"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, Ph.D. / Editor, The Journal of Humanistic Psychology
"In Psychotherapy as a Human Science, Daniel Burston and Roger Frie give readers a wonderfully rich, yet accessible, tour of central ideas and themes in phenomenology, existentialism, psychoanalysis, humanism, and postmodernism. In doing so, they converge on a conception of psychotherapy as a human science that celebrates reflexive, intentional, and agentive aspects of human experience. The clarity and cogency with which they achieve this aim provides a powerful antidote to overly reductive and instrumental tendencies in contemporary psychotherapy. Anyone who reads and understands this book will be inoculated against the confusion of manualized treatment protocols, cost-benefit analyses, and short-term, empirically effective therapeutic practices (whatever their technical and instrumental merits) with the genuine cultivation of human well-being. Burston and Frie succeed in giving theory a good name because they select the right kinds of theory for lifting the human spirit and advancing the human condition." — Jack Martin, Simon Fraser University
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.
About the Authors:
Daniel Burston is associate professor 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.
Roger Frie is assistant clinical professor of medical psychology at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. He is the author of Subjectivity and Intersubjectivity in Modern Philosophy and Psychoanalysis and Understanding Experience: Psychotherapy and Postmodernism.