Farhad Dalal
Ethics and the Bureaucratization of the Psychotherapy Professions
March 20, 2021

Farhad Dalal
is a psychotherapist and group analyst living and working in Devon. He is the convenor of the group analytic training in Bengaluru, India. His books to date include: Taking the Group Seriously (1998), Race, Colour and the Processes of Racialization (2002), Thought Paralysis: The Virtues of Discrimination (2012), and CBT: The Cognitive Behavioural Tsunami - Managerialism, Politics and the Corruptions of Science (2018)

The talk starts by outlining three ways that philosophers have thought about ethics – deontology, consequentialism and virtue ethics. I argue that society in general, including the field of psychotherapy, has become enamoured by the shallowest of these, consequentialism. Further, the world has become bewitched by the siren song of the logical positivists and their take on the fact/value dichotomy. When combined, both these have resulted in quantity being used to police not only quality but also human qualities.
The body of the talk takes up a number of issues, arguing for example that codes of ethics serve a number of tacit socio-political functions rather than the espoused one of protecting the general public. In effect, the talk will critically deconstruct the notion of codes of ethics in numerous ways by asking questions like: Are good therapists necessarily ethical therapists? I will argue that ethics cannot be objectified in codes, at least not without grievous distortion of those very ethics.

email: info 'at' limbus 'dot' org 'dot' uk
For more informtion, contact: Farhad Dalal 0778 222 0385