George Walford: From Psychology to Society

In IC24 appeared an article, by John Rowan and George Walford, entitled COUNSELLING RESEARCH; AN IDEOLOGICAL STUDY. It related the principal trends in psychotherapy to the major ideologies, saying, among other things, that what s.i. would call protodynamic psychotherapy: “entails the conception of society being reformed to comply with the developing individual; successful counselling produces reformers.”

David Small, author of Taking Care, an Alternative Therapy (London, J. M. Dent & Sons 1987), has written an article in which he says:

People engaged in serious therapeutic work have come a long way in both identifying and conceptualising the nature of the ills from which their clients suffer. Not many of us any longer think, for example, of patients’ difficulties as illness, and most of us recognise that their emotional injuries are caused socially…

Therapies which hold out the. magical promise of curing the distress to which such social organisation gives rise become merely one aspect of the disciplinary, mystifying process. But this need not be the case. Psychotherapy can do much to demystify people’s distress, so that they can see its origins not in a sense of their personal faults and failings but in the noxious social and environmental influences which have borne, and bear, upon them. (NEW SOCIETY 20 Feb 87).

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THE LEFT have long been trying to get the workers to take an interest in their relation to the means of production. But the great body of workers turn away; they, and most of the capitalists too, are more interested in the means of reproduction.

from Ideological Commentary 28, July 1987.