Harry & Psychotherapy. British & American traditions. Reflecting on differences, conflicts, tensions

An audio version of this talk can be found at my podcast, Talks and Thoughts, available via podcast feeds.

Prince Harry is caught in a media storm. But within the mix of sympathy and loathing lie transatlantic differences in psychological and psychotherapeutic traditions.

What is sometimes called Self Psychology plays a bigger role in the US, focusing on the healing potential of empathy, idealisation and narrative. This shapes therapeutic and cultural styles. It seems as if Harry has, in part, turned to this tradition to find healing.

In British and European traditions, a different approach tends to dominate. Called Object Relations, it is more inclined to challenge the individual and foster a capacity to see how they are situated in a network of relations that is sometimes supportive, sometimes not.

I wonder whether something of these differences is playing out in the different receptions of Harry’s story, and also in the psyche of one painfully public man.