Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 12 April 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Ethical issues arising in the practice of psychotherapy, such as confidentiality, boundaries in the therapeutic relationship, and informed consent, figure prominently in a range of twentieth-century literary texts that portray psychotherapy. This chapter analyzes the portrayal of these conflicts, but also stresses that they are often marginal to the overall plot structures of these narratives and that literary depictions of psychotherapy are often vague or even inaccurate concerning key characteristics of psychotherapeutic practice. Focusing on examples that either illustrate professionalism and the absence of ethical challenges in psychotherapy, or take up the ethical reservations that fueled anti-Freudianism or the anti-psychiatry movement, the chapter proposes that selected literary depictions of psychotherapy can play a key role in sensitizing therapists to the complex make-up of ethical dilemmas as well as illustrating the cultural and historical contexts of these dilemmas.

Keywords: psychotherapy, psychoanalysis, ethics, literature, ethical dilemma

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.