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Encountering America: Humanistic Psychology, Sixties Culture, and the Shaping of the Modern Self Paperback – December 26, 2012
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Encountering America weaves together a tapestry and history of a humane ideal for living that continues to define our societal world view. It is a work of deep cultural understanding that breaks down complex issues in a coherent manner, bursting with oversized personalities and thought-provoking ideas. - Shelf Awareness
Jessica Grogan reveals the seminal, but frequently overlooked, influence of the postwar humanistic psychology movement in creating what is sometimes described as today's "therapy culture," which includes employee retreats, seminars on sensitivity training, the proliferation of support groups and more....
"Encountering America" is an illuminating cultural history.
- Kirkus Review
About the Author
Jessica Grogan has a PhD in American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. She has taught courses on American history, culture, and psychology at Southwestern University, the University of Texas, and Mount Holyoke College. This is her first book.
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Jessica Grogan offers a comprehensive history and useful introduction. She is good in defining the strengths of the humanistic approach, and also in suggesting where it fostered its own weaknesses and decline. To me, she over-emphasizes the importance of Maslow in relation to the other key thinkers. Her discussion of May's concept of the daimonic seems inaccurate, and she perhaps too-neatly links humanistic psychology and the psychedelic advocacy of Timothy Leary. I also found her discussion of what has lasted a bit unfocused and vague.
Nonetheless, Grogan's book is the only general history of the movement I know of, and is a useful introduction for the novice and a look back for those, like myself, who were involved.
For anyone who lived through the 60'-70's and had their views shaped by the themes of the times' influential therapeutic models and the values they reflected--even though one may never have individually sought counselling or care, this is an enlightening explanation to help one grasp one's own evolution. This is especially true in these so called politically correct and legalistic times.
You will enjoy the style Ms. Grogan uses to portray this picture.
Most recent customer reviews
Quick Take: This book has scholarly depth and provenance, with a style that can be easily and pleasurably read by most anyone...Read more