• The Hope of Therapy

The Hope of Therapy

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ISBN 978 1 906254 11 7 (2009)
Cover Price: £14.00
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Therapy is inherently an ethical endeavour, both in the sense that the therapist is called upon to be responsible to and for the other who seeks help, and in the sense that it is inevitably bound up with ideas about how we should live and how we should treat one another. Therapy is not a matter of technique but is rather an art or craft and has much to learn from other forms of art and craft, such as painting, fiction, music and poetry. Like artists, therapists need to feel free if they are to be truly creative. This book is an argument for that therapeutic freedom. Like art, therapy inevitably carries within it an idea of hope, hope both for the individual who seeks help and hope for a better world.


1. The ethical space of therapy

2. The limitless conversation

3. The space of therapy

4. An aesthetics for therapy

5. The poetics of therapy

6. The hope of therapy



At a time when psychotherapy is a Tower of Babel with an ever-increasing variety of techniques, it is encouaging to find a quiet, sane account of therapy that bypasses superficial explanations. Gordon’s thesis is that therapy is a moral endeavour rather than a technical one and he spells out the implications of this when working in the consulting room. This lucid and challenging book will be invaluable to anyone but I would particularly like to see it in the hands of students who are trying to understand the essentials of therapy. Peter Lomas

To heal somebody you need first to be an expert in recognising wounds.  Paul Gordon knows about the 100 despairs hidden behind the term flexibility, the emotional mutilations inflicted by the present global economy. In this green oasis of a book there's a well of compassion. It will help you help... John Berger

Paul Gordon

Paul Gordon has been working as a psychotherapist in different settings for 25 years. He works in private practice and as a therapist to one of the Philadelphia Association community households. He lives in London with his wife and two children. As well as his two PCCS titles, he is also the author of Face to Face: Therapy as ethics (1999), co-editor of Between Psychotherapy and Philosphy: Essays from the Philadelphia Association (2004).  His most recent book is Vagabond Witness: Victor Serge and the politics of hope (2013).

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Paul Gordon