Betrayal in Psychotherapy and Its Antidotes: Challenges for Patient and Therapist

1st Edition

E Mark Stern

Published October 17, 2016
Reference - 176 Pages
ISBN 9781138987784 - CAT# Y209957

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Betrayal in all its forms has been and is an ever present reality in every area of life--politics, business, and human relationships to name a few. Recent publications have chronicled the unethical actions of mental health and other human service professionals, yet the psychology of betrayal has received little public interest and attention. This book explores the many issues relating to psychotherapy and betrayal.

The contributing authors of Betrayal in Psychotherapy and its Antidotes present the various faces of betrayal as may be encountered by therapists in the office or in the profession. They challenge therapists to understand the violations of trust that can occur within the therapeutic relationship. Readers are reminded that the trauma of betrayal manifests itself within all patients, regardless of of the nature and expression of psychopathology. More importantly, the authors define betrayal as experienced with specific cases and they attempt to bring out underlying principles that are useful to therapists and the larger professional community.

Readers will find their understanding of the concept of betrayal much expanded from the chapters in Betrayal in Psychotherapy and its Antidotes. For example, betrayal is discussed as a failure in the interpersonal or inter-subjective relationship between therapist and client in one chapter as opposed to the concept of betrayal as an act calculated to lead another person astray, an act of deception or treachery, and a breach of confidence and trust as considered in another chapter. Other approaches to betrayal and psychotherapy include:
  • how to determine what is betrayal in psychotherapy
  • the use of case examples to establish the importance of the therapist striving to remain true to the genuine potentiality of a patient
  • how to avoid colluding with the patient’s rejection of life
  • the work of Alice Miller, a psychoanalyst by training, and the betrayal of children by abuse
  • the paradoxical nature of psychiatric practice and its necessary reliance upon moral reasoning
  • an investigation on the link between therapists’personal maturity and the success of therapy
  • how traditional humanistic and analytic therapies can entrap both therapist and patient into a betrayal of self and the relationship
  • implications of the “betrayal of the feminine” in males and their work with clients in a psychotherapy setting
  • a case portrayal of “Teddy”--the betrayal of the betrayed


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