Critical Psychology Teaching Materials

 Recommended Reading

RadPsyNet Members'
Book & Article Suggestions,
psychology and otherwise

Also see Course Readings & Other Bibliographies in Critical Psychology Teaching Materials


Member Suggestions

Armistead, Nigel (Ed) (1974). Reconstructing Social Psychology. Penguin Books.

"Written in the 1970's, this is a book which brings us back to the time when social psychologists actually worried about deception and the ethical harms of the Milgram experiments. It features a rich, narrative introduction by Armistead which chronicles his gradual exposure and movement towards critical psychology as his career progressed. It also features the incomparable chapter by David Ingleby on the "Jobs psychologists do," describing how psychologists help maintain the status quo in Western societies."

 Albee, G.W., Bond, L., & Monsey, T. V. C. (1992). Improving Children's Lives: Global Perspectives On Prevention. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

Cochrane, R., & Carroll, D. (1991). Psychology and Social Issues. The Falmer Press.

Ehrenreich, Barbara & English, Deirdre.

(1973). The Sexual Politics of Sickness. Feminist Press.
"94 pages, humorous & ghastly illustrations. The social role of medicine in creating the best (most compliant) patient."

(1978). For Her Own Good: 150 Years of the Expert's Advice to Women. Anchor Books.
"Contains sections which deal specifically with psychology within a stunning overview of the claptrap used on women to keep them "happy" as defined by the patriarchal medical establishment, etc."

Erikson, Erik. Insight and Responsibility

Fing, Reverend Wing F. Fuck Yes! A guide to the happy acceptance of everything. Shepherd's Press. (Self-Help)

"This book bills itself as, ‘The only self-help book you will ever need’. It chronicles the transformation of a down-and-out lower middle-class American man named Norris who assumes the identity Reverend Wing Fu Fing, shepherd to the lost sheep of the world. One day, after he has lost his latest job and he feels utterly despondent, Norris suddenly experiences an epiphany of sorts: He realizes that it is far easier to say, ‘Yes’ to almost any question than, ‘No’. Thus begins a truly bizarre odyssey which takes the newly-christened Reverend Wing Fu Fing through a series of brushes with the law, sexual escapades, and strange social encounters that rivals Joseph Heller's Catch-22 in its layers of complexity.

Underneath the highjinks and escapades are some genuine gems of social commentary, as well as wry hints at psychological symbolism. For instance, at one juncture in the text three sisters who bear an uncanny resemablance to Freud's id, ego, and superego make an appearance. While this book probably doesn't quite live up to its billing as ‘the only self-help book you will ever need,’ it does provide a refreshing does of parody of the current self-help literature, while simultaneously showcasing some genuinely powerful experiental scenes and making a number of useful global political and social points."

 Fox, Dennis R. and  Prilleltensky, Isaac

(1996). The Inescapable Nature of Politics in Psychology: A Response to O'Donohue and Dyslin. New Ideas in Psychology, 14, 21-26.

(1997). Critical Psychology: An Introduction. London: Sage. [includes chapters by several RadPsyNet members]

 Fox, Dennis R. (article summaries and some Reference lists available on line)

(1985). Psychology, Ideology, Utopia, and the Commons. American Psychologist, 40, 48-58.

(1993). The Autonomy-Community Balance and the Equity-Law Distinction: Anarchy's Task for Psychological Jurisprudence. Behavioral Sciences and the Law, 11, 97-109.

(1993). Psychological Jurisprudence and Radical Social Change. American Psychologist, 48, 234-241.

(1996). The Law Says Corporations are Persons, But Psychology Knows Better. Behavioral Sciences and the Law, 14, 21-26.

Freud, Sigmund. Collected Papers. "...for non-psychoanalytic types: you still need to see some of the roots."

Fromm, Erich. (1955). The Sane Society. New York: Holt, Rinehart, Winston.

Gilligan, Carol. "Woman's Place In Man's Life Cycle" (article)

Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. The Yellow Wallpaper. "MUST READ. tiny but packs a wallop."

Hagen, Margaret . (1997) Whores of the Court: The Fraud of Psychiatric Testimony and the Rape of American Justice. Harper-Collins.

