"Over the last few years I have come to question the centrality and value attributed to the ideas of ‘analysis’ and ‘interpretation’ in the psychotherapies in general and the analytic traditions in particular – ideas which draw on the prestige of the natural sciences.
The talk develops the reasoning behind the shifts in my thinking and practice. With the help of the moral philosopher Raimond Gaita I will build on my prior thesis that the psyche is constituted by power-relations, to argue that it is also constituted by moral-relations. Gaita’s understanding of morality has affinities with Winnicott and Bowlby, and is also deeply congenial to the group analytic sensibility. I will show how these ways of thinking contribute towards the ethical constitution of our inner lives. I will then touch on some of the consequences of this way of thinking for the practice of psychotherapy (whatever the school or modality), in ways that do not entail a collapse into emotivism nor a rejection of the rational.
I conclude that because psychotherapy is a moral endeavour, it requires the therapist to take up ‘an attitude towards a soul’ (Wittgenstein) rather than that of the detached clinician, and that therapy is better described as a very particular kind of embodied conversation rather than the scientistic conceptions of ‘analysis’ or ‘treatment’. [The title is a quote from Weber]."
Farhad Dalal PhD. obtained a first degree in Physics and qualified as a group analyst in 1991. He works with organizations and also has a psychotherapy practice in Devon.
Respondent: Sylvia Hutchinson
is a training group analyst, currently working in private practice and as a trainer and supervisor on the London and Turvey qualifying courses in Group Analysis. She has in the past worked in both NHS and University Health services and is past Chair of EGATIN.