Encountering America by Jessica Grogan
Humanistic Psychology, Sixties Culture, and the Shaping of the Modern Self

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Synopsis

A dramatic narrative history of the psychological movement that reshaped American culture

The expectation that our careers and personal lives should be expressions of our authentic selves, the belief that our relationships should be defined by openness and understanding, the idea that therapy can help us reach our fullest potential—these ideas have become so familiar that it's impossible to imagine our world without them.

In Encountering America, cultural historian Jessica Grogan reveals how these ideas stormed the barricades of our culture through the humanistic psychology movement—the work of a handful of maverick psychologists who revolutionized American culture in the 1960s and '70s. Profiling thought leaders including Abraham Maslow, Rollo May, and Timothy Leary, Grogan draws on untapped primary sources to explore how these minds and the changing cultural atmosphere combined to create a widely influential movement. From the group of ideas that became known as New Age to perennial American anxieties about wellness, identity, and purpose, Grogan traces how humanistic psychology continues to define the way we understand ourselves.

 

About Jessica Grogan

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Jessica Grogan has a PhD in American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. She has taught courses on American history, culture, and psychology at Southwestern University, the University of Texas, and Mt. Holyoke College. This is her first book.
 
Published December 26, 2012 by Harper Perennial. 435 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

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The influence of the movement was enhanced in the ’60s when humanist psychologists initially joined Timothy Leary in endorsing the use of LSD, the encounter-group therapy practiced in California's Esalen Institute, meditation and spiritual practices as valid avenues for self-actualization.

Oct 22 2012 | Read Full Review of Encountering America: Humanis...

Publishers Weekly

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As the concept gained momentum, it broadened to include not just the individual but the community as well, culminating in Esalen, a free-thinking enclave on the Pacific coast whose ethos embraced encounter groups, an approach intended to help individuals work through issues, connect with others, ...

Nov 05 2012 | Read Full Review of Encountering America: Humanis...

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