“We’re From the Loony Bin and We’re Here to Help You”

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you might have picked up on a theme addressing psychology and psychologists which gently hints that the alleged science is bogus, its practitioners frauds, and its consumers either unfortunate vulnerable victims or moronic self-indulgent dipshits.

Okay.  No more Mister Nice Guy.  Here’s something that demonstrates just how nasty and ignorant these professional crock-slingers really are — so anally/cranially inverted (medical term for “asshat”) that even they finally understand it themselves:

The mental fallout from the Sept. 11 attacks has taught psychologists far more about their field’s limitations than about their potential to shape and predict behavior, a wide-ranging review has found….The report, a collection of articles due to be published next month in a special issue of the journal American Psychologist, relates a succession of humbling missteps after the attacks.

Chaos reigned in the New York area after the twin towers fell, both on the streets and in the minds of many mental health professionals who felt compelled to help but were unsure how. Therapists by the dozens volunteered their services, eager to relieve the suffering of anyone who looked stricken. Freudian analysts installed themselves at fire stations, unbidden and unpaid, to help devastated firefighters. Employee assistance programs offered free therapy, warning of the consequences of letting people grieve on their own.

Some given treatment undoubtedly benefited, researchers say, but others became annoyed or more upset. At least one commentator referred to therapists’ response as “trauma tourism.”

“Trauma tourism.”  Great.  PhDs from around the nation, experts in gushing professional sympathy, descend on New York to ooze empathy and accomplish little more than (a) embellishing  their own credentials, and (b) upsetting their patients.

I suspect they sniffed opportunity among the asbestos dust — to claim in future self-promotional literature and on their résumés that their counseling experience includes 911survivors.  Good for business, y’know?  Compare this motivation to the that of the legions of Salvation Army soldiers who selflessly dwell in the depths of human reconstruction daily.

“We did a case study in New York and couldn’t really tell if people had been helped by the providers — but the providers felt great about it,” said Patricia Watson, a co-author of one of the articles and associate director of the terrorism and disaster programs at the National Center for Child Traumatic Stress. “It makes sense; we know that altruism makes people feel better.”

Got that?  The one positive result is that the practitioners themselves felt better afterwards.  911 was good for their self-esteem as well as their professional advancement.  Seems like they have things in common with the terrorists.

But researchers later discovered that the standard approach at the time, in which the therapist urges a distressed person to talk through the experience and emotions, backfires for many people. They plunge even deeper into anxiety and depression when forced to relive the mayhem.

Standard operating procedure in the head shrinking industry.  If they can get you to relive your worst haunting nightmares, they’ll keep you dependent on their services on the tragic and wrong-headed premise that it’s doing you a world of good.  In this regard, they’re worse than street corner drug dealers, who happily supply your inventory, but make no imbecilic claims about any benefits their product or service provides.

For all their fury and devastation, the attacks gave rise to no new theories of behavior, no new therapies….. “The closer scientists come to applying their favorite abstractions to real-world problems,” the article concludes, “the harder it becomes to keep track of the inevitably numerous variables and to resist premature closure on desired conclusions.”

They learned: Nothing.  They never will because there’s nothing to learn.  Psychology is even less of a science than economics, about which we’re heard ‘way too much recently and learned ‘way too little.

But we can draw a conclusion or two.  Stay away from these quacks and frauds because they’re in love with themselves and their self-referential theories which incapacitate their reasoning in return for remuneration.  You’re better off talking to your bartender — you’ll save a lot of money, and he serves drinks.

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6 Responses to “We’re From the Loony Bin and We’re Here to Help You”

  1. Lois Terms says:

    Truer words were never spoken….

    Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist ought to have his head examined.
    — Samuel Goldwyn

  2. Libby Rae Shone, Ph.D. says:

    I happen to be one of the therapists who temporarily uprooted my practice (and entire life) to make my way to NY after 911 and volunteer. I never entertained for a single moment that doing so would somehow contribute to my credentials or build my career, and I highly resent the term, “trauma tourism.” Of the dozen or so other therapists I met while there or afterwards, I am certain all shared the same altruistic motivation.

    I mention this without supposing a mere fact will have any impact on your opinion. Your never-ending diatribes against psychology and its practitioners can only be explained by some troubling aspect in your own mental and spiritual make-up you’re unwilling to confront, and therefore project.

    • Squathole says:

      This is all you got, Libby? You and a dozen self-serving members of the same tit-sucking guild vs an independent study of thousands of cases? Of this you’re certain, so it’s true?

      Fine. This perfectly instantiates the kind of logic and thinking you and your ilk applies to your so-called trade as well.

      As for running short of explanations for my hostility, how about the possibility that watching so-called professionals advocate and practice destruction of lives using premises devoid of even a shred of intellectual integrity actually offends my sense of decency?

      What were you of all people doing in NY, anyway? Your specialty is eating disorders. Was that a problem after 911? People binging or starving themselves as the fires burned? “Trauma tourism” sounds about right to me.

      Have a nice night.

  3. Boy Barb says:

    Libby – Give me a break – Squat is just saying the things most of us
    “normal” people believe. If you really think your profession is helping
    so many people why do they have to keep coming back ?

    Try this on for size, Figure out how you are going to handle the problems
    in your life – Maybe ask a friend or two for some advice and move on and
    do what you need to do. And in in the mean time maybe focus on how
    most of us are really very lucky and should be really happy with the
    things we have.

  4. Odtley says:

    well you know this is exactly right and i’m so glad to see something that affirms what i always knew from after years of therapy and lock up and drugs and that is these fucking people know absolutely nothing but love to stick labels on people and give them drugs and keep them dependent and screw them for life and they’re only diffrerent from the taliban because they dont wear rags on trheir heads.

  5. umbrarchist says:

    So do psychologists and psychiatrists understand Newtonian Physics? I emphasize that NEWTONIAN. It is 200 years older than Sigmund Freud’s psychology.

    So it does not occur to the psych people to ask how the steel has to be distributed in skyscrapers so they can hold themselves up? Well why should it if the physics people are not asking?

    Lots of professionals seem to have problems with physics. Don’t durable consumer goods wear out because of physics just like capital goods? But our professional economists don’t talk about how many billions are lost due to the depreciation of automobiles every year. And they do that for the entire planet. AMAZING!

    Lots of degreed EXPERTS can ignore physics when they want. 9/11 was certainly an ironic start to the third millenium. Just flush science down the toilet.

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