In this book the author suggests that the techniques and aims of psychotherapy are open to abuse. He regards it as self-evident that the therapist makes demands on the patient that cannot be fulfilled and that the financial exigencies of the relationship are open to corruption. Masson sets out to show that "abuse of one form or another is built into the very fabric of psychotherapy", that "it is the nature of therapy to distort another person's reality" and that since it is the therapist's task to change people this can only be done according to the therapists' own notions and prejudices, so the psychological process is necessarily corrupt. The author delves into the practices of many well-known therapists. Beginning with cases from the 19th century when patients could be incarcerated while patently sane, he goes on to attack Jung as well as practitioners like Fritz Perls and Carl Rogers, attempting to demonstrate that whether the approach is confrontational or sympathetic, a benign despotism is not better than a malign one. Masson has also written "The Assault on Truth: Freud's Suppression of the Seduction Theory", "The Oceanic Feeling: The Origins of Religious Sentiment in Ancient India", "A Dark Science: Women, Sexuality and Psychiatry in the Nineteenth Century" and "The Complete Letters of Sigmund Freud to Wilhelm Fliess, 1887-1904".