Therapy has turned on itself

Were I to overcome a lifelong scepticism about the healing powers of talk therapy, I imagine languishing on a psychiatrist’s divan and whimpering something along these lines: ‘All this “woke” stuff – I’ve even come to hate the word. Resisting its idiocies is taking over my life. I worry that I’m not setting my own agenda. When you decry something as stupid, aren’t you still babbling about something stupid? It’s a big, wonderful world out there, and “wokery” is killjoy, reductive and mean. I feel trapped.’ Yet according to the recent essay collection Cynical Therapies, I’d elicit an icy response. ‘Look here, Karen,’ my hypothetical therapist charges with a scowl.