Re-Envisioning Psychology: Moral Dimensions of Theory and Practice / Edition 2

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In the twentieth century, the practice of psychology has usually been based on a scientific or objective theory of human behavior. Today, an influential countermovement, often called social constructionism, argues that there is no basis for our beliefs or values beyond the swirl of meanings and practices in a particular community or era. Re-envisioning Psychology examines the increasing dissatisfaction with both scientific and social constructionist viewpoints and presents a sweeping new vision of theory and practice in psychology.

This book issues a call for a new perspective on the larger societal purpose of psychology and aims to reinvigorate individual psychologists' belief in the larger purposes of their own work.

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Editorial Reviews

Does the science and practice of psychology make a positive contribution to human welfare, or does it reinforce a narrow and ultimately self-defeating individualism, perpetuating such modern social ills as the loss of community and emotional isolation? Professors of psychology and philosophy examine problems with objectively scientific, morally relativistic, and social constructionist viewpoints, and present a sweeping new vision of theory and practice in psychology. They argue for reframing psychology in terms of social and moral commitments. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
From the Publisher
"Re-envisioning Psychology is a breath of fresh air, a clear andresounding voice that provides an intellectual and moral directionthat, if heeded and built upon, could lead psychology out of theconfusion and political collusion in which it is currently mired.Richardson, Fowers, and Guignon have imaginatively appliedinterpretive and dialogic concepts to the most troubling aspects oftheory and practice. If psychology is going to be saved from itsown worst tAndencies, this book will be an indispensable element inits turning." (Philip Cushman, associate professor, CaliforniaSchool of Professional Psychology and author of Constructing theSelf, Constructing America: A Cultural History ofPsychotherapy)

"Richardson, Fowers, and Guignon bring together a valuableintegrated examination of psychology's entanglements with twentiethcentury ideologies. The book provides a cogent argument for theimportance of social theory in the understanding of the culturaland moral underpinnings of modern psychology and psychologicalpractice. A commAndable ethical imperative drives the authors'ideas and provides a model for others." (Rachel T. Hare-Mustin,diplomate in clinical psychology, American Board of ProfessionalPsychology; co-author, Making a Difference: Psychology and theConstruction of Gender)

"This book is a frank and insightful assessment of theunacknowledged culture and moral values that pervade modernpsychotherapy practice and theory. This book not only diagnoses theproblem but offers us an 'interpretive psychology' as athought-provoking treatment." (Brent D. Slife, professor ofpsychology, Brigham Young University; author, What's Behind theResearch? Discovering Hidden Assumptions in the BehavioralSciences)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470447635
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 3/29/1999
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

FRANK C. RICHARDSON is professor, Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Texas, Austin.

BLAINE J. FOWERS is associate professor, Department of Educational and Psychological Studies at the University of Miami.

CHARLES B. GUIGNON is professor, Department of Philosophy at the University of Vermont.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
Pt. 1 Ethical Underpinnings of Modern Psychotherapy
1 Dilemmas of Modern Culture 25
2 Freedom and Commitment in Modern Psychotherapy 53
3 Individualism, Family Ideology, and Family Therapy 73
4 The Challenge of Psychotherapy Integration 91
5 Existential Psychotherapy: A Reassessment 114
Pt. 2 Beyond Scientism and Constructionism
6 Cognitive Theory of Aggression: A Case Study 141
7 Individualism, Marital Research, and the Good Marriage 156
8 Clashing Views of Social Inquiry 173
9 What Is Hermeneutics? 199
Pt. 3 Toward an Interpretive Psychology
10 Rethinking Psychotherapy 239
11 Social Theory as Practice 277
References 307
About the Authors 325
Name Index 327
Subject Index 333
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