Cognitive psychology has had little impact on our culture, but this intellectual manual makes a startCognitivism has become the dominant psychological system of our times. Its theories have swept aside Freudian mythology; its therapists, armed with treatment manuals, have taken over the NHS; its avant-gardists in the positive psychology movement have infiltrated the US military. Yet cognitive psychology has made curiously little cultural impact. Empirical, clinical and imaginatively narrow: as revolutionary intellectual movements go, it's rather boring.Psychoanalysis may not have the same scientific credibility as cognitive therapy, but the Freudian unconscious was certainly a realm that people wanted to explore. Oedipal conflict, dreams, libidinal drives, the death wish: out of such stuff pictures were painted, movies were made, poetry was written. Who wants to explore the poetry of CBT?Jules Evans – policy director at the Centre for the History of the Emotions – does. And when he starts doing so, it's...
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