This work is an exploration of the relationship which psychotherapy has with religion. Sigmund Freud and Carl Rogers were chosen for this exposition because they were each seduced by the high status given to science. Freud and Rogers, both founders of psychotherapies, left a legacy which is not that of scientists whom they claimed they were. Freud and Rogers each had a problematic relationship with religion. This has had a lasting effect on the work and attitudes of their respective followers. In order to explore effectively this relationship, the work begins with a critical examination of the historical context in which both Freud and Rogers worked, and how in their determination to be scientists both missed the importance of the religious. The work continues with an exploration of the effects of this legacy on the work of contemporary psychotherapists. The context in which their followers work relies on a relationship with the founder, which goes beyond that of science, and in addition, each practitioner is influenced by socio-economic circumstances which are peculiar to them. The resistance from psychotherapists to embrace religion has been complex, although, as it will be illustrated, today there are some who are acknowledging the importance of the spiritual. That psychotherapy functions as a religious movement has been excluded by practitioners in their determination to reflect the wishes of their founder, which was that their work should be regarded as science. Psychotherapists have traditionally been considered the custodians of the real and that their clients are the ones suffering from delusions. With respect to their attitudes to religion–not least the spiritual–the positions seem to be reversed.
Table of Contents
Preface -- Prologue -- Introduction -- Science and Status -- The Construction of Freud -- Freud's Legacy -- Contemporary Psychodynamic Psychotherapy -- The Construction of Carl Rogers -- Person-Centred Theories and Practice -- Rogers' Legacy -- Post-Secular Psychotherapy -- Post-Feminist Responses -- Conclusion