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Document Typology: Newspaper / Magazine article
Methodology addressed by the publication:
Title of document: Money and psychotherapy
Name of author(s): Jeremy Holmes
Name of publisher: International Journal of Psychotherapy-Abingdon. Jul 1998
Language of the publication: English
Language of the review: English
Money in psychotherapy can be a force for good or evil. Fenichel postulated a ‘pre-pecuniary’ stage of development, corresponding to the pre-oedipal stage, in which the infant can claim a right to a superabundance of love, unfettered by financial constraints. The oedipal stage by contrast means learning the value of things, their ‘rate of exchange ; and the limits of love and generosity. Therapy conceived as a pure labour of love cannot see beyond the pre-pecuniary stage; therapy that confines itself to fees and fixed numbers of sessions fails to reach the deepest levels of human encounter. The analogy between therapy and prostitution shows how pecuniary relationships can perversely masquerade as pre-pecuniary. The current crisis in publicly funded psychotherapy is discussed in the light of these ideas. Unforseen benefits of this crisis, leading to the possibility of a more tolerant and multidisciplinary psychotherapeutic culture are described
Reviewer's comments on the document:
As psychotherapists we are perhaps trustees of a deeper reality. But, in order to keeping working for the joy of working, to celebrate things as they are as opposed to things that can be bought, to offer real therapy rather than retail therapy-money is needed.
Discusses the female experience of psychotherapy, both for female practitioners and for female clients, in the context of money. The author begins with a historical perspective on the approach to fee collection in psychotherapy, ranging from the notion of money as a taboo subject in the 1940s through the 1960s, to the present day sliding scale, which often involves female patients. Such issues as individual family background and gender-related cultural influences depicting women as nurturers are discussed. Implications of these issues are addressed, e.g., the avoidance of speaking to clients about money, the poor preparation women have for running a business (private practice), the lack of available funds for single mothers, and womens' feelings of insecurity about spending money on themselves. The author observes that although such issues might also be true for male patients, the frequency appears greater for women.
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