n IFE PsychologIA : An International Journal - The interface of literature and psychotherapy : psychotherapy and psychotherapeutic portrayals in literature

Volume 21, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1117-1421



The connection between literature and psychotherapy has received wide critical attention in the past but the eclectic nature of their interdependence and the need for a psychotherapist to acquire literary skill has not been adequately established. This study establishes the need to include literature in the training of a psychotherapist by delving into an exploration of the multifarious influence of literature on psychotherapy and vice versa. This is in order to project the healing virtues of literary creativity and its significant impact on the psychological practices of the psychotherapist.

Sociological approach is used to explore the relationship between the psychotherapist and his patient in this study. It provides a framework for the explanation of the operation of human mind and how literature and psychotherapy have handled its manifestations. An eclectic analysis is deployed to explore and establish the usefulness of literature to psychotherapy.
This study is a comment on the humanity of psychotherapy as a bi-dimensional practice that must be unified in order to achieve effectiveness and efficiency. The interface of literature and psychotherapy projects a symbiotic interdependence. Literature aids the performance of psychotherapy in diverse ways and psychotherapy provides the creative artist with material and inspiration for the depiction of the state of mental health care. Psychotherapy professionals have moved from the status of quacks to heroes but the true test of their education in contemporary time as all times will be their ability to provide humane care. The literary intervention in psychotherapy cannot be relegated; it is the centrepiece for the measurement of the effectiveness of the profession.
We have been able to explore the eclectic interdependence of literature and psychotherapy. A consciousness of the relevance of these two fields to each other will help future scholarly endeavour and psychiatric practices, whether formally or informally.

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