This book is an introduction to critical existential-analytic psychotherapy. It has been written as a response to what is considered to be a crisis point in what is currently taken as psychotherapeutic knowledge. A focus point is the relentless move in psychotherapy and psychotherapy trainings towards evidence-based practice. It is suggested that such developments can be usefully challenged if we are to consider:
Can starting with theory be a form of violence?
Should a primacy be given to practice?
Does reliance on empirical research mean we start from the wrong place?
From a critical existential-analytic psychotherapeutic perspective, the answer to all three of these questions is ‘yes’. This perspective, therefore, is fundamentally different from what psychological therapists are increasingly purporting to do, and further challenges other current notions from diagnosis and treatment to dominant discourses in psychology.
The aim of this book is to consider some ways in which the psychological therapies might be able to move away from the crisis mainly caused by what is currently wrongly being understood in terms of ‘evidence-based practice’ as the nature of psychotherapeutic knowledge. Instead, it is proposed that primacy be given to: practice, considering theories having implications rather than applications, and privileging thoughtfulness with notions of research being seen more as cultural practices.
This book is based on a special issue of the European Journal of Psychotherapy& Counselling.