Psychotherapy as a Human Science

Psychotherapy as a Human Science

Daniel Burston and Roger Frie $32.00

Published in 2006 | 380 pages | paper | ISBN: 978-0-8207-0378-7


“With their book, showing the rich interaction of psychotherapy and philosophy, Burston and Frie have advanced psychotherapy, psychology, and philosophy as human sciences.” — Journal of Phenomenological Psychology


“In tracing the importance of the history of philosophy and its impact from rationalism to our postmodern period, the authors have shown how philosophy's relevance to psychotherapy exists not only today but in every period in the development of psychotherapy. Moreover, the book is clear, the writing is concise and jargon free, and there is value for anyone with a serious interest in the development of psychotherapy. This is one of the finest books that I have come across in a long time, and its value for graduate students as well as advanced practitioners is evident.” — PsycCRITIQUES

“In the ambit of barely 300 pages the authors cover a wide variety of thinkers from Descartes and Pascal to Benjamin and Stolorow. Not only do they cover a lot of ground but they also follow ideas through the centuries and they compare and contrast thinkers. Nor are they always uncritical of the authors whose ideas they summarize. For example, as clinicians they make a scathing attack on Freud's concept of the analyst as a blank screen, which fails to do justice to psychotherapy as a complex interrelationship between two unique human beings.” — Existential Analysis

“This is a book of remarkable erudition and pedagogical value. Students, as well as professionals, will be greatly edified by this profoundly philosophical and yet practical therapeutic guide.” — Kirk J. Schneider, editor, The Journal of Humanistic Psychology 

Book Information:

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.

Author Information:

DANIEL BURSTON is associate professor and chair of psychology at Duquesne University and the author of The Legacy of Erich Fromm, The Wing of Madness: The Life and Work of R. D. Laing and The Crucible of Experience: R. D. Laing and the Crisis of Psychotherapy.

Duquesne University Press

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