Caring and Compassion in a Chemical Age

From the author of Who Cares? Rediscovering Community



What actually helps people suffering from emotional, mental, and physical suffering and pain to recover?  Are we really victims of alleged chemical imbalances in the brain? Do we suffer from maladaptive thoughts or behaviors? Are medications and psychological techniques the most helpful thing that clinicians can offer?


Dr. David B. Schwartz questions such modern technological solutions. Inspired by the  radical psychiatrist R.D. Laing and others,  he brings neglected attention to the most powerful therapeutic force of all: curative relationships.  He proposes that psychotherapy is but one form of the ways that human beings have cared for each other throughout history. This universal curative force can be brought to a laser-like focus in psychotherapy, but is equally available at a sidewalk café table.


Engaging clinical storyteller Dr. Schwartz illustrates his claims in compelling and universal ways that remind us of the essential humanity of human beings and their experiences, in which true recovery can be achieved.



Dr. David B. Schwartz practices psychotherapy in Ithaca, NY. He was for many years active in the developmental disabilities deinstitutionalization and community movement, including serving as director of the Pennsylvania State Developmental Disabilities Council. His previous books include Who Cares? Rediscovering Community and Crossing the River: Creating a Conceptual Revolution in  Community and Disability.

Dr. Schwartz is the recipient of the 2003 American Association on Mental Retardation’s Dybwad Humanitarian Award.


“You can allow his stories to touch your heart and wake you from the "dream of reason."

Ivan Illich



David B. Schwartz is a gifted and innovative therapist – both psychoanalytic and network - and a compelling clinical writer.

Ross Speck, M.D.

Originator, Social Network Therapy



The Sidewalk Psychotherapist is both a challenge and an inspiration to all of us who are concerned about the psychologist’s role and obligations in contemporary culture.

Michael P. Sipiora, Ph.D., Professor and Director of Research,

Clinical Psychology Department, Pacifica Graduate Institute.



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