Andrew (perspectivism) wrote,
Andrew
perspectivism

Scientists vs Therapists...

This is somewhat overwrought, but worth reading if psychology is one of your big interests: Mind Games:

Yet while the public assumes, vaguely, that therapists must be "scientists" of some sort, many of the widely accepted claims promulgated by therapists are based on subjective clinical opinions and have been resoundingly disproved by empirical research conducted by psychological scientists. Here are a few examples that have been shown to be false:

  • Low self-esteem causes aggressiveness, drug use, prejudice, and low achievement.

  • Abused children almost inevitably become abusive parents, causing a "cycle of abuse."

  • Therapy is beneficial for most survivors of disasters, especially if intervention is rapid.

  • Memory works like a tape recorder, clicking on at the moment of birth; memories can be accurately retrieved through hypnosis, dream analysis, or other therapeutic methods.

  • Traumatic experiences, particularly of a sexual nature, are typically "repressed" from memory, or split off from consciousness through "dissociation."

  • The way that parents treat a child in the first five years (three years) (one year) (five minutes) of life is crucial to the child's later intellectual and emotional success.

Indeed, the split between the research and practice wings of psychology has grown so wide that many psychologists now speak glumly of the "scientist-practitioner gap," although that is like saying there is an "Arab-Israeli gap." It is a war, involving deeply held beliefs, political passions, views of human nature and the nature of knowledge, and -- as all wars ultimately do -- money and livelihoods.
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