Therapy Culture: Cultivating Vulnerability in an Uncertain AgeBMJ 2003; 327 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.327.7426.1293 (Published 27 November 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:1293
- Raj Persaud, consultant psychiatrist
- the Maudsley Hospital, London
Frank Furedi is professor of sociology at the University of Kent, Canterbury. He is also, perhaps, the nation's best known sociologist, partly as a result of popular books such as Therapy Culture, which has been extensively reviewed in the national press.
In Therapy Culture he argues that the language and sentiment of psychotherapy have now spread outside the confines of the clinic, widely infecting society at large. As a result emotional vulnerability has become the defining feature of people's psychology, leading to a “unique sense of powerlessness.” Furedi questions the widely accepted thesis that psychotherapy as an ideology represents an enlightened shift towards emotions. But is it really the case that people didn't feel powerless before?
We do, however, live in apparently peculiar times. Tony Soprano, head of America's favourite television gangster family, goes to a therapist. American girl scouts can now get a badge in …