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Thomson, J. (1994). The Political Psyche by Andrew Samuels. Published by Routledge, London, 1993; 360 pages; £40.00 (hardback); £14.99 (paperback).. Brit. J. Psychother., 11(1):151-154.

(1994). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 11(1):151-154

The Political Psyche by Andrew Samuels. Published by Routledge, London, 1993; 360 pages; £40.00 (hardback); £14.99 (paperback).

Review by:
Jean Thomson

This is a time when so many of us who read the British Journal of Psychotherapy are aware that the organisational foundations upon which we have based our working lives and our personal lives are shifting almost daily. Social work, education, the NHS are changing from diversely evolving systems of varying kinds of professionalism into organisations with an over-emphasis on the language and ethos of one system, financial management. In learning this new language for our work, we try at the same time to preserve and develop the ideas which have underpinned our various skilled applications. Whether we like it or not, we must all become ‘political’ and play a part in ensuring that the knowledge bases of our various professions continue to be usefully employed. Otherwise there is a real danger that our particular wheel will be harnessed to a runaway cash register.

Into this confusing situation Andrew Samuels makes a bold foray, addressing a varied audience from the very specialised psychotherapist to the general public. He is a Jungian analyst, well known as a lecturer and public speaker as well as a writer. He writes as he speaks - his voice rings out of the pages, confidently asserting that new ways must be found for psychotherapists to understand as well as to influence the socio-political spheres in Western culture. I quote (p.75):

I want to suggest that, rather than looking for psychopathology in culture, which is so easy to find, we try to look with psychopathology, with a psychopathological eye.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

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