Friday, November 13, 2009

A Psychotherapist Questions Her Field, and Empire

Sally Erickson, "after twenty-five years of being a psychotherapist and some thirty-five years since [she] first entered therapy as a client, [is] questioning some basic assumptions about the institution of psychotherapy" — The Culture of Pretend: How Psychotherapy Keeps Our Communities Sick. Some excerpts:
    America is part of Empire and our way of life “peaked” many decades ago. There’s much to feel “negative” about, much in our personal and collective past and much in our present. Americans are not happy. The Culture of Pretend is simply that, pretense and fluff. Life for most people is not good or easy... And the truth is, even with our “comfort,” we are not happy or fulfilled, only comfortable.

    [....]

    Empire has been about the task of destroying family and village systems, breaking down our sense of belonging and relatedness, removing opportunities for meaningful work and deep connection to a close-knit community or tribe for centuries, perhaps millennia. And that situation is escalating, especially in the US. It stands to reason that the rise of child neglect and abuse has coincided with the breakdown of vibrant, close-knit, healthy, family and village support structures. Our pain from childhood is the direct result of those breakdowns.

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