Psychotherapy in science-fiction
Tue, 18 May 1999 01:50:27 EDT

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?

I remember being fascinated by Van Vogt's "World of A", and the idea that a kind of mental discipline (in this case, general semantics) could make people much more rational, psychologically healthy and even intelligent than the average individual. This led me to read Korzybski's "Science and Sanity" in my late teens and subscribe to the periodical of the general semantics society.

My infatuation with this movement soon subsided, but I have retained the ideal of such a mental panacea.

Has such a preventive psychiatry been depicted in science-fiction, or has any current psychologist tried to develop one?


Jean-Francois Virey,
Douai, France.