A COMPLETE GUIDE TO THERAPY: From Psychoanalysis to Behavior Modification by Joel Kovel

A COMPLETE GUIDE TO THERAPY: From Psychoanalysis to Behavior Modification

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Psychiatrist/professor Kovel (author also of White Racism: A Psychohistory) says one of his intentions in writing this book was to provide a guide through the bewildering proliferation of therapies for those who are seeking help, so that they may choose a type of therapy suited to their special problems, personalities, and pocketbooks. In this he has succeeded with an admirable evenhandedness, surmounting bis own admitted bias towards the Freudian to give a fair assessment of therapies ranging from neo-Freudian analysis (with its stress on interpersonal relations and self-esteem rather than on the repression of infantile sexuality) and Jungian analysis (with its emphasis on transpersonal symbolism) to the less millenarian branches of the human potential movement (Rogerian, Gestalt) and the more responsible group and body therapies. He reserves his contempt for the consumerist jargon of Transactional Analysis, the mechanism of behavior mod, and the potential authoritarian cultism of Janov's Primal and Erhard's EST. But the book is much more than just a well-organized guide; it is grounded in a deeply considered definition of neurosis, therapy, and transference in the political and moral context of human nature and modem life. It includes a fascinating genealogy and a flexible classification of therapeutic schools, as well as a valuable anticipation of questions that may nag the potential patient: whether therapy will diminish creativity, whether the therapist must have professional qualifications, how one may judge whether therapy is working when getting better may temporarily necessitate feeling worse. Kovel's audience will be somewhat special: middle class, intelligent, with the high literacy, patience, and curiosity to follow a complex and qualifying mind.

Pub Date: June 14th, 1976
Publisher: Pantheon