Philosophers and therapists have long theorised about how psychological mechanisms for love, jealousy, anxiety, depression and many other human characteristics may have evolved over millions of years. In the dawn of the new insights on evolution, provided by Darwin's theories of natural selection, Freud, Jung and Klein sought to identify and understand human motives, emotions and information processing as functions deeply-rooted in our evolved history. Despite this promising start and major developments in modern evolutionary psychology, anthropology and sociobiology, the last fifty years has seen little in the way of therapies derived from an evolutionary understanding of human psychology. The contributors to this timely book illuminate how an evolution focused approach to psychopathology can offer new insights for different schools of therapy and provide a rationale for therapeutic integration.
Genes on the Couch brings together respected clinicians who have integrated evolutionary insights into their case conceptualisations and therapeutic interventions. Various psychotherapy schools are represented, and each author provides illustrative examples of the interventions used. Specific topics addressed include the nature of evolved mental mechanisms; regulation/dysregulation of internal processes; attachment and kinship in therapy; the importance of internalising warmth as a therapeutic goal; kin selection and incest avoidance; co-operation and deception in social relations; difficulties in working with certain male clients; gender differences in therapy and the roles of shame and guilt in treatment.
Providing up-to-date summaries of recent thinking in this increasing important but diverse area, Genes on the Couch will be of interest to psychotherapists, psychiatrists and a wide range of mental health professionals.
"This is a delightful and timely book as it parlays new concepts in evolutionary genetic psychology into a practical - and wonderfully readable - guide to psychotherapy" - Daniel R. Wilson, Creighton University, USA
"Genes on the Couch... clearly articulates the benefits of using an evolutionary psychotherapy approach. The cohesive chapters successfully present evidence that viewing a behavior from the perspective that it is adaptive, rather than abnormal, and has now become maladaptive, may help psychotherapists gain greater understanding over psychopathologies, as well as produce more successful methods of treatment." - IJEMH, Vol. 12, No. 4, 2010