Psychotherapy is therapeutic interaction or treatment contracted between a trained professional and a client, patient, family, couple, or group. Simply, Psychotherapy is a general term for treating mental health problems by talking with a psychiatrist, psychologist or other mental health provider.
- Quotes are arranged alphabetically by author
A - F
- Things have to be done fast in America, and therefore therapy has to be brief.
- Gregory Bateson, Communication: The Social Matrix of Psychiatry, 1951, p. 148 as cited in: C.H. Patterson (1958) "Two approaches to human relations". in: American Journal of Psychotherapy. Vol 7.
- Therapy is not to "talk about" things, but to change the person's life, and to relieve suffering, such as depression, anxiety, or relationship problems. Of course, empathy and skillful listening are important at the start of each session, but they are simply not sufficient to change the patient's life.
- I feel that any form of so called psychotherapy is strongly contraindicated for addicts. The question "Why did you start using narcotics in the first place?" should never be asked. It is quite as irrelevant to treatment as it would be to ask a malarial patient why he went to a malarial area.
- William S. Burroughs, quoted in: Lois A. Michel (1968) Way out: a thematic reader. p. 121
- The re-interpretation and eventually eradication of the concept of right and wrong which has been the basis of child training, the substitution of intelligent and rational thinking for faith in the certainties of the old people, these are the belated objectives of practically all effective psychotherapy.
- Brock Chisholm (1946), The Psychiatry of Enduring Peace and Social Progress. p. 5
- ...the human potential and psychotherapy movements, as well as the more 'life-affirming' New Religious Movements and religions of the self. This was the complex world of the Californian 'psychobabble', of Scientology and est (Erhard Seminars Training, later called Forums Network), of Encounter Groups, meditation techniques and self-help manuals designed to assist individuals 'realise their potential'.
- Jamie Cresswell and Bryan Wilson, editors (1999). New Religious Movements. Routledge. p. 35. ISBN 0415200504.
- Psychotherapy may begin with the primitive, but it must end with the divine, for both are integral factors in the human mind.
- Violet M. Firth, (Dion Fortune) (1922), The Machinery of the Mind. p. 98
G - L
- If we are to put interrogators to work in defence of liberal values, their role in the community must receive proper recognition. They will require intensive counselling to overcome the inevitable traumas that this difficult work involves. They must be enabled to see themselves as dedicated workers in the cause of progress. Psychotherapy must be available to help them avoid the negative self-image from which some torturers have suffered in the past.
- John N. Gray, "A Modest Proposal," New Statesman, February 17, 2003
- For art to be art it has to cure.
- Alejandro Jodorowsky, Psychomagic: The Transformative Power of Shamanic Psychotherapy, (2010)
- The unconscious is not just evil by nature, it is also the source of the highest good: not only dark but also light, not only bestial, semihuman, and demonic but superhuman, spiritual, and, in the classical sense of the word, "divine."
- Carl Jung The Practice of Psychotherapy, (1953), p. 364
- There are three things needed to eliminate human misery. Unfortunately, nobody knows what they are.
- David Levy, Humor in Psychotherapy (2007)
- The human capacity for denial and rationalization is always shocking, but never surprising.
- David Levy, (2007) Humor in Psychotherapy
M - R
- Despite the burgeoning technologies in the field of "helping", on many levels psychotherapy is still a crapshoot. Some of the goal of training, I think, is to help students accept that fact. The work is part science, part art, and part luck. Learning to tolerate the anxiety inherent in that recipe is critical for any clinician.
- Martha Manning, in Undercurrents (1st edition ed.). HarperCollins. 1995. pp. p. 9
- There is considerable danger that psychoanalysis, as well as other forms of psychotherapy and adjustment psychology, will become new representations of the fragmentation of man, that they will exemplify the loss of the individual's vitality and significance, rather than the reverse, that the new techniques will assist in standardizing and giving cultural sanction to man's alienation from himself rather than solving it, that they will become expressions of the new mechanization of man, now calculated and controlled with greater psychological precision and on a vaster scale of unconscious and depth dimensions — that psychoanalysis and psychotherapy in general will become part of the neurosis of our day rather than part of the cure. This would indeed be a supreme irony of history. It is not alarmism nor the showing of unseemly fervor to point out these tendencies, some of which are already upon us. It is simply to look directly at our historical situation and to draw unflinchingly the implications.
- Rollo May, Existence (1958), p. 35; also published in The Discovery of Being : Writings in Existential Psychology (1983), Part II : The Cultural Background, Ch. 5 : Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, and Freud, p. 86.
- Existential psychotherapy is the movement which, although standing on one side on the scientific analysis owed chiefly to the genius of Freud, also brings back into the picture the understanding of man on the deeper and broader level — man as the being who is human. It is based on the assumption that it is possible to have a science of man which does not fragmentize man and destroy his humanity at the same moment as it studies him. It unites science and ontology.
- Rollo May, Existence (1958), p. 36; also published in The Discovery of Being : Writings in Existential Psychology (1983), Part II : The Cultural Background, Ch. 5 : Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, and Freud, p. 87
- Scientific language, which Korzybski used as his model of sane language, is almost exclusively extensional and denotative, or at least tries to be. The language of the mentally ill, most obviously "un-sane," is almost totally intensional and connotative. This is the language that does not correspond to anything "out there," and this is, in fact, how and perhaps even why the user is mentally ill. Korzybski's concern with keeping the conscious "connection" or correspondence between language and verifiable referents is, for all practical purposes, paralleled by the process of psychotherapy. In this process, which is largely "just talk," the purpose is to foster closer and more accurate correspondence between the patient's language and externally verifiable meanings.
- Neil Postman, in Teaching as a Subversive Activity (1969)
- Much of my criticism of religion comes about when I see it not only affirming the system of normalcy but teaching folks how to live there comfortably. It just increases our “stuckness” in the old world. As does a lot of poor psychotherapy. Cheap religion teaches us how to live successfully in a sick system.
- Richard Rohr, Everything Belongs, New York: Crossroad, 1999 p. 132
S - Z
- She listened for the pain in my words, not to the narrative itself. She was intuiting what it meant to me, what was most important, what, in that confused mass of experience and yearning she heard in my voice, she could single out to give back.
- If we look deeply into such ways of life as Buddhism and Taoism, Vedanta and Yoga, we do not find either philosophy or religion as these are understood in the West. We find something more nearly resembling psychotherapy. ... The main resemblance between these Eastern ways of life and Western psychotherapy is in the concern of both with bringing about changes of consciousness, changes in our ways of feeling our own existence and our relation to human society and the natural world. The psychotherapist has, for the most part, been interested in changing the consciousness of peculiarly disturbed individuals. The disciplines of Buddhism and Taoism are, however, concerned with changing the consciousness of normal, socially adjusted people.
- Alan Watts, Psychotherapy, East and West (1961), pp. 3-4
- Whenever the therapist stands with society, he will interpret his work as adjusting the individual and coaxing his 'unconscious drives' into social respectability. But such 'official psychotherapy' lacks integrity and becomes the obedient tool of armies, bureaucracies, churches, corporations, and all agencies that require individual brainwashing. On the other hand, the therapist who is really interested in helping the individual is forced into social criticism. This does not mean that he has to engage directly in political revolution; it means that he has to help the individual in liberating himself from various forms of social conditioning, which includes liberation from hating this conditioning — hatred being a form of bondage to its object.
- Alan Watts, Psychotherapy, East and West (1961), p. 8