Top critical review
4 people found this helpful
on February 2, 2014
Based on the glowing reviews, I decided to give this book a try. As a psychotherapist myself, I have long been fascinated with mythology, alternate methods of healing, and the history of medicine. The author does a good job in bringing the myth of Asklepios to life for the reader. I enjoyed his accounts of ancient Greek healing rituals and his travelogues about his tours through Greece and Turkey.
What I found disturbing was the author's accounts of his travels to Greece with his traumatized patients. My psychotherapy mentors always stressed the importance of maintaining clear professional boundaries as an important part of therapy. This author apparently travels regularly with patients to Greece. He does not explain who pays for these travels. Does he get his patients to pay for his trip? If so, is this exploitative of the therapist-patient relationship? If not, he is still a tour leader. What ever happened to conflict of interest? Does this author only treat wealthy people who can afford to go on jaunts to Greek holy sites? There are passages in which the author mentions bathing in sacred waters with patients and watching his female patients while they sleep during a healing ritual. Personally, I can't imagine a situation where I would spend the night in the bedroom of a female psychotherapy patient, staring at her sleeping body. To me this would be a significant boundary violation.
To be fair, I was not trained in Jungian therapy, so maybe these techniques are standard practice in that form of therapy. To me such a lack of professional boundaries between therapist and patient is disturbing. It has the feel of inducing patients into a cult for which the therapist is the guru-leader.