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Ekstrom, S. (2001). SAMUELS, ANDREW. Politics on the Couch: Citizenship and the Internal Life. London: Profile Books, 2001. Pp. ix + 235. Pbk. £10.99.. J. Anal. Psychol., 46(4):698-700.

(2001). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 46(4):698-700

SAMUELS, ANDREW. Politics on the Couch: Citizenship and the Internal Life. London: Profile Books, 2001. Pp. ix + 235. Pbk. £10.99.

Review by:
Soren Ekstrom

Judging from what is being published, interest in politics is somewhat unusual among analytical psychologists or, for that matter, all psychotherapists. Whether this is due to strictures imposed on the profession or by boundaries we have made for ourselves, is one of the first questions raised in a new book, Politics on the Couch. Its author, Andrew Samuels, has been a persistent investigator of the political implications of our trade.

His previous book, The Political Psyche, analysed the political scene in Western democracies from the perspective of depth psychology. It also examined Jung's relationship to the Third Reich and described an extensive project tracing how psychotherapists view political material presented in the clinical setting.

This time, Samuels takes yet another step. He is asking if and how psychotherapists can make contributions in the political arena. His answer is given from the onset. Samuels complains that politics in many Western countries is ‘broken and a mess’.

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