WHAT ARE THE APPLICATIONS OF DIALOGUE PSYCHOTHERAPY?
The concept of reality-testing in Freudian psychology is a comparatively mono-logical one in which the patient is either reality-bound or subject to distortion.This means, as Ronald Laing has pointed out, that the psychiatrist determines what is “normal” and invalidates the experience of the patient. Buber’s and Nagy’s concept of the “just order of the human world,” in contrast, is a dialogical one. However pathological it may be, the uniqueexperience of each of the persons in the family is itself of value: it enters into the balance of merit and into that dialogical reality-testing that I call the “dialogue of touchstones.” The scapegoater in the family can be looked upon as needing help and the scapegoat as a potential helper; for the former is taking an ever-heavier load of guilt on himself and the latter is accumulatingmerit through being loaded on by others.
Leslie H. Farber has made an…
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