Is psychotherapy first and foremost a technique that can be described, learned, and practices, or is it a relationship in which techniques play a part but ordinary human qualities are the crucial factors? True and False Experience discusses those factors that have made it difficult for therapists and patients to meet as equals in a natural and ordinary way, keeping them from establishing a genuine relationship with each other.
Lomas acknowledges Freud as the most valuable and influential theorist of psychoanalysis, but he also questions the consequences of his detached and scientific methods. Lomas also critiques psychotherapeutic theory since Freud, examining the work of the main contributors to the field, including R. D. Laing, Erik Erikson, Melanie Klein, Rollo May, and Carl Rogers. As an alternative, Lomas recreates relations between himself and some of his patients in order to demonstrate how therapy can develop into a straightforward and personal contact between therapist and patient.
In a new introduction, Lomas analyzes the changes that have occurred in society over the past twenty years and rethinks his work in a historical perspective. True and False Experience is an essential and stimulating resource for psychotherapists, psychoanalysts, counselors, and social workers.