A POSTMODERN RECONSTRUCTION OF PSYCHOTHERAPY: ORIENTEERING, RELIGION, AND THE HEALING OF THE SOUL

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Abstract

Psychotherapy is likened to conversational orienteering: helping others to understand the topography of meaning and goods “all around,” and to find out where they are in the present, where they are going in the future, and directions for how to get there. Historically, religion has provided orienteering within a culture. The religious features of psychotherapy are discussed, and a case is made that modern psychotherapy is simply one form of religious orienteering that has been unusually successful in vying for therapeutic supremacy in twentieth-century Western culture and, like modernism in general, unusually unaware of its religious function.

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