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Christianity and the Culture of Therapy

Throughout its history, the practice of psychotherapy has both reflected and shaped cultural assumptions about the nature of self and society. How does this "culture of therapy" interact with Christianity? In these thought-provoking interviews, Paul McHugh, John Steadman Rice, and Richard Noll talk about Christianity in relation to therapy, discussing the phenomena of False Memory Syndrome, codependence, New Age spirituality, and addiction.
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Publisher's Summary

Throughout its history, the practice of psychotherapy has both reflected and shaped cultural assumptions about the nature of self and society. How does this "culture of therapy" interact with Christianity? In these thought-provoking interviews, Paul McHugh, John Steadman Rice, and Richard Noll talk about Christianity in relation to therapy, discussing the phenomena of False Memory Syndrome, codependence, New Age spirituality, and addiction.

(P) and ©1997 Mars Hill Audio

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    Frank colton, CA, United States 11-22-11
    Frank colton, CA, United States 11-22-11 Member Since 2010
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    "Brilliant Provoking and Slanted"

    Each presenter Paul McHugh , John Steadman Rice , Richard Noll set out to describe the dangers which can occur when the radical ideas are excepted as fact without empirical evidence.

    Paul McHugh describes how memory is plastic and how “well-meaning” therapists may create a false memory of abuse through suggestion. This process may lead the patient to behave as if they have “multiple personality disorder” They turn to blame others for their symptoms even when objective evidence which should be present is lacking. Mr. McHugh thoughtfully reasons that this process should be subjected to much investigation before it is allowed to continue destroying lives.

    John Steadman Rice tackles the codependency movement. He describes this group as fanatical reporting that those involved frequently disavow responsibility to family friends and other societal infrastructure. Group members do this to live in the moment without thought to how their actions might affect others. Mr. Rice describes the irony of people cutting social ties to become dependent upon their codependency groups. He takes the ideas of Maslow and Rogers as synonymous to this movement and destroys the straw man he has created. Mr. Rice makes a significant mistake , taking ideas which can be useful with a specific patient, at a specific moment in therapy and asks the question what if everyone accepted this “liberation therapy” as their only life philosophy. In essence Mr. Rice has identified the simple truth that any idea (even those as useful as Maslow and Rogers) when taken to an extreme become problematic and destructive.

    Richard Noll uses his presentation to focus on the weaknesses and foibles of a brilliant man who has produced many valuable. Is it true that Carl Jung was eccentric, influenced by the ideas of his time, struggled with psychosis and believed plenty of stuff with which I fully disagree? Yes. The same is true for so many of the historical figures from whose thoughts and biographies I have found value. Richard giggles at odd times throughout his attempted character assassination. He compares Carl Jung to David Koresh and Jungian analysis to the occult. He suggests that Jung’s family is conniving to keep to keep many of Jung’s dark secrets from the public eye. Eventually he suggests that one cannot be both Christian and a therapist using Jungian techniques. Jungian thoughts provide a novel perspective from which to view the psyche. This perspective has helped me to understand why people act the way they do. I will happily take those ideas which I find useful, and appreciate Carl Jung for what he was, a man. Mr. Noll, Jung’s currently “exposed” writings deserve a thoughtful and reasoned approach something which this reviewer found lacking

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
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