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The Baggage of Being Good

The Baggage of Being Good

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Published by Sonia Soans
Just some thoughts on the chip most mental health professionals carry on their shoulders.
Just some thoughts on the chip most mental health professionals carry on their shoulders.

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Sonia Soans on Aug 15, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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The baggage of being good.Ian Parker once spoke about how psychology students join the fieldbursting at the seams with good will and a desire to help humanity.If only it were so easy to help a world waiting for the benevolenceof a mental health professional. If only it were so easy to clean upthe world and rid society of every little distress.Dr Parker isn’t a cynic, neither is he a misanthrope who was harmedby psychology he questioned the motives with which a lot of students (me included) take a course in psychology. Our motives toplay the fairy godmother or agony aunt to a world waiting to reliveits suffering can be quite naive and even misplaced. Dr Parker inRevolution in Psychology described the hopes and disappointmentsof a psychologist and their career path. Once the initial charm of helping people has worn out psychologists must look out for theirown interests.The discipline of psychology has been criticised on varioustheoretical and methodological and even ethical points yet thesedebates hardly touch those who choose to join the field who believein the benevolence of everything they heard during their training.Helping someone isn’t necessarily a bad thing but what isdistressing that most psychologists walk into the field like soldiersmarching into battle amidst the fanfare. And like all soldiers fightinga war they realise the futility and see the ugliness of battle. Unlikesoldiers who desert the army psychologists carry on still hoping formiracles. Helping people is good and perhaps primeval at somelevel, but this manufactured condition of artificial illness and cure isquite alarming.To quote Dr parker once again “ The discipline is very adept atidentifying particular abnormalities in individual behaviour, andpsychological descriptions unfortunately chime all too well withcommonsensical views of who is ‘mad’ and who is ‘bad’.” It is withthese notions that each generation of psychologists expands thefield. To put it mildly most of our observations can be inane and soobvious that they can be quite amusing at times. Except we feedthe minds of millions and have fueled popular imagination of what itmeans to have a slight anxiety and how it can hamper yourproductivity. We see rather than hear our clients and paradoxicallysee our symptoms by listening to them looking for them earnestly. Ican understand and sympathise with suffering what I cant agreewith is disorder and definition.In our bid to help we mystify disorder and create causes and supplyelaborate explanations as to why people do what they do or feel theway they do. I just received this text and feel I must add it here tovalidate my point. –

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