A Democratic Mind was published July 2017. Click here for the order form for A Democratic Mind.
Psychotherapy for A Democratic Mind: Treating Tragedy, Intimacy, Violence and Evil will be published by Lexington Books in 2017
COVER BLURBS A DEMOCRATIC MIND
“The argument for freedom of thought in our work and in our lives is emblazoned in this groundbreaking book for our times. A Democratic Mind marshals cogent arguments against the social and psychotherapeutic trends toward the surrender to imposed constraints on thought and action, and toward the suggestion that rule-bound ideas of mental health and illness will suffice. If you long for a unifying call for freedom of thought, read this book!”—David E. Scharff, MD, International Psychotherapy Institute and the IPA Committee on Family and Couple Psychoanalysis.
“This compelling book held my interest throughout. It is written by a man who loves life and speaks with candor, clarity, and courage. A Democratic Mind is a critical exploration of the limits of contemporary psychotherapy, and a passionate plea to expand its agenda to not only treat the individual, but also the impact that he/she has on his/her family, community, and world. Israel Charny stresses the necessity of cultivating open, compassionate, and engaged people who embrace life. Charny’s writing is lucid and interesting; his work is passionate and lively.”—Michael Berenbaum, PhD, American Jewish University
“The release of A Democratic Mind could not be at a better time, as the world contends with polarizing forces that pit tribal populism against global democratic principles. Israel W. Charny offers a metaphor of the ‘Fascist versus Democratic Mind’ as a new framework with which to understand symptoms and direct treatment. Like Albert Bandura’s Moral Disengagement, Charny offers readers an approach to assessment and psychotherapy that is firmly grounded in democratic, life-affirming values, and that emphasizes the choice between good and evil. He expands assessment of the rigid, fascist mind—how we humans hurt ourselves—to how we also hurt others. The addition of these relational considerations is critical for a full understanding of the human condition. To be mentally healthy in the twenty-first century is to cultivate calm in the midst of uncertainty, to embrace and learn from diversity, and to hold our own and others’ behaviors accountable as life-affirming. Charny offers an empowering and integrative psychotherapy to achieve these goals. We need this approach now more than ever.” —Susan McDaniel, University of Rochester Medical Center; Past President, American Psychological Association
From the Foreword to the book by Allen Frances, MD, Editor of DSM IV:
“This is a fascinating book, expressing noble aims. Charny’s premise is that our species is limited by a fairly primitive mental apparatus that needs a “software upgrade” to provide us with the tools to live more at peace with ourselves and with each other. Diagnosis and treatment must also extend beyond the individual to encompass relational problems at the family and societal level. We must not be satisfied with treating pathology; instead, we must strive to create goodness where once there was evil. Would it were possible, but I fear it isn’t. I believe in human happiness, but not in human perfectibility. Let the reader decide between my skeptical reservations and Dr. Charny’s hopes. I hope he is right.”
COVER BLURBS PSYCHOTHERAPY FOR A DEMOCRATIC MIND
“Israel W. Charny provides a captivating journey exploring a framework for therapy that charts a course for today’s and tomorrow’s mental health professionals. Charny’s therapeutic wisdom and existential insight into the human condition, combined with his pioneering work on the Holocaust and genocide studies, informs his courageous approach to perplexing issues. He provides essential truths, including a prescription for therapists and patients alike, to achieve a ‘free mind’ that does no harm to one’s own life or that of others. This book provides approaches to diagnosis and therapy that must be studied, savored, and implemented.”—Robert Krell, MD University of British Columbia
“This is one of the most original psychotherapy books I have ever read. Israel W. Charny does not flinch when describing evil in the human experience. He calls on therapists to see psychological health as inclusive of how personal behavior affects the well-being of others, and to make the connection between political democracy and democracy in the mind and heart. There is an ethical consciousness at work on every page, which is much needed in today’s world.” Bill Doherty, PhD, Family Social Science, University of Minnesota
“Psychotherapy for a Democratic Mind presents a creative focusing of Israel W. Charny’s general concept of democratic and fascistic minds to a crucial field of application. An unusual blend of material from clinical psychology, personality theory, and political psychology, its core terms symbolize broad personality types. The result is a set of novel and thought-provoking ideas for clinical theory, diagnosis, and treatment.”—Peter Suedfeld, PhD, University of British Columbia
Response to Rap Poem-Like Closing Chapter, “Author’s Voice: What Is Going to Happen to All of Us? What Can I Do in MY Time?”
“Psychotherapy for A Democratic Mind concludes with a brilliant summation of an extraordinary life spent grappling with the human condition. Truth is in essence dialectical, and this book is a twenty-first century embodiment of the rabbinic concept of “yetzer hara/yetzer tov” (in Hebrew: the good impulse and the bad impulse). Israel Charny offers a profound understanding of the human story. There is so much substance, depth, and truth in Charny’s life perspective.” — Samuel Karff, Temple Beth Israel, Houston and University of Texas Medical School
From the Foreword to the book by Douglas Sprenkle, Ph.D., Former Editor of the Journal of Marriage and Family Therapy
“This is a wonderful book. It is the most provocative—very much in a positive sense– book I have read on psychotherapy in the past decade. All of the chapters are enlivened with case studies that reflect the author’s exceptional wisdom, sensitivity, and courage. It is rare to read a book that offers a synergy of theory, research, and practice in a way that is so scholarly, compelling, and practical. I felt that it was a privilege to be drawn into the consulting room of a master clinician who handles very difficult cases with such sensitivity and brutal honesty.”