Therapy begins with the simplest of premises: people are good. We do the best we can
under the conditions we are given. Those conditions are social in nature, and
because severely stressed for most of us, they stress and distort human
experience. The first step, therefore, is to name the material conditions in
which emotional and interpersonal life is lived.
Starting with an understanding of alienation, we study the ways social dynamics become deeply imbedded in individual psyches and lead to feelings, ideas, and behaviors that limit a sense of what is possible, sometimes causing people to act against their own best interests in a manner that may seem irrational but, seen in a larger context, is not. Instead, such behaviors, and the feelings that intertwine them, are products of oppression and its internalization.
It is in the interrelationship of material facts and internalized oppression that the work of “therapy” lies. We put quotation marks around the word because it suggests a process of healing when in fact we're talking about a process of change. Language is a boundary, a fence walling off alternative ways of thinking. None of us is nor ever has been a psychiatrist, in the professional sense of the word. But in the early days of our work, we reclaimed “psychiatry”, noting that the Greek meaning translates into “soul healing”, a practice, we insisted, that is everybody’s business. In that sense, the process of group is not about sick psyches; it is about injured spirits.
The purpose of this website is to serve as a resource for all of us using Radical Therapy tools in our practice and lives.