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Not a Tame Lion: Writings on Therapy in Its Social and Political Context

by Nick Totton PCCS Books
Pub Date:
Pbk 180 pages
AU$45.99 NZ$46.95
Product Status: In Stock Now
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This volume brings together 24 of Nick Totton’s articles and book chapters from the last thirteen years, all exploring in different ways the relationship between therapy, the world and society. A central argument is that therapy, if it is to be effective, cannot and should not be risk-free or risk-averse. Among the themes addressed are professionalisation and regulation; the fetishisation of boundaries; democracy and therapy; intimacy; embodiment; overwhelm; and ecopsychology.

Throughout, there is a two-way dialogue between therapy and politics, with each enriching the other. Nick Totton argues that therapy is intrinsically without goals, and therefore cannot usefully be harnessed to the task of relieving symptoms and getting people back to work. This also means that therapy offers a model for a different kind of politics based not on policies and demands, but on process.

Although regulation in the UK is temporarily halted, the long term battle over who controls psychotherapy and counselling is not over. So this collection of direct or implicit arguments about the wild nature of therapy, and its intrinsic unsuitability for domestication, is both relevant and urgent.

Contents Acknowledgements v Introduction vii Part One: Professionalisation and regulation 1 1 The Baby and the Bathwater: 3 'Professionalisation' in Psychotherapy and Counselling 2 Munching Through the Rainforest: Expertise 15 and its resistance 3 Looking Back 20 4 The Defeat of State Regulation in the UK 22 Part Two: The Nature of Therapy 27 5 The Battle for Reality 29 6 Two Ways of Being Helpful 33 7 Depending on Each Other 38 8 'Intimacy Took Place' 44 9 An Extraordinary Ordinariness 51 10 Both/And 59 11 Boundaries and Boundlessness 62 12 Not a Tame Lion: Psychotherapy in a safety- 70 obsessed culture Part Three: Therapy in the World 81 13 Upstream Runners and Instream Waders 83 14 Psychotherapy and Politics International: First 86 Editorial iv Wild Therapy 15 Psychotherapy and Politics: Is there an alternative? 89 16 Can Psychotherapy Help Make a Better Future? 94 17 Democracy and Therapy 108 18 In and Out of the Mainstream: Therapy in its social and political context 19 May '68 20 Editing The Politics of Psychotherapy Part Four: Ecopsychology and Embodiment 21 Embodied Relating 22 Overwhelm 23 Wild Therapy 24 The Body in the World, the World in the Body

How amazing it is for an 'outsider', a maverick even, to emerge from the margins as the agenda-setter for counselling and psychotherapy. [Totton's] work on making body therapy relational, on politics and (and in) therapy, on ecopsychology, and on confronting our growth-restricting fears about 'boundaries' is, by now, required reading for all practitioners. I think I learn more from him than from anyone. Andrew Samuels, Professor of Analytical Psychology, University of Essex. An inspiring collection of articles from one of the most radical therapy theorists in the UK. There is much food for thought here for practitioners, students and indeed everyone interested in inner and outer change. Jocelyn Chaplin, author of 'Deep Equality; Living in the Flow of Natural Rhythms' and 'Feminist Counselling in Action'. A great collection of writings on psychotherapy and politics from a leading exponent in this field who himself is no tame lion ... essential reading for anyone interested in therapy in its social and political contexts. Keith Tudor, Associate Professor at Auckland Institute of Technology, Aotearoa New Zealand, Editor of Psychotherapy and Politics International
Nick Totton is a therapist and trainer with over 25 years experience. Originally a Reichian body therapist, his approach has become broad based and open to the spontaneous and unexpected. He has an MA in Psychoanalytic Studies, and has worked with Process Oriented Psychology and trained as a craniosacral therapist. He has written or edited twelve books, including Body Psychotherapy: An Introduction; Psychotherapy and Politics; Press When Illuminated: New and Selected Poems.; and Wild Therapy. There is an extensive website at He lives in Calderdale with his partner and grows vegetables.