Theory

Critical Therapy combines modern psychoanalytic techniques with the theory and practice of liberation psychology and critical pedagogy to pursue empowerment, liberation and healing.

From Freud and psychoanalysis, critical therapy uses important techniques such as: transference, dream analysis, and analyzing the resistances to understand family relationships and inter-generational patterns and feelings. From liberation psychology and critical pedagogy, critical therapy brings a commitment to social justice and an analysis of power relations in therapy, life, and society as refracted, for example, through categories of race, gender, class, and religion.

In critical therapy, the relationship between the therapist and the patient is one of partnership and collaboration, with a deep analysis of power. Power is at the core of critical therapy, from both an interpersonal perspective and in terms societal structures. Both therapist and patient analyze the world not only through the patient’s personal conflicts and feelings, but together, they also look at the patient’s position within society, her or his status in relation to power. They also question and analyze the therapist’s relation to power and position within society and how this affects and informs the therapeutic relationship.

The goal of critical therapy is to open new possibilities for action, new self-understanding; to reflect emotionally, socio-economically and politically, to act and to reflect again.

This book lays out innovations in therapy that mirror respectful relations between human beings. Training therapists to help people grapple with how power, systems, and politics affect our mental health is going to change many lives.

Rinku Sen

Executive Director, Narrative Initiative, Author of Stir Up and Accidental American

This is a beautifully written and inspiring book that includes socio-economic aspects of Critical Therapy, and makes connections between worker rights, economic equity and mental health.

Jessica Gordon-Nembhard, Ph.D

Professor at John Jay College City University of NY; Author of Collective Courage: A History of African American Cooperative Economic Thought and Practice

Critical Therapy is an accessible, important, must-read text for mental health professionals. It identifies the ways one can integrate a relational approach with critical consciousness in therapy and practice logistics.

Candice Nicole Hargons, PhD

Associate Professor University of Kentucky and Director, Center for Healing Racial Trauma

Words have a magical power. They can bring either the greatest happiness or deepest despair.

– Sigmund Freud

The good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life.

– Jane Addams

The challenge is to construct a new person in a new society.

– Ignacio Martín-Baró

Language is never neutral… Liberation is a praxis: the action and reflection of men and women upon their world in order to transform it.

– Paulo Freire

Desired values such as social justice, self-determination and participation, caring and compassion, health and human diversity must be advanced in a balanced way… Our ultimate goal is to respect and enhance both individuality and diversity within a mutually supportive just and equal society.

– Dennis Fox

Critical Therapy Institute (CTI) focuses on teaching, research and the application of critical therapy in advisory, consulting, and educational services.

Critical Therapy (CT) provides psychotherapy to individuals, couples, families and groups. With a deep commitment to liberation and empowerment, our focus is on transformation.

244 Fifth Avenue
9th Floor
New York, NY 10001
Phone: 646-504-3230
Email: info@criticaltherapy.org

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