TOTW: Therapy

This TOTW comes via guest submission, thnx. ([email protected])
Are most anarchists hostile to therapy, mainstream or otherwise? In Against the Logic of Submission (under the heading Revolt Not Therapy), Wolfi Landstreicher writes: “Freedom belongs to the individual — this is a basic anarchist principle — and as such resides in individual responsibility to oneself and in free association with others. Thus, there can be no obligations, no debts, only choices of how to act. The therapeutic approach to social problems is the very opposite of this.. Basing itself in the idea that we are crippled rather than chained, inherently weak rather than held down, it imposes an obligatory interdependence, a mutuality of incapacity, rather than a sharing of strengths and capabilities.”

There is a phenomenon of therapy proselytizing and also a tendency to recommend or demand those that have crossed boundaries to seek therapy. Is seeking out professional therapy an unfortunate but often necessary evil and counter to an ideal anarchist future? Or is it a positive practice some would like to see salvaged in some form ATR? Is it just hard to find a good therapist that understands you as an anarchist? After all, there seems to be a fair amount of anarchists that have had to deal with Oppositional Defiant Disorder or ADD or any number of other diagnoses that seem all too convenient for the social managers. Is therapy just a pressure release valve that helps in the maintenance of a subordinate populace of wage slaves?

The Socialist Patients’ Collective (SPK) from Germany wrote about their experiences resisting the doctor-patient paradigm in Turn Illness into a Weapon.

Roberto Freire developed the anarchist play therapy Soma after fighting two dictatorships in Brazil. Influenced by Wilhelm Reich and incorporating elements of Gestalt therapy, Somatherapy seeks to challenge the mind body split inherent in many conventional psychotherapies. What are your experiences with Soma or other alternative forms of therapy? Is Soma the only therapy branding itself as explicitly anarchist?


Revolt, not therapy – against the logic of submission……