Moral Stealth: How ''Correct Behavior'' Insinuates Itself into Psychotherapeutic Practice

Moral Stealth: How ''Correct Behavior'' Insinuates Itself into Psychotherapeutic Practice

by Arnold Goldberg

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Overview

A psychiatrist writes a letter to a journal explaining his decision to marry a former patient. Another psychiatrist confides that most of his friends are ex-patients. Both practitioners felt they had to defend their behavior, but psychoanalyst Arnold Goldberg couldn’t pinpoint the reason why. What was wrong about the analysts’ actions? 

In Moral Stealth, Goldberg explores and explains that problem of “correct behavior.” He demonstrates that the inflated and official expectations that are part of an analyst’s training—that therapists be universally curious, hopeful, kind, and purposeful, for example—are often of less help than simple empathy amid the ambiguous morality of actual patient interactions. Being a good therapist and being a good person, he argues, are not necessarily the same. 

Drawing on case studies from his own practice and from the experiences of others, as well as on philosophers such as John Dewey, Slavoj Žižek, and Jürgen Habermas, Goldberg breaks new ground and leads the way for therapists to understand the relationship between private morality and clinical practice.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780226301204
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 02/15/2007
Pages: 144
Sales rank: 1,156,912
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Arnold Goldberg, M.D., is training and supervising analyst at the Institute for Psychoanalysis in Chicago, and the Cynthia Oudejan Harris MD Professor of Psychiatry at Rush University Medical School. He is the author of The Problem of Perversion; Being of Two Minds: The Vertical Split in Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy; and Misunderstanding Freud.

 
 

Table of Contents

Preface                              
Introduction                      
 
PART I: THE CONFRONTATION BETWEEN CLINICAL PRACTICE
AND MORALLY CORRECT BEHAVIOR

 
1. Setting the Stage 
2. Positioning Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy for Moral Concerns 
3. Moral Stealth 
4. The Moral Posture of Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy: The Case for Ambiguity 

PART II: DIFFICULTIES IN RECONCILING
CORRECT BEHAVIOR WITH PSYCHOANALYTIC
AND PSYCHOTHERAPEUTIC PRACTICE
5. A Risk of Confidentiality 
6. On the Nature of Thoughtlessness 
7. I Wish the Hour Were Over: Elements of a Moral Dilemma 
8. Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis and the Problem of Ownership: An Effort at Resolution 
9. Who Owns the Countertransference?

PART III: THE CONTINGENCY OF CORRECT BEHAVIOR

10. Another Look at Neutrality 
11. Deontology and the Superego 
12. Choosing Up Sides 
13.  Making Morals Manifest 

Postscript                                            
References
Index 

              

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