‘Therapy is indeed the new opium of the people, as Frank Furedi makes clear in this fascinating, readable – and disturbing – book.’ – Virginia Ironside, The. Furedi has written a textbook-style assessment of this new therapy culture. While he lacks the illuminating gifts of sociologists such as. The official website of Frank Furedi, author of Therapy Culture, Paranoid Parenting, Culture of Fear.

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Throughout most of the 20th century, therapy was advertised as both a cure and as an instrument for the construction of a happy society. T he erosion of the boundary that separates uclture public from the private is one of the chief accomplishments of therapy culture.

Extract from Therapy Culture, by Frank Furedi | Books | The Guardian

It’s anti-science and anti-reason. Fragile identity hooked on selfesteem. Furedi questions the widely accepted thesis that the therapeutic turn represents an enlightened shift towards emotions. Policy-makers, media commentators and experts regularly demand that action should be taken to raise the self-esteem therapu schoolchildren, teenagers, parents, the elderly, the homeless, the mentally ill, delinquents, the unemployed, those suffering racism, lone parents, to name but a few. He was treated as a public outcast until he acknowledged he thearpy a “problem” and checked into a clinic.

Its advocates continually remind people of the virtue of the unconditional acceptance of the self.

Review: Therapy Culture by Frank Furedi | Books | The Guardian

Tony Adams, former England football captain, only earned the respect ofthe media after his public admission of an alcohol problem. Such minimal claims stand in distinct contrast to the way that therapy was promoted in the past. We are all used to seeing TV celebrities telling the world about their illnesses, addictions, sex lives and personal hurts. Increasingly vulnerability is presented as the defining feature of people’s psychology.


As Miller remarks, “In a world where unadulterated heroism is harder and harder to define, let alone accomplish, the syndrome memoir turns simple survival into a triumph. Help-seeking also constitutes the precondition for the management of people’s emotions.

They are far more likely to be instructed to acknowledge their problems than to conquer them.

This is the first coloring book i have gotten and i love it so so much The Furedi alternative, with its quietist machismo “Pull yourself together, man”is far bleaker.

Therapeutic claimsmaking and the demand for a diagnosis.

In the early s, MPD was a rare diagnosis – less than a dozen cases in the previous years; by the s, thousands of people were diagnosed as multiples. Jayne Zito, whose husband was killed by a mentally-ill assailant, recalled fruedi she had a “huge need to go on talking”.

But when a child has been abused, a sense of victimhood seems appropriate enough. The belief that the impact of crime has a major influence on people’s emotional life is a relatively recent one. Confession, preferably through therapy, relieves the burden of responsibility and offers a route to public acceptance – even acclaim. He is nostalgic for the stoicism of the Blitz or the Aberfan disaster, when the children who survived went straight back to school, to “take their minds off” it.


All that it offers in return are the dubious blessings of affirmation and recognition. And if he had talked to workers in the prison service he might have grasped that “forcing” sex offenders to have counselling before they can be released isn’t just some wimpy liberal fad but a sound principle, based on the knowledge that an offender who refuses to acknowledge his crime is far more likely to reoffend.

It was promoted as a positive way of exploring and expanding the individual’s personality. Recent decades have seen the discovery of an unprecedented number of new types of illnesses. And when alcoholism was regarded as moral weakness, not a disease. That may be so. The passive narrative of the self-promoted today acquires its apogee with the celebration of self-esteem. So any claim for privacy represents a refusal to accept the new etiquette of emotional correctness.

Get off that couch

He complains about the public reaction to September 11, for instance, suggesting we needn’t have been so traumatised by the footage of the twin towers. Experiences that would once have been thought normal – disappointment, isolation, tiredness, depression – are being redefined as syndromes requiring medical intervention. But there’s nothing especially despicable about engaging others in our woes.

How did we get here?