We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
A quote from a piece by Shrinkwrapped entitled The Mental Health Industry's Dirty Little Secret, with which I entirely agree (my bold):
The primary misunderstanding of Freud and Psychoanalysis, a misunderstanding that continues to be propagated by the forces of Therapism, concerns the locus of responsibility for our behavior. Freud's greatest insight was that to a large extent our manifest behavior is the outcome of compromises among many impulses and inhibitions, most of them unconscious, which sum and move us to action. As such, the goal of Psychoanalysis has always been to make us more aware of our hitherto unconscious motivations so that we can take more responsibility for our behavior. Therapism does the exact opposite; it attempts to relieve us of responsibility by assigning motivation and blame to all sorts of agencies (parents, society, brain chemistry) which are by definition outside the realm of our moral agency.
It is a small step from such thinking to enabling and encouraging the government to tell people how to live, how to raise their children, and how to think. As Neuroscience enlarges our understanding of the biochemical and physiological underpinnings of behavior, those who have done so much to diminish moral responsibility will be in a powerful position to mandate proper thought. The dangers are real and growing.
He goes on to quote Christina Hoff Summer and Sally Satel's Therapy Nation:
We reject the presumption of fragility and challenge the dogma of self-revelation; it exposes the folly of replacing ethical judgment with psychological and medical diagnosis, save for instances where individuals are severely mentally ill. We believe, in other words, that human beings, including children, are best regarded as self-reliant, resilient, psychically sound moral agents responsible for their behavior. For, with few exceptions, that is what we are.
As for myself, I have grown weary of trying to explain how psychoanalytic theories have been misunderstood, and how superficial understandings of analytic theories have been misapplied. Yes, psychotherapy can be a very useful tool - sometimes a life-saving tool - but it is neither a religion nor a cure-all.
"psychologists...donate roughly 21 times as much to Democratic candidates and political action committees than Republican ones...When the APA wonders why more people don't take advantage of all that psychology has to offer, maybe they should understand that the conservative half of America doesn't trust them to be fair or objective."
My test of an individuals belief system starts with the question 'Do you spank your children'. Conservative folks generally yes liberals generally no. It works well in diplomatic negotiations also... To me it is the ultimate test of/for personal responsibility.
``The one-sided, unipolar or split-off mythology of the innocent child
and victim has the capacity to hinder our therapeutic work with sexually
abused children - or adults. The manner and method many therapists use
to deal with the guilt feeling of ``abuse'' victims amply demonstrates
my point. Children who experience sexual abuse often feel guilty. They
have the impression that they, somehow, were at fault. Older children,
in particular, have ambivalent feelings about the abuse. They are
uncertain whether the experience did not provide them with a certain
pleasure. They often wonder if they failed to defend themselves or
possible encouraged the perpetrator. Many psychologists reject these
guilt feelings out of hand as completely unjustified. They maintain that
in no way can there be a question of guilt. They encourage children to
forget the guilt, to put it out of their minds.
``This therapeutic position can be harmful for the psychological development
of a child. Therapists simply think of and accept the child as a victim.
They energetically reject and deny any attempt on the child's part to assume
any responsibility for what happened or at least to recognize his or her own
ambivalence. Therapists thereby impose a victim psychology upon the child,
a psychology which says that for everything that happens there is always
someone to blame. They nip in the bud the child's growing awareness that
he is at least partially responsible for much that happens to him - or at
least for the back and forth tension between rejection and acceptance. This
therapeutic position does not take the child seriously as a human being.'' p.61
From the Wrong Side Adolf Guggenbuhl-Craig, Spring Publications, 1995
Even more disturbing is the current Shrinkwrap blog on the APA's "diagnosis" of AGW sketptics and the little video horror on Dr. Helen's site today.
It seems pretty obvious that many psychologists are charlatans engaged in criminal fraud, and that psychology itself is by and large a pseudoscience akin to reading chicken guts. There has to be a science of psychology somewhere but yet undiscovered.
That said, many psychologists do provide useful help to their patients. But how much is this do to an intuitive understanding of people that survived psych school cant?