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Psychology the new religion

In "Media and Health", Clive Searle suggests that psychology, with it's promise of achieving happiness through techniques such as counselling, and various therapies, has become a secular religion. He argues that there is a lack of empirical evidence for the treatments, and that helping someone through the grieving process served only to help the therapist feel that they were doing good.

What do people think?

I've not done a study, but just on life experience, I think he's largely correct.

We are made needing relationship (from a Christian perspective, relationship with God).  Unless there's an underlying chemical imbalance, many of our emotional 'traumas' can be helped by talking to a friendly and sympathetic ear.  'Talking therapy' is good, but best done with good and trusted friends, or loving family, or a faith leader.  Talking with others in a meaningful way helps us to get our thoughts in order, it helps us to try and make sense of things that are, in a sense, senseless.

Sadly a whole industry has now grown up around this and some people are making a tidy sum by milking the needs of other people's emotional pain.  

The whole counselling/therapy industry is now self perpetuating through 'feeding' into people's natural desire to talk through their problems - we need to get back to in a way having 'village elders', or building up relational networks.  But this is more difficult in an age where so many people can seem to be so self-centred and busy because we're all just trying to make a living, and wanting more and more material good, and getting through life in sound bites.

We also live in an age were we want an instant solution to everything.  Got emotional pain? You're sick, no problem, here's a pill and it will get better . . .  The old adage 'time is a great healer' has much truth therein.  I would add talking with a good support network of trusted friends and time (even if it's a few years), helps emotional healing.

I don't think it matters much, how you achieve inner peace and satisfaction if that is possible, always assuming the methods you employ aren't unpleasant and abusive towards others.
Boss Cat

Well, there is always a power imbalance between the therapist and the patient isn't there?

I have been thinking about this myself recently.  I don't want to dismiss it all as rubbish, a trusting relationship with a skilled therapist can really give you space and time out to gain insights.  But I think psychology has to be deterministic, a misapplication of the scientific method.  In my view Shakespeare knew more about being human than anything psychology can demonstrate.  I think it is a pseudo science, although it's one that I have some background in.

And in the past eight days I have had two separate incidents that demonstrate to me that psychiatrists must be the worst judges of character, and of people, than anyone else I know.  

I'm going to see that Dangerous Method film on Monday, see if that changes my mind, or confirms my prejudices.

Going to a therapist or a shrink is an addiction.
Why is it everyone of the shrinks and therapists I've met at social gatherings have turned out to be heavy drinkers and mean drunks. OK, I've only met 3. Forum Index -> All faiths and none
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