The European Journal of Psychotherapy & Counselling has just released a special issue: “Towards Transcultural Histories of Psychotherapies.” Guest edited by Sonu Shamdasani, the issue includes the following articles:
“Introduction to special issue ‘Towards transcultural histories of psychotherapies’,” Del Loewenthal (Editor-in-Chief). No abstract.
Editorial: “Towards transcultural histories of psychotherapies,” by Sonu Shamdasani (Guest Editor). No abstract.
“Suggestion, persuasion and work: Psychotherapies in communist Europe,” by Sarah Marks. Abstract:
This article traces what recent research and primary sources tell us about psychotherapy in Communist Europe, and how it survived both underground and above the surface. In particular, I will elaborate on the psychotherapeutic techniques that were popular across the different countries and language cultures of the Soviet sphere, with a particular focus upon the Cold War period. This article examines the literature on the mixed fortunes of psychoanalysis and group therapies in the region. More specifically, it focuses upon the therapeutic modalities such as work therapy, suggestion and rational therapy, which gained particular popularity in the Communist countries of Central and Eastern Europe. The latter two approaches had striking similarities with parallel developments in behavioural and cognitive therapies in the West. In part, this was because clinicians on both sides of the ‘iron curtain’ drew upon shared European traditions from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Nevertheless, this article argues that in the Soviet sphere, those promoting these approaches appropriated socialist thought as a source of inspiration and justification, or at the very least, as a convenient political shield.
“Manualizing psychotherapy: Aaron T. Beck and the origins of Cognitive Therapy of Depression,” by Rachael I. Rosner. Abstract:
This paper examines the origins of psychiatrist Aaron T. Beck’s 1979 Cognitive Therapy of Depression (CTOD). CTOD was the first psychotherapy manual designed to be used in a randomized controlled trial (RCT). Making psychotherapy amenable to the RCT design had been a ‘holy grail’ for leading American psychotherapy researchers since the late 1960s. Beck’s CTOD – which standardized his treatment so it could be compared with drug treatments in a clinical trial – delivered that holy grail, and ushered in the manualized treatment revolution. Manuals are now a sine qua non in psychotherapy research. In this paper, I explore some of the personal, political, and economic variables that made the idea of a manual irresistible to Beck and to those who first championed him.
“Modernist Pills against Brazilian Alienism (1920–1945),” by Cristiana Facchinetti. Abstract: Continue reading Special Issue: Towards Transcultural Histories of Psychotherapies
The British Psychological Society‘s History of Psychology Centre, in conjunction with UCL’s Centre for the History of the Psychological Disciplines, has announced the next talk in its autumn seminar series. On Monday, November 27 Marco Innamorati will be discussing the pope and the unconscious. Full details below.
Monday November 27th
The Pope and the Unconscious. The speeches of Pius XII on Psychotherapy in 1952-1953, Agostino Gemelli’s Commentary, and Psychoanalysis in Italy
Professor Marco Innamorati (University of Rome, Tor Vergata)
The attitude of the catholic environment towards Psychoanalysis followed a strange historical trajectory. The first period, from the first Italian psychoanalytic writing until about 1950, was marked by a complete opposition. After World War II, there were attempts outside Italy to integrate Psychoanalysis within catholic culture, while the Italian Catholics stayed clear from Freud for quite a long time. A very important role was played by the two speeches about Psychotherapy given by Pius XII in 1953, at the opening of two congresses: the World Congress on Psychotherapy, in Rome, and a medical congress in France. The speeches showed an open attitude towards psychotherapeutic practices in general, but contained admonishing words against reductionist and materialist theories. They were interpreted differently in Italy and abroad. In the United States it seemed obvious that Pius XII wanted to open the doors to Psychoanalysis; in Italy the same words were interpreted as an absolute and total prohibition of psychoanalytic therapy. Such a “non expedit” was factually effective until the pontificate of Paul VI. The second interpretation was expressly suggested by Agostino Gemelli, who at the time was the most influent personality of Catholic psychology in Italy. Gemelli published a book containing an in-depth hermeneutics of the Pope’s words, deducing an opposition towards Freud’s psychoanalysis and Jung’s analytical psychology. Actually, the Vatican did not refute neither the American interpretation, nor Gemelli’s. Our talk will deepen the historical context and the reasons for this hermeneutical divide.
SELCS Common Room (G24)
University College London
Philip Kuhn’s recently published book Psychoanalysis in Britain, 1893–1913: Histories and Historiography will be of interest to AHP readers. Kuhn’s account of the history of psychoanalysis in Britain looks at therich engagements with psychoanalysis in the country during Ernest Jones time abroad in Canada.A recent review of the book, by Fuhito Endo, in Medical History can be found here.
