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Psychotherapy as a Human Science

By Daniel Burston & Roger Frie

Publication Year: 2006

A masterful survey, Psychotherapy as a Human Science provides a critical and clinical introduction to the core themes and influential thinkers that helped to shape contemporary human science approaches to psychotherapy. Daniel Burston and Roger Frie present an excellent and concise journey through the historical background that informs the development of psychotherapy, and then proceed to deal with many of the important facets of modern psychology and psychiatry from Dilthey and Husserl to the postmodern. Perennial issues in philosophy—the nature and scope of self, knowledge and self-deception, the roots of inner and interpersonal conflicts, the nature of love and reason, the relationship between reason and faith and imagination—took on new depth and meaning in light of nineteenth and twentieth century concepts of the unconscious, alienation, authenticity, alterity and the like. Burston and Frie not only demonstrate that European philosophers laid the foundations for the way many contemporary clinicians think and practice today but provide a theoretical orientation that is too often missing in today’s medicalized practice environment. This book invites readers to delve deeply into the history and theory of existentialism, phenomenology, psychoanalysis, depth psychology and humanistic psychology. The authors both explore the implications of these approaches for clinical practice and assert the significance of theory for clinical endeavors, encouraging mental health professionals, students and theorists to widen the scope of psychotherapy practice and training.

Published by: Duquesne University Press

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. iii-iv


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pp. v-vi

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pp. vii-ix

This book is the culmination of many years of research, reflection, and spirited, scholarly communication about psychotherapy as a human science. We began this process with the aim of filling a gap in the current literature on psychotherapy. Much is written today about advances in neuroscience, empirically validated treatments, and quantitative methods for the practice...

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Psychotherapy and Philosophy

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pp. 1-23

Training in the mental health professions is increasingly driven by political and economic forces and has become very technical in focus. Insurance companies demand that psychotherapy be objectifiable, and as a result, manualized treatment protocols are now widespread. Because of this growing reliance on a natural science approach, the fact that psychotherapy rests on a set of implicit, philosophical assumptions about human experience...

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Truth, Method, and the Limits of Reason: Descartes and Pascal

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pp. 24-37


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Reason, the Unconscious,and History: Kant, Hegel, and Marx

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pp. 38-59

If Descartes ushered in the Age of Enlightenment, with its characteristic emphasis on reason, then Pascal, who dwelt on the mystery and power of the unconscious, prefigured the Romantic reaction against it. Wedged between the Enlightenment and Romantic movements was Immanuel Kant, who was born in 1724 in K

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Angst, Authenticity, and Ressentiment: Kierkegaard and Nietzsche

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pp. 60-79

Much as they differed on important points, Hegel and Marx were both historicists who believed that history has an ascertainable goal and that movement toward this goal should be reckoned as “progress.” For Hegel that goal was the self-recovery of Absolute Spirit, while for Marx it was the creation of a classless society, free of exploitation and oppression. Disparate as these goals seem, both...

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Psychology as a Human Science: Dilthey and Husserl

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pp. 80-100

The year 1900 was a major turning point in the history of the human sciences: Nietzsche died, Sigmund Freud published The Interpretation of Dreams, and Wilhelm Dilthey published a paper entitled “The Rise of Hermeneutics.” Given the obscurity...

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Psychology of the Unconscious: Freud and Jung

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pp. 101-128

Sigmund Freud was born on May 6, 1856, in Freiburg, now Pribor, which is in the Czech Republic. His family moved to Vienna when he was six years old, and with the exception of studying in Paris in 1885, and a year before his death in 1939, when he fled to London to escape the Nazis, Freud lived in Vienna for his entire life. He was the eldest son (and favorite child) of his father’s second wife, and was raised...

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Phenomenology and Human Experience: Scheler, Jaspers, and Heidegger

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pp. 129-161

During his years at G

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Modes of Relatedness: Buber, Binswanger, and Boss

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pp. 162-190

Martin Buber was born in Vienna in 1878 and was raised by his paternal grandparents. His grandfather Solomon, a wealthy philanthropist, was steeped in rabbinic commentary on the Hebrew Bible, while his grandmother, Adele, was versed in Moses Mendelsohn, the German Enlightenment, and efforts to modernize European Jewry. So...

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Recognition and the Limits of Reciprocity: Sartre, Lacan, and Laing

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pp. 191-227

Jean-Paul Sartre was born in Paris in 1905. His father, a naval officer, died when he was a few months old, and he grew up in the home of his maternal grandfather, Carl Schweitzer, a professor of German at the Sorbonne. Carl Schweitzer was a native German speaker from the Alsace region who had shifted his personal loyalties to France....

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Psychoanalysis and Intersubjectivity: Sullivan, Fromm, Merleau-Ponty, Benjamin, and Stolorow

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pp. 228-257

Our travels thus far have brought us from the early seventeenth to the mid twentieth century, covering what is commonly known as the “modern era.” The themes, thinkers, and clinicians whose work we explored were all rooted in European soil. And with the exception of Freud, a neurologist by training, those who were not philosophers were invariably psychiatrists...

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Psychotherapy and Postmodernism

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pp. 258-283

Current debates in the mental health professions—including, but not limited to the psychotherapy field—are often couched in terms of the tensions between modernism and postmodernism. This polarization takes many forms, affecting how researchers and clinicians practice their crafts. In place of...

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Clinical Postscript

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pp. 284-298

Contemporary psychotherapy is often portrayed as an empirically based treatment technique practiced by professionals in a medical setting. According to this account, the patient has a discrete form of psychopathology, while the therapist is an expert with the requisite knowledge and skills to remove the patient’s symptoms as quickly and painlessly as possible. Yet the push toward “evidence-based” and standardized, highly scripted...


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pp. 299-318


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pp. 319-326

E-ISBN-13: 9780820705583
Print-ISBN-13: 9780820703787
Print-ISBN-10: 0820703788

Page Count: 335
Publication Year: 2006