Postmodernism is such fail. When you claim that reality results from social agreement, period, you are one step away from madness.
Used to be mostly college hipsters reading Jean-François Lyotard, Michel Foucault, Baudrillard, etc., pressing the pomo thing, probably because when you’re in your early 20s your sense of self can shift as you move between different social settings. In your 20s getting everyone to agree that you are pretty cool seems just as good as actually being pretty cool.
In the 1980s it wasn’t hard to ignore the crowd talking vague incomprehensible nonsense, and the French. But then the hippies grew up and got rich, and with their narcissistic super powers combined they spawned an Oprah, who then infected everyone with the meme virus known as “the Secret,” resulting in a widespread encephalopathy characterized by the Four Agreements.
The New Thought tribe wants agreement. It wants you to click this Facebook link if you agree. The more agreement the more real.
The tribe is peaceful and pleasant toward outsiders provided that they signal sufficient elasticity in their relationship to reality. The hard-headed, rule-bound thinkers are marked as sources of counter-intention, negativity, and suppression. The New Agers make a big deal out of "respect" and "dignity." But what they're really after is an environment in which blunt criticism is not allowed. The "respect" they value does not extend to basic rules of evidence.
Yesterday I visited a number of mental health websites and was disturbed to read sentences beginning with, “We believe…” The New Age creep into medicine appears to be moving right along. I see no WTF? in response to the authority of “we believe.”
The Sidran Institute is peppered with trademark and copyright symbols, which is a big red flag for me. If you discover a novel, helpful way of talking with patients suffering with mental illness, write that shit down and get it in a journal so the rest of us can review and criticize your work. Don't be trade protecting it before that step, or I will hate you. Typing the ® and the ™ is a huge pain in the ass.
The marketing people recommend that health professionals brand themselves with a niche expertise. But this is dangerous. We ought not reify something like "trauma informed therapy." Therapists should remain generalists ready to shift their formulation of a patient's problem as new information becomes available.
Although there is some good information about medications for PTSD on the Sidrian Institute's web site, such as this essay by Jonathan Shay MD, there's a bit of anti-psychiatry in there also. For example, if we have medical advance directives which can include instructions regarding any hospital based treatment, why do we need a separate psychiatric advance directive?
I never paid much attention to psychiatric "survivors" groups. I reasoned that if a patient were harmed by a psychiatrist, joining a group of sympathizers is probably helpful. But then I discovered the sneaky, relentless, Scientology orchestrated political movement designed to "obliterate" psychiatry, for the sake of something less "materialist." That shit is not okay.
If somebody tells me he's a "survivor," meaning that I or someone like me nearly tried to kill him but failed, then he needs to GTFO my office. I did not cause the Holocaust, nor did I have anything to do with 9/11, nor am I the "aberration casting a dark spell across the planet."
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