The Dilemma of Psychology: A Psychologist Looks at His Troubled Profession

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9781581152517: The Dilemma of Psychology: A Psychologist Looks at His Troubled Profession

Featuring a new introduction by Dr. Stanley Krippner—coeditor of the best-selling Broken Images, Broken Selves—this expanded edition of The Dilemma of Psychology reveals why more than 100 years of psychology and armies of psychotherapists have not helped to solve humanity's most pressing issues. Uncompromising, yet with a deep passion for his field, Lawrence LeShan talks about the expectations that rose with the birth of psychology, how the new science started off on the wrong foot, and why it might still be the only tool to solve the deepest issues of our time: war, pollution, and overpopulation. In order to improve the human condition, LeShan argues, psychology has to make humanity and human life its focus. Witty and full of imaginative examples.

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From the Publisher:

"How Human-Oriented is Psychology?"
Lawrence LeShan Reminds the "Not-so-Young"
Field of Psychology of Its Humanistic Mission

Psychologists have a reason to celebrate. In October 2002, Daniel Kahnemann, a psychologist, received the Nobel prize in economics for helping to "integrate insights from psychological research into economic science." Once again, psychology has proven its ability to contribute to modern society. Or has it? In THE DILEMMA OF PSYCHOLOGY, the award-winning psychologist and author of twelve books Lawrence LeShan takes inventory of a science that he claims has "failed to solve any of the pressing issues of our times."

LeShan’s critique is uttered against the backdrop of a science that, well after a century of activity, has produced legions of highly trained specialists and therapists, founded the largest scientific organization in the world—yet done little to help overcome issues of war, environmental decline, and overpopulation.

The reasons, argues the author, can be found in the creation of psychology and psychotherapy. In THE DILEMMA OF PSYCHOLOGY, he tells the story of a science that modeled itself upon the methods and principles of the much more established natural sciences while ignoring the psychological insights of literature and art. Revisiting the Milgrim Studies, the booming rat laboratories of the Seventies, and the pompous conventions of the Eighties, LeShan systematically reveals the consequences that this scientific course has had on psychological research and practice.

It is an opportune time to reverse this course, comments LeShan, as psychology is the "only science among all disciplines that can deal with the problems of today’s ever-changing world." In THE DILEMMA OF PSYCHOLOGY, he explains why he has come to this conclusion and how psychology needs to recreate itself in order to take on a truly relevant role in society.

First published in 1990 and written by a psychologist with more than half a century of working history as a research psychologist and psychotherapist, THE DILEMMA OF PSYCHOLOGY has lost none of its critical significance. As Stanley Krippner notes in the new introduction, "the case could be made that psychology has become even more standardized and medicalized, as psychological therapists are told that they will be only reimbursed if their type of treatment has been ‘empirically validated.’ " For any therapist or researcher envisioning a more authentic, enriching psychology, LeShan’s book will provide much inspiration and encouragement. CONTACT: Birte Pampel, 212.777.8395, ext. 13, bpampel@allworth.com

From the Inside Flap:

"A manifesto for our time and need. Throughout this deeply felt and passionately written boo, Lawrence LeShan has sought to restore to psychology as a discipline the soul she once possessed, and make her whole again."—Max Lerner

"Lawrence LeShan’s work is a model of the kind of soul-searching that must be spread over the whole field of psychology if it is to respond to the cry for help that is now coming not only from individuals, but from our whole modern civilization."—Dr. Jacob Needleman, author of The Heart of Philosophy and The Way of the Physician

"The Dilemma of Psychology is more than a book and it is about more than psychology. It is a heraldic cry to awaken, to see our world and ourselves in a new way before it is too late. . . LeShan is one of the original thinkers of our time. This book proves it."—Larry Dossey, M.D., author of Space, Time, and Medicine

"In this perceptive book, Lawrence LeShan has identified the crucial gaps in psychological theory and knowledge. Equally important, he has proposed ways of rectifying these omissions—(necessary) if psychological science is ever to truly lend understanding to the human condition."—Stanley Krippner, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, Saybrook Institute, co-editor, Broken Images, Broken Selves

"The Dilemma of Psychology is a most important book, delightfully readable and trenchantly critical of the psychologies that have been taught in our universities. . . "—Dr. Ashley Montagu, author of Life Before Birth and Man and Aggression.

"In a calm, even gentle but incisive way, Dr. LeShan has written a deservedly devastating critique of psychology."—Seymour Sarason, Ph.D., author of Psychology Misdirected; Professor Emeritus of Psychology, Yale University

"Lawrence LeShan has creatively illuminated the frustrations of both academic psychologists and psychotherapists."—Jeanne Achterberg and Frank Lawlis, authors of Bridges of the Bodymind and Images of Disease.

"Lawrence LeShan has gotten it exactly right. I hope his book will be read by the people who need it most, and by many others in addition."—Rabbi Harold Kushner, author of When Bad Things Happen to Good People

"More in sorrow than in anger, Dr. LeShan surveys the field to which he has devoted his long and productive career. He draws on a diverse literature and rich personal experience to lay bare the failure of much of American psychology in order to grapple with the depth and breadth of the human experience so that our conduct of our lives would be enhanced."—James F.T. Bugental, Ph.D., Fellow, The Saybrook Institute and the Rollo May Center

"A brilliant but devastatingly incisive criticism of the fact that psychology as a science does not primarily address itself to real problems of human behavior. If every psychologist in America would read this book and take its criticisms to heart, ours could be a much more useful profession."—LouisE Bates Ames, Ph.D., Gesell Institute of Human Development

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