This book explores the moral, social, and political implications of dominant psychological theories and practices. The analysis entails the therapeutic uses of psychoanalysis, cognitive, behavioral, and humanistic psychology, as well as the practice of clinical, school, and industrial/organizational psychology.
It is argued that applied psychology strengthens the societal status quo, thereby contributing to the perpetuation of social injustice. Most discussions of morality in psychology deal with the ethical repercussions of practices on individual clients. This book is unique in that it deals with the social ethics of psychology; that is, with the social morality of the discipline. It is also unique in that it offers a comprehensive critique of the most popular psychological means of solving human problems.
The author does not stop at the level of critique but provides a vision for including the values of self-determination, distributive justice, collaboration, and democratic participation in psychology. He shows how some of these values have already been adopted by feminist and community psychologists.
Given the prominence of psychology in contemporary society, The Morals and Politics of Psychology should be of interest to mental health professionals and their clients, as well as to people concerned with morality and social justice.
Isaac Prilleltensky is Assistant Professor at Wilfrid Laurier University.
"…provides a penetrating and challenging critical analysis of psychology's role in maintaining the status quo … fascinating…" — The Community Psychologist