Thursday, May 7, 2009

Up to Snowbird. Things are beautiful up here this year; grundles of snow and plenty of sun. A fine combo for May in the mountaintops.
I'm in a session about drug abuse prevention. It strikes me that the numbers being bandied about as those reflecting percentages of people who need specialized intervention within 'at risk' populations are pretty indicative of those who generally don't feel a part of society at large, at all. I think we're just trying to use psychology to keep people in line with marketing and production norms, rather than trying to make a better place to live and progress as human beings.
What is so sacred about the status quo? The only thing being defended is the structure of society itself and the castes of academia, governmental, and finance functionaries. I worry about the ridgidity being created and ossified by bandying these numbers and studies within such a dysfunctional and destructive society.
Why does it seem that I am the only person who sees things in this way? I am under educated (read: papered) and coming from a very unique perspective (rural, disenfranchised LDS, alternative educator and somewhat asocial), so I'm probably just a wacky voice crying in the way out wilderness.
I really feel this concern, nevertheless.


Ruahines said...

Hi there Adam, Tara here (Robbs wife). You are not alone in your questions about psychology and the pathologising of, well, everything. I have just written an essay on the rise in bipolar diagnosis amongst children in the United States and it makes for scary reading. Depressed me quite a lot actually. I am aiming to become a clinical psychologist but mainly so I can attack it from the inside, and credentials are needed as to be heard. The main problem with psychology is not only is it racist (thats a story in itself), and based purely from a Western paradigm, but the discipline attempts to prove what is normal, and anything outside of that is considered abnormal. Ive always found the outliers to be the most interesting, but they are an annoyance to psychologists who want everything to fit nicely in that revered curve. The average is sought after, and numbers are used to reduce human behaviour down to statistical significance. I once read that all problems for people come down to three things; Lack, loss and conflict. But of course there are also complex reasons for these occuring in the first place. Something ive noticed that seems quite pervasive is the need for binary explanations, that is, either/or, good/bad. Maybe it has to do with the childlike expectation of certainty, and I can't remember who said it but 'certainty is for children'. Anyway Adam, hope that helps to make you feel not quite so alone with this. You are an iconoclast and at the risk of being dualistic - that is good. Also, you should have a look on a blog called Although I don't agree with everything he writes there is a wonderful letter from a clin pscyhe that i think you will enjoy. its listed on the left hand side and called 'expat in norway cries about America'.


Ruahines said...

Kia ora Adam,
I was going to write something but think my other half's words will suffice here. You are most definitely not alone out there my good sir. Kia kaha!

Lost Coyote said...

Tara is smart!