Posts

William M. Epstein, Ph.D.

William Epstein is a professor at the School of Social Work, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where he teaches social welfare policy.

He is the author of nine books, covering the politics, economics, and sociology of American Social Welfare, including the two which form the basis of today’s discussion, “The Illusion of Psychotherapy“, and “Psychotherapy as Religion: The Civil Divine in America“.

In today’s episode we explore two of Dr. Epsteins most compelling claims:

Firstly, that not only is psychotherapy most likely ineffective, but that “there is not one credible study conforming to the basic rules of objective proof that testifies to the effectiveness of any psychotherapeutic treatment.”

And secondly, that the practice of psychotherapy is not a science at all but rather the civil religion of America, reflecting the principles of radical self-invention and self-reliance deeply embedded in the psyche of the nation.

 

Related Links

Democrats.org – Official website of the Democratic Party

Book Recommendations

                                   

Image courtesy: Jenavieve

Dr. John Cromby

Dr. John Cromby is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Leicester.

He is author of “Feeling Bodies: Embodying Psychology” a book which explores the nature of feelings and their relationship with other psychological phenomena, and co-author of “Psychology, Mental Health and Distress” which was a British Psychological Society Book of the Year in 2014.

John is part of the team that produced the recent “Power, Threat, Meaning Framework” which is intended as an alternative to more traditional ideas of mental ill health based on psychiatric diagnosis.

He is also a member of the Midlands Psychology Group, a group of psychologists who believe that psychology has served to make people individually responsible for their own misery by ideologically detaching us from the world we live in, and that what are too often seen as private predicaments are in fact best understood as arising out of the public structures of society.

In today’s episode we discuss why the origins of psychological distress lie outside the individual, why modern psychology tends to overstate the amount freedom and flexibility that people have in responding to negative circumstances, why notions such as willpower and resilience are more likely the byproduct of prior advantage than voluntary acts of will, why discussions about economic, political and ideological influence are sorely lacking in discussions around mental health, and why acknowledging the limits of our own personal power can actually prove quite liberating.

 

Related Links

Midlands Psychology Group – for a social materialist psychology

Draft Manifesto for a Social Materialist Psychology of Distress –  identifies the main assumptions of a social materialist psychology

David Smail’s books @ Karnac Press (cheaper than Amazon for brand new copies)

Book Recommendations

                    

Images courtesy: Taecilla