Re: Psychotherapy in science-fiction

Anders Sandberg (
18 May 1999 11:40:48 +0200 writes:

> In many science-fiction novels, psychoses and neuroses are presented as a
> things of the past, and the humans of the future are shown to be much more
> sane and psychologically balanced than those of today.
> Has any good novel ever tried to envision what a psychotherapy of the future
> would look like, or what conditions would make this general increase in
> sanity possible?

Walter John Williams' _Aristoi_ has an interesting take on things. Beside having a stable, wealthy society where every child is wanted (due to a low reproduction rate) which of course in itself promotes mental health to a large extent, people used various mental techniques to control their emotions and thinking. From an early age they learned tricks like meditation, posture and other mental exercises, as well as having a language/symbolism that had been deliberately designed to make discussing psychological states and techniques easy. In addition, people had deliberately created multiple personalities - the various aspects of the psyche could be separated (through more or less radical means, ranging from hypnosis to gruelling rituals) and then employed as semi-independent subpersonalities connected to AI.

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
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