The book is described as follows:
Historians and biographers of psychoanalysis, psychotherapy, psychology, medicine and culture, even Wikipedia, believe Ernest Jones discovered Freud in 1904 and had become the first English-speaking practitioner of psychoanalysis by 1906. Psychoanalysis in Britain, 1893–1913 offers radically different versions to that monolithic Account propagated by Jones over 70 years ago. Detailed readings of the contemporaneous literature expose the absurdities of Jones’s claim, arguing that he could not have been using psychoanalysis until after he exiled himself to Canada in September 1908. Removing Jones reveals vibrant British cultures of “Mind Healing” which serve as backdrops for widespread interest in Freud. First; the London Psychotherapeutic Society whose volunteer staff of mesmerists, magnetists, hypnotists and spiritualists offered free psycho-therapeutic treatments. Then the wondrous Walford Bodie, who wrought his free “miraculous cures,” on and off the music-hall stage, to adoring and hostile audiences alike. Then the competing religious and spiritual groups actively promoting their own faith healings, often in reaction to fears of Christian Science but often cow-towing to orthodox medical and clerical orthodoxies. From this strange milieu emerged medically qualified practitioners, like Edwin Ash, Betts Taplin, and Douglas Bryan, who embraced hypnotism and psychotherapy. From 1904 British Medical Journals began discussing Freud’s work and by 1908 psychiatrists, working in lunatic asylums, were already testing and applying his theories in the treatment of patients. The medically qualified psychotherapists, who formed the Medical Society for the Study of Suggestive Therapeutics, soon joined with medical members from the Society for Psychical Research in discussing, proselytizing, and practising psychoanalysis. Thus when Jones returned to London, in late summer 1913, there were thriving psychotherapeutic cultures with talk of Freud and psychoanalysis occupying medical journals and conferences. Psychoanalysis in Britain, 1893–1913, with its meticulous research, wide sweep of vision and detailed understanding of the subtle inter-connections between the orthodox and the unorthodox, the lay and the medical, the social and the biographical, as well as the byzantine complexities of British medical politics, will radically alter your understanding of how those early twentieth century “Mind Healing” debates helped shape the ways in which the ‘talking cure’ first started infiltrating our lives.
The British Psychological Society‘s History of Psychology Centre, in conjunction with UCL’s Centre for the History of the Psychological Disciplines, has announced the first talk in its autumn seminar series. On Monday October 30th, Martin Liebscher will be speaking on Meditation, Imagination, Psychotherapy and Spiritual Practice in the 1930s. Full details below.
Monday 30th October
C. G. Jung and the Berneuchen Movement: Meditation and Active Imagination in Jungian Psychotherapy and Protestant Spiritual Practice in the 1930s
Dr. Martin Liebscher (UCL)
Active imagination is one of the methodical corner stones of Jungian therapy. Evolved from his self-experimental phase after 1913, Jung tried to establish a psychological and cultural framework for this method. In his university lectures of the late 30s Jung showed the parallels between active imagination and forms of spiritual meditation in Buddhism, Tantrism, and Christianity. During this period, he was in contact with leading clergy men of the Berneuchen circle, a movement that sought to reintroduce meditative spiritual practice in the German protestant church. Using hitherto unknown archival material I will follow the dialogue between Jung and main representatives of the Berneuchen movement and reveal the traces it left in his understanding of spiritual meditation and active imagination as well as in the practice of pastoral care of this protestant group.
SELCS Common Room (G24)
University College London
On July 8th the UCL Health Humanities Centre is hosting an event “Exploring Transcultural Histories of Psychotherapies.” Full details follow below. Those interested in attending can register online here.
What is the place of psychotherapies in twentieth century societies? What impact have they had? How should one go about studying and assessing this? These are among the question explored in this conference, which looks at psychotherapies from the outside. It suggests new ways in which the interconnections, intersections, contrasts and clashes in transcultural histories of psychotherapies may be explored.
10.45- 11.15am Registration/Coffee
11.15-11.30am Professor Sonu Shamdasani (chair) (UCL) Introduction
11.30-12.15pm Dr. Gavin Miller (University of Glasgow) The Jet-Propelled Couch and Beyond: Psychotherapy in Post-War Speculative Culture
12.15-1.00pm Dr. Rachael Rosner (Independent Scholar, Boston, USA) The Problem of Place in the History of Psychotherapy
2.30-3.15pm Professor Cristiana Facchinetti (Fiocruz, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) Between Vanguards and the Alienated: Art and Therapeutics (Brazil, 1920-1940)
3.15-4.00pm Dr. Sarah Marks (Birkbeck College) Suggestion, Persuasion and Work: Psychotherapies in the Soviet Sphere
4.30-5.15pm Professor Sonu Shamdasani (UCL) From Neurosis to a New Cure of Souls: C. G. Jung’s Remaking of the Psychotherapeutic Patient