January 1, 2005

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