Postmodernism and Psychotherapy

By Ofer Zur, Ph.D.


This Clinical Update will shed some light on the mystery of what is postmodernism. Postmodernism is the latest buzzword that has forever changed the world and the way we understand it The reasons why clients seek psychological help and how they understand their life challenges are different than they were in “modern” times. The practice of psychotherapy and counseling needs to change with the times in order to remain relevant; however, many clinicians find postmodernism elusive and difficult to understand.


Quick Look at Postmodernism:

  • Postmodernism is not so much a separate theoretical orientation as it is a trend, which can be seen in a number of approaches to psychology.
  • Postmodernism impacts the reason why clients enter therapy and counseling as well as how they understand their problems.
  • Postmodernism has important relevance for how therapy is developed, practiced and evaluated.
  • Postmodernism reflects changes in the way people understand knowledge or truth, including knowledge about psychological health and therapy.
  • Postmodernism emphasizes the importance of pluralism and diversity along with the need for dialogue.
  • Personal stories, narratives or subjective experiences is valued over objective knowledge in postmodern theory.
  • Postmodernism recognizes that what is best or healthiest for one person may not be for another; each person has the right to define what is healthy for him/herself.
  • Claims for objective or universal truth are viewed with suspicion in postmodern theory.


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