Therapeutic Assemblages: Materiality and Politics in New Therapeutic Practices
Recent decades have seen a boom in the appeal of various therapeutic practices, such as self-help literature, life coaching, mindfulness, ‘alternative’ healing and self-tracking. While there is now a wide body of social scientific literature on the psychologization of everyday life and its entanglement with neoliberalization, there is a notable gap in understanding how people engage and live with these practices. This volume addresses this gap and taps into ways in which people incorporate therapeutic practices into their everyday living, focusing particularly on material, spiritual and political aspects. It introduces the notion of ‘therapeutic assemblages’ and investigates how human and non-human actors, systems of thought and practice are assembled and interwoven in therapeutic engagements. In focusing on the lived experience of therapeutic practices, this volume elucidates the diverse forms, meanings and embodied effects of therapeutic engagements in different settings, as well as their potential for both oppressive and subversive social change.