„Ethics of care” and its limitations in psychotherapy and psychological counselling
Languages of publication
The problematic field in this article is one of the most vivid, contemporary dispute, i.e. the dispute between “ethics of care” and “ethics of justice”. “Ethics of care” is Carol Gilligan’s concept derived from her controversy with Lawrence Kohlberg’s theory of moral development. “Ethics of justice” is a summary term for different concepts developed within the traditional ethics. This traditional ethics tried to name universal principles of acting, independent from the acting person and her feelings. The central categories were “justice” and “the Good”. For the second kind of ethics the central category is “care” and moral duties are gradable. In this article I analyse the controversy in the field of psychotherapy. I maintain that dynamics of psychotherapeutic relation is such that it “imposes” the “ethics of care”. Referring to some examples from clinical practice I tend to prove how dangerous absence of the “ethics of justice” can be in psychotherapy. I claim that using only the “ethics of care” approach in understanding and approaching the patient’s acting may narrow the therapeutic process and slow down the patient’s moral growth.
Publication order reference