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Abstract

Nude psychotherapy is one of the most flamboyant therapeutic techniques ever developed in American psychology. Largely forgotten today, the therapy was an academic and popular sensation upon its introduction in 1967. Developed by psychologist Paul Bindrim, the therapy promised to guide clients to their authentic selves through the systematic removal of clothing. This paper explores the intellectual, cultural and ethical context of nude therapy and its significance as a form of unchurched spirituality. Although nude therapy has an indisputable tabloid character, it is also rooted in a long-standing academic search for authenticity and ultimate meaning through science. Bindrim's career demonstrates the historically long-standing interweaving of spirituality and science within American psychology while simultaneously highlighting the field's extraordinary capacity for adaptive reinvention. © 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.