This text forms part of my series on psychotherapy. For the personal context (e.g. my dealings with Leon Redler, a sidekick of discredited sixties psychiatrist R. D. Laing, please see my therapy page).
- The natural process
Therapy, all forms of therapy, tell you that “self-development” is a natural process. You have to let it happen. The idea is that there is some kind of natural inner process. You have to stop blocking it – you have to “release” the blocks. “The answer lies within”. Your therapist can help stimulate this natural process.
This is fundamentally not true. There is no inner natural process of development. Self-development; if it means a stronger mind, “knowing yourself”, better ethics – or any other criteria which philosophers have put forwards throughout history as criteria for self-development means effort. Anything meaningful requires effort. It doesn’t happen by itself.
The “self-development” which therapists talk about started in California in the sixties. It is a hedonistic ideal of emotional self-indulgence. It requires no self-discipline. Its highest virtue is “losing your inhibitions”.
“Radical psychotherapy” e.g. that practised by Laing and his sidekick Redler is an especially egregious form of this culture of emotional indulgence and hedonism posing as spirituality.
Continue reading “Therapy Aphorisms 3 [Psychotherapy]”
A comment on modern psychotherapy.
People who are ill at ease of (in slightly old-fashioned terms) maladjusted are so – at least when they are young – almost always because they have been abused or failed by caregivers and teachers etc. The abuse may be active; e.g. sexual abuse, or a case of not rendering the kind of love and care which children need. The latter can be even an unintentional failing. Continue reading “Calling the rebels mad – psychiatry and repressive regimes have the same aim [Psychotherapy]”
The vast majority of psychotherapists and counsellors are frauds and con-artists in it for the money and an easy life. It is just not possible when you consider the scale of little lies they have to tell themselves and their clients to see them as misguided do-gooders, however much one would want to.
The literature of psychotherapy adopts a peculiar and specialised language. Like, for example, legal documents, or certain business discourses (e.g. oil futures) the discourse is specialised and makes few concessions to be be intelligible to the layperson. It appears to pertain to a specialised ‘discourse community’. Specialised ‘discourse communities’ use their own language which is often at least somewhat impenetrable to outsiders because they are communicating about a specialised subject which the members of the discourse community have a special knowledge of. They don’t need to take the trouble to add the additional layer of explanation for the lay reader because these are technical documents intended for internal consumption by the community talking about their specialised field. Continue reading “Therapeutic discourse [Psychotherapy]”