Post-existentialism and the Psychological Therapies: Towards a Therapy without Foundations

Author(s) : Del Loewenthal

Post-existentialism and the Psychological Therapies: Towards a Therapy without Foundations

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A valuable contribution to the field by a professor of psychotherapy and author and editor of many titles in this area.

Reviews and Endorsements

'Through a series of stimulating, challenging, and accessible essays, the authors outline the boundaries of the "post-existential" ground; discuss the theoretical, empirical, diagnostic, and training perspectives that emanate from it, and illustrate it with case examples and case analyses. Throughout, the book holds open this "space between" as a realm of possibility and unknowing: an opportunity for reflection, consideration, and mystery, without the fixed answers and certainties that can foreclose dialogue. And while the book is subtitled "Towards a Therapy without Foundations", one of its most important contributions may be to contribute to the development of a psychotherapeutic perspective that is rooted in Levinas's ethics of care. It calls us back to the heart of the therapeutic enterprise - the capacity to help an Other fully realize their Otherness - through a willingness to stand alongside them in uncertainty, unknowing, and the inevitable incompleteness of Being.'
- From the Foreword by Professor Mick Cooper, University of Strathclyde

'A rigorous yet humane text, destined to become widely read, showing how "ordinary" relationships and contemporary existential therapy implicate each other. It's fascinating to see how a group of top-notch theorists put theory in its place - for the benefit of their clients and patients.'
- Andrew Samuels, Professor of Analytical Psychology, University of Essex

'This excellent collection of essays not only reminds us of the richness and power of existentialist thought but also gives new life to ideas that should be considered by everyone working in the field of psychotherapy. Through its reassessing, resituating, and developing of existentialist themes, it is a timely reminder of the importance of ethics and human subjectivity in our field.'
- Professor Darian Leader, a founder member of the Centre for Freudian Analysis and Research

'A deliciously paradoxical collection in which the refoundation of existentialist ideas within therapeutic practice prepares the ground for the critical deconstructing of those very same foundations. This is a major contribution to innovative practice which refreshingly privileges the ethical, the relational, and not-knowing over the theoretical. Loewenthal and colleagues have showcased their leading-edge programmes in a way that critical humanist, cognitive behavioural, existential-phenomenological, postmodern and psychoanalytic practitioners and theorists will find challenging, and hugely rewarding. A must read.'
- Dr Richard House, Research Centre for Therapeutic Education, Roehampton University

About the Author(s)

Del Loewenthal is Professor of Psychotherapy and Counselling, and Director of the Research Centre for Therapeutic Education, at the University of Roehampton where he also convenes Doctoral programmes. He is an analytic psychotherapist, chartered psychologist and photographer. He is founding editor of the European Journal of Psychotherapy and Counselling. He is chair of the Universities Psychotherapy and Counselling Association and former founding chair of the UK Council for Psychotherapy Research committee. He also has a small private practice in Wimbledon and Brighton.

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