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Soul Searching Why Psychotherapy Must Promote Moral Responsibility

Psychotherapists since Freud, in Doherty’s biting assessment, have overemphasized individual self-fulfillment while paying insufficient attention to the patient’s moral values, accountability and family and community responsibilities. The psychologist-director of the University of Minnesota’s marriage and family therapy program, Doherty draws on his own clinical practice in this important critique. Going against the prevailing wisdom, he proposes that therapists should consciously influence clients to change their behavior in light of the moral issues involved. Among the illustrative case histories are a recently divorced father who is considering abandoning his children; a depressed, anorexic, suicidal young man who needs emotional distance from his controlling, intrusive mother; and a couple coping with the strain of caring for their developmentally delayed, four-year-old daughter. Included are guidelines for those seeking a morally sensitive therapist. ~ Publishers Weekly

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Pt. I Morality in the Practice of Psychotherapy
    • Ch. 1 Psychotherapy and Moral Responsibility 3
    • Ch. 2 Commitment 21
    • Ch. 3 Justice 47
    • Ch. 4 Truthfulness 69
    • Ch. 5 Community 89
  • Pt. II The Moral Character of the Therapist
    • Ch. 6 Caring 115
    • Ch. 7 Courage 139
    • Ch. 8 Prudence 163
    • Postscript: Finding a Good Therapist and Creating Moral Communities Among
    • Therapists 181
    • References 191
    • Index 203