MARS HILL AUDIO Conversation 11

Self, Society, & the Diagnosis of Addiction

Sociologist John Steadman Rice, author of A Disease of One’s Own: Psychotherapy, Addiction, and the Emergence of Co-Dependency, maintains that the concept of codependency is rooted in the tenets of “liberation psychotherapy,” a way of thinking about the self that sees all psychological problems as a function of the restrictions placed on individuals by social institutions, especially by the family. Rice asks what kind of society will result if a critical mass of people are converted to an asocial existence. 48 minutes.

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    John Steadman Rice: “When I say that co-dependency is a ‘discourse’ rather than a disease, I mean it is a way of talking about oneself, particularly in relation to the larger society and culture of which one is a part. . . .”
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    “[Co-dependency defines] all problems in living as a form of addiction. Their term for that is ‘process addiction.’ . . . ”
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    “. . . One of the things that [Philip] Rieff is trying to puzzle out is the notion of an ‘anti-culture.’ . . . What can a culture look like that resists institutional form?”
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    “. . . There is this enduring tension between cultivating the self and the recognition that we almost have to have communities in and through which we do that. . . ."