Carl Whitaker's Therapy of the Absurd

Volume 16
Summer 1988
Carl Whitaker's Therapy of the Absurd

Carl Whitaker, MD, zany master of family therapy, has developed a therapy of the absurd, a tongue-in-cheek put on that inverts common therapeutic methods and produces dramatic results. Although sharing the same objectives as other experiential therapists, he uses sharply different approaches. He contends with his clients, confronts and cajoles them into change. Rather than eradicate the pathology in a family, he attempts to augment it until it "self-destructs."€He makes little attempt to be supportive, to adhere to a counseling theory, or to exhibit sympathy. Nevertheless, some of his work is exemplary for the pastor counselor. His pattern challenges us to take a strong stand in our faith, to lace direct responsibility upon the counselees themselves, and to avoid being overly active in helpfulness. Whitaker's zany methods could inspire our own in being aware and effective.

Dr. J.C. Wynn
135 - 143
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