Term Paper: Anti-Psychology Theme

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Anti-Psychology

Wherefore art thou, psychology? -- would psychology by any other name be as helpful?

Psychology is too pessimistic. Psychology is forgetting its great origins in the sweeping theories of Freud and has become too narrow in its focus. Psychology fails to deal with the reality of evil. Psychology is pseudoscience. Psychologists are incompetent. Psychology provides incompetent patients and criminal defendants with excuses for poor behavior, and a refuge from real life problems in New Age babble. Psychology is for the wealthy. Psychology is a symptom of a culture of mass consumption All of these allegations, some of which contradict one another, are reasons that psychology is in a crisis, says Carl Goldberg. As a solution to psychology's image problem, Goldberg provides the answer of a humanistic psychology that treats the individual to bring that individual into harmony with the community, and enables the patient to help others.

However, one issue that Goldberg touches upon, but does not explicitly tease out, is that his multiple critiques demonstrate that what is called psychology is not one, solidified discipline, although it may seem so in the popular imagination. The media has distorted the definition of psychology, and even therapists and patients use the term loosely. Some people who say they hate psychology only despise the popular, highly personalized, and often reductive 'Oprah' version of psychology, of the 'I love bad men because I was abused as a child,' school. Others critique increasingly neurological and pharmacological model that seems to people merely as constellations of neurotransmitters and symptoms. Goldberg instead envisions a world where people value their own "compassion and worthy" and are thus equipped to create a more just society for all human beings (Goldberg, 2000:681).

Ideally, psychology uses both tools of rehabilitation to treat the human mind and body. For example, increasingly, neither pills nor therapy alone seems to provide a full solution for many mental problems. Take manic depression, which was once thought to demand a fairly straightforward prescription for lithium, or a new variation of the drug. Now, therapists find "drugs are not effective enough...psychotherapy can help patients learn new coping styles and interpersonal habits," to contain their symptoms in combination with drug treatment (Marano, 2002). This relates Goldberg's rather sweeping claim to a specific instance. The treatment of both the human mind and brain chemistry of someone suffering from mania is required for effective alleviation of suffering and to make the person a productive member of society once again.

There is an imprecision to the correct balance of therapy, medication, and other treatments that will likely lack the cleanness of some of the other scientific disciplines, although it… [END OF PREVIEW]

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