Sunday, May 29, 2005

One Nation Under Therapy

I recommend the new book, One Nation Under Therapy -- How the Helping Culture Is Eroding Self-Reliance. More info here. It is an excellent book on the evils of therapism, and documents research studies that show how psychotherapy often makes people worse off. One of the co-authors was just a guest on Tucker Carlson's TV show.

The authors say:
We challenge the brain disease model on the grounds that treating addicts as morally respon-sible, self-determining human beings free to change their behavior is, in the end, more effective, more respectful, and more compassionate.

We also reject therapism's central doctrine that uninhibited emotional openness is essential to mental health. On the contrary, recent findings suggest that reticence and suppression of feelings, far from compromising one's psychological well-being, can be healthy and adaptive. For many temperaments, an excessive focus on introspection and self-disclosure is depressing. Victims of loss and tragedy differ widely in their reactions: some benefit from therapeutic intervention; most do not and should not be coerced by mental health professionals into emotionally correct responses. Trauma and grief counselors have erred massively in this direction.
BTW, Carlson usually has some left-wing political commentator on, but he should be able to find someone better. This time he had Richard Cohen (of the Wash. Post) saying that Bill Clinton had more of a mandate than G.W. Bush. Clinton won with 43% and 49% of the votes, and Bush won with 49% and 51%. The last Democratic president to get more was in 1964.

Bob also recommends Manufacturing Victims: What The Psychology Industry Is Doing To People.

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