History of the Human Sciences 31 (4):83-106 (2018)

Abstract
This article explores the concept of minor or general psychotherapy championed by physicians seeking to popularise psychotherapy in the post-Stalin Soviet Union. Understood as a set of skills and principles meant to guide behaviour towards and around patients, this form of psychotherapy was portrayed as indispensable for physicians of all specialities as well as for all personnel of medical institutions. This article shows how, as a result of Soviet teaching on the power of suggestion to influence human organisms, every interaction with patients was conceptualised as a form of psychotherapy, leading to the embrace of placebo as a legitimate form of therapy, and to the blurring of the boundary between therapy and other activities in the clinic. The principles of minor psychotherapy reveal a concept of psychotherapy that is much wider, and rooted in different priorities, than the dominant understanding of this type of treatment found in Western Europe and North America. This article addresses the ethical principles implicit in the Soviet perspective, demonstrating that despite fighting against the uncaring and dismissive attitude of other physicians, Soviet psychotherapists remained rooted in the paternalistic tradition. Finally, it traces the efforts to establish minor psychotherapy as standard practice in medical institutions, which, like many other plans and ambitions of Soviet psychotherapists, were constrained by a lack of resources in the healthcare system.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s)
DOI 10.1177/0952695118773962
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 65,593
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Psychiatric Ethics.Sidney Bloch & Stephen A. Green (eds.) - 2009 - Oxford University Press.
Talking Cures and Placebo Effects.David A. Jopling - 2008 - Oxford University Press.
‘Psychotherapy’: The Invention of a Word.Sonu Shamdasani - 2005 - History of the Human Sciences 18 (1):1-22.

View all 8 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

‘Presidentialism’ in the Ex-Soviet Union.J. Blondel - 2012 - Japanese Journal of Political Science 13 (1):1-36.
The Soviet Union Then and Now: Some Recent Publications on the Soviet Union.Kurt Marko - 1975 - Studies in East European Thought 15 (2):129-144.
Lysenkoism in Poland.William deJong-Lambert - 2012 - Journal of the History of Biology 45 (3):499-524.
Social Psychology in the Soviet Union.Levy Rahmani - 1973 - Studies in Soviet Thought 13 (3-4):218-250.
Philosophy in the Soviet Union.Eugene Kamenka - 1963 - Philosophy 38 (143):1 - 19.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2018-12-19

Total views
11 ( #835,597 of 2,462,111 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #448,940 of 2,462,111 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes