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Rethinking Therapeutic Culture

Timothy Aubry and Trysh Travis


In the past century, numerous social critics have observed the rise of therapeutic culture, a loosely aligned network of assumptions, practices, and institutions that tout the importance of individual happiness, emotional fulfilment, and self-actualization. While the United States has proved to be especially receptive to it, this culture has spread across the globe. According to the accounts produced by its early critics, therapeutic culture represents a destructive trend—one that spells the death of civic engagement and communal activity, undermining the republican traditions of hard work and ... More

Keywords: therapy, psychology, mass culture, affect theory, feminism, American culture, consumerism, mental health, individualism, social movements

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2015 Print ISBN-13: 9780226249933
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2016 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226250274.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Timothy Aubry, editor

Trysh Travis, editor

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Introduction Rethinking Therapeutic Culture

Timothy Aubry and Trysh Travis

Chapter 1 Damage

Joseph M. Gabriel

Chapter 2 Gospel

Kathryn Lofton

Chapter 3 Spirit

Courtney Bender

Chapter 4 Race

Gabriel Mendes

Chapter 5 Motherhood

Rebecca Jo Plant

Chapter 7 Radical

Michael E. Staub

Chapter 8 Narcissism

Elizabeth Lunbeck

Chapter 9 The Left

Beryl Satter

Chapter 10 Pills

David Herzberg

Chapter 11 Testimony

Stevan Weine

Chapter 12 Heart

Tanya Erzen

Chapter 13 Privacy

Elizabeth Spelman

Chapter 14 Pain

Suzanne Bost

Chapter 15 Blogging

Michael Sayeau

Chapter 16 Practice

Philip Cushman


Jackson Lears

End Matter