Postmodern psychology is an approach to psychology that questions whether an ultimate or singular version of truth is actually possible within its field.
Postmodern psychology relies on using a range of different methodologies rather than a singular approach, to embrace the complexity of reality and avoid oversimplification. Post-modernism challenges a systematic, analytical approach to the understanding of the human psyche, as inherently flawed by the impossibility of taking a detached, 'objective' position; and favours instead a transmutable position which may maintain the possibility of taking conceptual hold of a self that is itself decentered.
Some would maintain that the very project of a postmodern psychology is self-contradictory, in the wake of the deconstruction of the unified self - the fading or aphanisis of the subject that psychology is traditionally supposed to investigate.
Tetrad and transmodern
Paul Vitz refers to yet a further development, that of "transmodern" psychology, as a "new mentality that both transcends and transforms modernity ... (where) psychology would be the handmaid of philosophy and theology, as from the beginning it was meant to be" - aspiring to cure mental problems through integrated intervention into the human mind and body combined.
- S. Kvale ed., Psychology and Postmodernism (1992) p. 40
- L. Holtzman/J. R. Moss eds., Postmodern Psychologies, Societal Practice and Political Life (2000) p. 179
- J. Childers/G. Hentzi eds., The Columbia Dictionary of Modern Literary and Cultural Criticism (1995) p. 71-2
- Kvale, p. 201
- G. Gutting ed., The Cambridge Companion to Foucault (2007) p. 340
- Jacques Lacan, The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psycho-Analysis (1994) p. 207-8
- The Tryptic Tetrad
- Paul C. Vitz, "Psychology in Recover," First Things(March 2005)