In a rare psychoanalytic case history, Thomas Szasz presents Recollections of a Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy: The Case of “Prisoner ‘K'”. In it, Szasz gives us an opportunity to see how he actually practiced psychotherapy.
The book, Existential Therapy: Distinctive Features by Emmy van Deurzen is a good reminder to view each person as a free individual, responsible for their life. But, on another level, the is a book about how to push a particular set of belief on another person.
The aim of the book is to introduce readers to the key concepts of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT). REBT is a type of therapy developed by Albert Ellis, a 20th-century psychologist. Ellis maintained that we disturb ourselves and make ourselves angry, anxious and depressed about external events. He claimed that by understanding our underlying philosophy behind why we become upset, we can choose a new philosophy that is more helpful and realistic, which in turn will allow us to navigate life’s difficulties with more ease.
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Below you can read an excerpt from the book:
The book, Stepping out of Plato’s Cave: Philosophical Counseling, Philosophical Practice, and Self-Transformation, was an interesting read about how one philosophical counselor who uses philosophy to help his clients understand and improve their lives. The author Ran Lahav, uses Plato’s Cave allegory to try to help people understand how they may be enslaving themselves inside a self-chosen cave.
The book, Plato, Not Prozac!: Applying Eternal Wisdom to Everyday Problems, by Lou Marinoff, is one part sales pitch, and one part advice about how to live a life in accordance with the author’s personal values. Marinoff begins the book by arguing that problems in living are better solved by thinking philosophically rather than thinking medically. Rather than numbing ourselves with medication, or diagnosing oneself as mentally ill, Marinoff says we would be better off engaging in philosophical dialogue with another person.
Thomas Szasz’s book of witty aphorisms, The Untamed Tongue: A Dissenting Dictionary, is both insightful and hilarious. If you are just starting out with Szasz, and want to understand his views, I suggest one of his books of aphorisms, such as The Untamed Tongue as a place to start.
Thomas Szasz was a psychiatrist who opposed the practice of coercive psychiatry, called mental illness a myth, psychotherapy a myth, and even said the mind was a myth. Given this, how did Szasz go about practicing so-called psychotherapy for the majority of his life?
In this podcast interview, I talk with Jeffery Schaler about his new book, Thomas Szasz: The Man and His Ideas. Thomas Szasz was an iconoclastic psychiatrist who did not believe in the concept of mental illness. He saw emotional distress as, “problems of living”. We talk about Szasz and what he meant when he wrote that he did not believe in “mental illness”.
What is Autonomous Psychotherapy?
The Ethics of Psychoanalysis is a brilliant book on how to practice ethical psychotherapy. But, what is psychotherapy to a psychiatrist who does not believe in mental illness?