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From Morality to Mental HealthVirtue and Vice in a Therapeutic Culture$
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Mike W. Martin

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195304718

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0195304713.001.0001

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Responsibility in Community

Responsibility in Community

(p.62) 5 Responsibility in Community
From Morality to Mental Health

Mike W. Martin (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Critics have interpreted the therapeutic trend as a replacement of community-oriented morality with self-oriented therapeutic values such as self-esteem, self-fulfilment, and authenticity. They charge that exporting therapeutic attitudes from the clinic to the community erodes moral responsibility by fostering moral subjectivity and shallowness, lowering moral aspiration, and encouraging selfishness and a victim mentality. This chapter responds to these charges, including their application to self-help groups and moral education, and argues that the critics identify genuine dangers but exaggerate them. For the most part, the therapeutic trend integrates morality with therapy, albeit with varying degrees of success, rather than abandoning it.

Keywords:   therapy, health, self-help groups, self-esteem, moral education

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