Hillman, James & Ventura, Michael. (1978). We've Had a Hundred Years of Psychotherapy and the World's Getting Worse. Harper Collins.

"Covers a lot of territory in a comprehensible manner. Questions the current Western approach, specifically American, for curing people."

Horton, M., & Freire, P. (1990). We Make the Road by Walking: Conversations on Education and Social Change. Temple University.

Howitt, D. (1991). Concerning Psychology: Psychology Applied to Social Issues. Open University Press.

Hyde, Lewis. (1983). The Gift: Imagination and the Erotic Life of Property. New York: Vintage Books.

"The most fascinating book I read in graduate school. I gave copies as presents. Some psychology, some anthropology, some myths and more. And then poets!" (Dennis Fox)

James, William. Varieties of Religous Experience

Joffe, Justin M., &  Albee, George (Eds.). (1981). Prevention Through Political Action and Social Change. Hanover, NH: University Press of New England.

Kaysen, Susanna. Girl, interrupted.

Kelman, Herb C. (1969). A Time to Speak: On Human Values and Social Research. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Kohn, Alfie. (1986). No Contest: The Case Against Competition. Boston: Houghton-Mifflin. "A social psychologist's case; good for undergraduates." (Dennis Fox)

Lavik, Nils Johan (ed.) (1994). Pain and Survival - Human Rights Violations and Mental Health. Scandinavian University Press. ISBN 82-00-21907-0

"A main focal point of this book is the destructive effects of repressive political systems on the human mind, and the disruption of family life and social relations."

Leary,Timothy. Interpersonal Diagnosis of Personality

Lerner, Michael. (1991). Surplus Powerlessness: The Psychodynamics of Everyday Life . . . and the Psychology of Individual and Social Transformation (revised ed). Humanities Press.

Martín-Baró, Ignacio. (1994). Writings for a Liberation Psychology ( Adrianne Aron & Shawn Corne, Eds.). Harvard University Press.

McGovern, Constance M. (1985). Masters of Madness: Social Origins of the American Psychiatric Profession. Hanover, NH: University Press of New England.

"Insight into the power struggles of the doctors who were trying to create their own feeding ground. Their ideas reflected the zeitgeist and the priestlike privilege they enjoyed in creating and making diagnoses and prognoses were essentially unchallenged. Currently the AMA is running under the same paradigm spawned by this handful of well-meaning but misguided MDs."

Millet, Kate. The Looney Bin Trip. Plath, Sylvia. The Bell Jar.

Modrow, John. (1992). How to Become a Schizophrenic: The Case Against Biological Psychiatry. Everett, WA: Apollyon Press. Can be viewed in the Author's Showcase of Light Communications, Inc.

"Before reading the book, I was largely convinced that schizophrenia was primarily a brain disease. Modrow has forced me to take a second look, however, and reconsider the psychological causes of the condition." The Vancouver Sun

"One of the best things I’ve read on the subject...I am struck by the richness of the ideas and the research and the soundness of the conclusions." Peter R. Breggin, M.D., author of Toxic Psychiatry

 Prilleltensky, I.

(1989). Psychology and the Status Quo. American Psychologist. 44, 795-802.

(1990). Enhancing the Social Ethics of Psychology: Toward a Psychology at the Service of Social Change. Canadian Psychology, 31, 310-319.

(1992). Radical Behaviorism and the Social Order. Counseling and Values, 36, 104-111.

(1994). The Morals and Politics of Psychology: Psychological Discourse and the Status Quo. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1994
See John Lawrence Miller's review & Isaac Prilleltensky's response

Roberts, Alan. (1979). The Self-Managing Environment. London: Allison & Busby.

Rogers, Carl. On Becoming a Person

Sakolsky, Ron, & Koehnline, James (Eds.). (1993). Gone to Croatan: Origins of North American Dropout Culture. New York: Autonomedia Press.

"Radical historians examine the long history of dissidents dropping out of mainstream America. Stuff you've never heard of, and will long remember."

Sampson, Edward E. (1993). Celebrating the Other: A Dialogic Account of Human Nature. Westview Press.

Sarason, Seymour B.

(1981). Psychology Misdirected. New York: Free Press.
"Psychology's ties to the status quo. I used this as a graduate seminar text."

(1982). Psychology and Social Action. New York: Praeger.

