- Hardcover: 278 pages
- Publisher: Jason Aronson, Inc. (October 28, 1996)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1568218281
- ISBN-13: 978-1568218281
- Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 1.1 x 8.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 8 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,870,936 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Gaslighting, the Double Whammy, Interrogation and Other Methods of Covert Control in Psychotherapy and Analysis
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Theo Dorpat has given us an important book on a subject that clearly and deeply concerns him. It is about the various subtle ways that the psychotherapist, including the psychoanalyst, indoctrinates the patient without knowing that he is doing so. Dorpat shows us how the therapist, using widely accepted techniques such as questioning the patient, may raise doubts in the patient's mind about his (the patient's) own perceptions, and induce the patient to accept the therapist's sometimes erroneous ideas. Also, Dorpat tells us how the therapist can judge from the patient's responses to his interventions whether the patient feels set back or helped. Dorpat's work is based not only on his wide experience in psychoanalysis and related fields, but also on an extensive and detailed study of process notes, in which he carefully analyzes patient-therapist interactions. This book provides a much-needed critique of current clinical practice. (Joseph Weiss, M.D.)
This provocative and disquieting study of the role of covert processes of indoctrination and interpersonal control in therapeutic failures is an important contribution to the growing literature challenging the mythology of therapeutic neutrality and objectivity. Dorpat's recommendations for making these unconscious influence processes conscious will be invaluable to therapists and analysts in their efforts to discriminate between patterns of compliance and genuine therapeutic change. (Robert D. Stolorow, Ph.D.)
About the Author
Theo L. Dorpat, M.D., received his medical training at the University of Washington School of Medicine and completed his psychiatric residency at the University of Cincinnati School of Medicine. He was the first graduate of the Seattle Psychoanalytic Institute (now called the Seattle Institute for Psychoanalysis) where he is now a training and supervising psychoanalyst. He maintains a private practice of psychoanalysis, psychotherapy, and forensic psychiatry in Seattle.
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His basic point is that even well-meaning clinicians can harm patients. This is how: 1) In psychoanalysis and other psychodynamic therapies the idea of the unconscious is taken very seriously. 2)In some schools of this type therapy, it is asserted that the client does not know his or her true motivations and desires, because his true motivations and desires reside in the unconscious. 3) The therapist is believed by himself and the client to have a privileged view inside the client's unconscious 4) the client tries to come to grips with his or her motivations but the therapist, harboring hostility or a need to dominate, always tells the client that he or she is wrong, under the guise of a brilliant interpretation or confrontation 5) the client believes the therapist must be right and so over time becomes less sure of him- or herself and more dependent on the therapist.
The unconscious can be useful idea, but it can be a dangerous idea if used as above. Within the psychoanalysis community, the solution is believed to be for the therapist to be extremely emotionally healthy, but wait, every therapist thinks they extremely emotionally healthy! Perhaps a saving grace can be found in the works of Alexander Lowen, where the client's body is held to reflect the unconscious, and so the body provides a reality check for both the client and the therapist, and then the therapists body is also visible. See perhaps Pleasure or The Betrayal of the Body
Many patients enter treatment with the unconscious belief that they are flawed, that their perceptions are grossly distorted, and in fact the therapists are happy to confirm this by enforcing their rigid theories of the patients unconscious on the patient. The therapist claims access to a completely undistorted view of reality that the patient is lacking (thus "flawed").
Dorpat astutely recognizes the importance of Weiss proposal that "psychopathology stems from unconscious pathogenic beliefs of the dangers if the patient were to pursue certain important goals."
This is an amazing work that should be of central importance to anyone involved in any way with psychotherapy (students, teachers, therapists, patients, etc.).
The cover of the book touched me only after I had read it. A person on the cover is depicted as being choked by a hateful, angry person, and this is exactly what happens all too often in psychotherapy (though unconsciously).