The Therapeutic Turn. How psychology altered Western culture

In what ways has psychology become more influential in Western society?

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In this book author Ole Jacob Madsen considers the notion of a ‘Therapeutic Turn’ in Western culture – the tendency for psychology to permeate ever new spheres within society.

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.

 

Published June 10, 2014 8:30 AM