Sharma, Sohan Lal. The Therapeutic Dialogue. Jason Aronson Inc. ISBN-1-56821-656-4. [Contains a great deal of resources/studies on class, race and gender assumptions within the clinical ‘enviroment’.]

 Siebert, Lawrence A, Ph.D.

(1996). The Survivor Personality. Perigee Books/Berkley Publishing Group, ISBN: 0-399-52230-1. Showcased on the internet.
"As a survivor, I am impressed with this valuable tool for those who look for hope in hopelessness. Dr. Siebert provides a practical guide for anyone who chooses to be a survivor rather than a victim." Edith Eva Eger, Ph.D., Auschwitz Survivor.

(1995) Peaking out: how my mind broke free from the delusions in psychiatry. By Al Siebert as told to Sam Kimball. Practical Psychology Press, ISBN: O-944227-10-4, Preassigned LCCN: 95-068297
"Peaking Out is a gripping, harrowing story full of implications for the contemporary mental health community and for anyone concerned about her or his own freedom. This is a book to be read." Larry Kirkhart, Ph.D.

Slife, Brent and Williams, Richard. (1995). What's behind the research? Sage Publications (Introductory Critical Psychology).

"These two authors write an easy to read text which reviews a number of specific areas in psychology: behaviorism, humanism, structuralism, etc., but also styles of psychology such as scientism. In each chapter of the text the authors briefly state the major premises of each subdiscipline of psychology and then clearly elucidate its underlying assumptions. What sets this text apart from others which cover these topics is the astonishing amount of breadth the text manages to cover while simultaneously remaining exceptionally readable and interesting. It has a nice introduction to many of the usually unexplored philosophical issues in psychology, such as free will vs. determinism and how these issues play out in the various theoretical orientations shared by many mainstream psychologists. My only complaint with the text is that it is so excellent that when I finished it I hungered for more exposure to such well-written commentary on mainstream psychology and its assumptions. An intermediate text which bridges the fine introduction of Slife and Williams to the specialized works of philosophers and commentators of social sciences is much needed."

Sullivan, Edmund V. (1984). A Critical Psychology. Plenum

Sullivan, Harry Stack. The Interpersonal Theory of Psychiatry

Szasz, Thomas E.

(1974) The Myth of Mental Illness. (Revised) Harper & Row, ISBN 0-06-091151-4

(1970) The Manufacture of Madness. Harper & Row, ISBN 0-06-131984-8. Published simultaneously in Canada by Fitzhenry & Whiteside Ltd.
"The important message in Szasz's book is that maybe the day is long past due when we should stop forcing ideas, moral codes, treatment, religious beliefs, and political creeds on others for their own good..." James M. Henslin, American Sociological Review.

Tolman, Charles W. (1994). Psychology, Society, and Subjectivity: An Introduction to German Critical Psychology. London: Routledge.

Wachtel, Paul L. (1983). The Poverty of Affluence: A Psychological Portrait of the American Way of Life. New York: Free Press. [Americans and materialism]

Westland, Gordon (1978). Current crises in psychology. Heinemann: London.

"Even though this text was written some 20 years ago, the crises it covers are still germaine to current psychology because so few of them have been satisfactorily resolved. The text has 11 chapters, including chapters on the science crisis, the statistical crisis, the laboratory crisis, and even an intriguing final chapter called the resolution of crisis-crisis chapter. Westland does not commit himself to any one position throughout the text. Rather, he cites respected psychologists who argue different sides of these dilemmas. While perusing the text, the reader feels like an audience member at a debate, watching the hot potato of an argument sail across the room from speaker to speaker, not knowing what will be said next. Succinct and clear chapter summaries highlight each debate and clearly and leave the reader room to think further on each issue. A wonderful and too often underutilized text."

Zinn, Howard. (1980). A People's History of the United States. New York: Harper & Row.

"Basic history of the U.S. from the perspective of those without power. Great for undergraduates who've only heard the official version." (Dennis Fox)

Up to top 

Home Page NoticesDocumentsLinksArchivesBooksTeaching Materials Administration Applying Critical Psychology Radical Psychology Journal

 Up to top

Updated 30 September 2007 - Contacts
RadPsyNet: http://www.radpsynet.org