Alan Strachan, Ph. D. Santa Cruz Area Marriage and Family Therapist
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The Psychology of Liberation
and the
Liberation of Psychology:

Reflections on the Scope and Practice of Psychotherapy

Alan Strachan - May 9, 2014

“Psychotherapy, politics and religion all share, at some level,                             
in the fantasy of providing therapy for the world.”
Andrew Samuels


Where do you feel you “belong” in the field of psychotherapy? 

What is the scope of practice for a profession that wishes to provide “therapy for the world?”

For over 30 years I have attempted – with limited success -- to find my place in the field of psychotherapy. I’ve tried on a handful of labels, including transpersonal psychology, eco-psychology, psychohistory, existential psychotherapy, and, most recently, liberation psychology. In the midst of such exploration, my central focus - personal and professional – always has been to explore the interface between psychology and spirituality, and to discover ways to be of service ever more deeply to my clients.

Today I will share some reflections on the scope and practice of psychotherapy, with the notion of “liberation” as a central theme.

Among the topics:

    * Psychotherapy as an inherently revolutionary activity

    * The "psychology of liberation": liberation from our attachment to and primary
       identification with personal identity

    * The "liberation of psychology": liberation from our attachment to individual
       psychology / intra-psychic processes as being the sole source of the
       individual's "problem"

We will also consider questions such as:

     * What is the holding environment for the psychotherapy profession?

     * What is the role of psychotherapy in a world gone mad?

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