Psychotherapy and Ethics



One of three structural components of psychotherapeutic discourse is analyzed on the basis of M.Fuko's philosophy. The distinction between «ethos» and "ethics” is proposed. The psychotherapy is characterized by entire space of ethos which the author defines as space of self-determination of the person. Ethos in psychotherapy forbids the objectifying relation to the person which is common in medical fields of practice, and which open thereby a possibility to a person for self- problematisating. At the same time different psychotherapy approaches do have various bases of values (ethics) because of their non-autonomy from ex-territorial discoursive fields of modern culture. Assimilation and transformation of old ethics in psychotherapeutic practice occurred by the influence of the discourse of unconscious developed by psychoanalysis.

General Information

Keywords: ethos, ethics, self-practice, values, norms

Journal rubric: Philosophy, Anthropology, Culture

For citation: Vorobyeva L.I. Psychotherapy and Ethics. Konsul'tativnaya psikhologiya i psikhoterapiya = Counseling Psychology and Psychotherapy, 2009. Vol. 17, no. 1, pp. 75–93. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Lyudmila I. Vorobyeva, PhD in Psychology, Senior Researcher, Laboratory of Psychological Counseling and Psychotherapy, Psychological Institute of the Russian Academy of Education, Moscow, Russia, e-mail:



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