The standard view of psychotherapy as a treatment for mental disorders can obscure how therapy functions as a social practice that promotes conceptions of human well-being. Building on the philosophy of Charles Taylor, Smith examines the link between therapy and ethics, and the roots of therapeutic aims in modern Western ideas about living well.

This is one of two complementary volumes (the other being Therapeutic Ethics in Context and in Dialogue). This volume explores the links between therapeutic aims and conceptions of well-being. It examines several cognitive-behavioral and psychoanalytic therapies to illustrate how they can be distinguished by their divergent ethics. Smith argues that because research utilizing standard measures of efficacy shows little difference between the therapies, the assessment of their relative merits must include evaluation of their distinct ethical visions.

A key text for upper level undergraduates, postgraduate students, and professionals in the fields of psychotherapy, psychoanalysis, theoretical psychology, and philosophy of mind.

chapter 1|4 pages


The Means and Ends of Therapy

chapter 2|23 pages

The Ethics of Therapeutic Aims

chapter 4|23 pages

Different Therapies, Different Ethics

The Example of Psychoanalysis

chapter 5|24 pages

Psychotherapy Research

From Effective Techniques to Ethical Aspirations

chapter 6|3 pages


What Works? What Matters?