PJ Media

Psychological sell-outs

I received “The Register Report,” a magazine from the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology this week and flipped through it to see what CE (continuing education) credits I could take. One of the CE articles was entitled, “The Case of Leo: Conflict Between Student and Program Values” by Prudence Cuper, MA and a href=”https://s4.its.unc.edu/UNCExperts/uncexperts/getperson?ID=RVERCDWFE”Erica Wise, PHD./a The picture for the article depicted an angry-looking male doctoral student who apparently was not falling into lock-step with the left-leaning indoctrination of a href=”http://www.e-psychologist.org/index.iml?mdl=exam/show_article.mdlMaterial_ID=104″the doctoral program he was enrolled in:/abr /br /blockquoteSeveral months into the practicum year, Leo’s supervisor, Dr. J., observed that Leo’s personal views seemed to be interfering with his approaching client concerns in an open and supportive fashion. This was particularly evident in the critical stance he assumed when discussing non-heterosexual relationships. In reviewing videos of counseling sessions, Dr. J. noted that Leo tended to be less supportive of two of his clients: an 18-year old male college student who wondered if he might be gay, and a young adult lesbian who was deciding whether to come out to her family. Leo’s peers noticed his judgmental stance as well and they challenged him during group supervision. Leo responded that certain behaviors were simply “never proper” and that it falls to the therapist to point this out to clients./blockquote br /br /The committee of the doctoral program failed to give Leo credit for his practicum. The authors of the article justify this action:br /br /blockquoteWe would argue that in this vignette, Leo’s attempt to “benefit” his clients by guiding them away from “improper” behavior (in this case, same-sex relationships) undermines clients’ autonomy and is likely to cause harm to clients who are seeking balanced and non-judgmental assistance. The problem lies not in Leo’s own conservative values, but in his rigidity and lack of respect for and validation of other perspectives./blockquote br /br /What about referring patients with dissimilar values to Leo’s to another therapist, the authors ask? But decide “no” for the following reasons:br /br /blockquoteFirst, professional psychology has taken a strong stand in support of embracing diversity and affirmative psychotherapy. This position is reflected in the APA Ethics Code and in the accreditation standards for training programs. Second, allowing Leo to practice as a non-affirming psychologist might have a broader impact on society. In the Preamble to the Ethics Code, psychologists are advised to use their scientific and professional knowledge to “improve the condition of individuals, organizations, and society” (p. 3). If Leo were to promulgate prejudiced attitudes or discriminatory behaviors in either public statements or private practice, there would be the potential for a detrimental impact on society. Arguably, what happens in therapy can and should meaningfully impact society by, for example, illuminating and (when possible) reducing power differential- based factors such gender, race, socioeconomic status, ability, or sexual orientation. While many psychologists believe that we have a responsibility to improve society, this position has been most clearly articulated by the feminist psychologists in the maxim that the “personal is political” (Brown, 2006)./blockquotebr /br /So, now therapists are shut behind closed doors to inflict left-leaning, feminist indoctrination on unsuspecting patients and this is “balanced and non-judgmental assistance” and adds to patient autonomy? As John Stossel always says, “Give me a break!” br /br /I frequently hear from men how they are treated by therapists in couple’s counseling. I can always tell they have a “feminist” therapist or the male equivalent when they tell me that the therapist sides with the wife in most situations and tells the men to “watch their behavior” so as not to offend or bother their wife. This is chilling. And the worse part is, men do not know how to respond. They are confused that a “professional” that they are paying is telling them how to “fix” their marriage, yet at the same time, they have no idea they are being sold out to feminist and left-leaning politics. These “affirming psychologists” are playing with people’s lives in order to further span style=”font-style:italic;”their own/span political agenda. And they are doing it one unsuspecting patient at a time, all the while keeping any PHD student with a different political view out of the field.br /br /It should be illegal for state universities to discriminate against those who do not share their political agenda. Maybe it’s time to make it so.