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Psychotherapy’s identity crisis: opening reflections on the historiographies of psychotherapies

Sonu Shamdasani About the author


This article introduces the work of the transcultural histories of psychotherapies network. Reflecting on the comparative lack of work here, it traces psychotherapies’ identity crisis, focussing on nodal points such as the rise of the term, failed attempts to unify the field from Forel to Jung, and the rise of outcome studies. Finally, it situates histories of psychotherapies within the context of adjacent fields: the relation of the history of psychotherapy to the history of science, to Freud studies, to the history of religion and religious studies, to intellectual history, to the history of psychiatry, to the history of medicine, and its place within cultural history.

psychotherapy; historiography; science; medicine; religion

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