Psychotherapeutic Geographies

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The terms psychotherapy and psychotherapeutic refer to methods of treating, healing, curing, or ameliorating illness, distress, or suffering by psychic or nonphysical means. Psychotherapy and related practices have come to permeate many aspects of modern society. Geographies of psychotherapy are relatively underdeveloped but could be taken forward in a variety of ways. Historical geographies of psychotherapy examine where specific forms of psychotherapy have evolved, how they have traveled, and how they relate to cultural processes and landscapes. Geographies of psychotherapeutic provision and inclusivity examine the distribution, accessibility, and inclusivity of services, including consideration of the geographical shaping of confidentiality and stigmatization. The ways in which psychotherapy is practiced generate micro-geographies, often inspired by spatial conceptualizations of subjectivity. Alongside questions about the geographies and spatialities of psychotherapy are questions about how geography itself might be psychotherapeutic. That environments influence the human psyche is widely recognized. Different ways of conceptualizing human–environment interactions generate ideas about how environments might be, or might be designed to be, psychotherapeutic. Studying geography may be psychotherapeutic too, whether consciously or unconsciously. Integrating psychotherapeutic ideas into geographical thinking has been explored in relation to psychoanalytic geography, emotional geography, and qualitative methods.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Encyclopedia of Human Geography
EditorsRob Kitchin, Nigel Thrift
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)978-0-08-044911-1
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • Boundaries
  • Distress
  • Emotion
  • Environment
  • Healing
  • Psyche
  • Psychoanalysis
  • Psychotherapeutic
  • Psychotherapy
  • Spatiality
  • Subjectivity
  • Suffering

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