Monday, October 22, 2007

Psychologists Doing More Damage Than Good?

I met a young girl in University a week or two ago, and in talking with her learned that she comes from a family quite dysfunctional (yes, I know; many people do). Upon learning this, I asked if she thought she was "normal" and "healthy", and she sort of hemmed and hawed on the way to answering "Yes".

So I jumped to the chase, going for a shortcut to the answer, by asking, "Let me put it this way. Are you a psychology major?"

She answered, "Yes," and all of us in the room found that funny. My experience with college psychology majors is that they tend to be messed up and subconsciously looking for help for themselves, and are thus drawn to that field of study. (Please forgive me for my over-generalization.)

Tonight I was reading a book on an unrelated topic, but it mentioned the presuppositions of various fields of study, including Psychology. And reading that blurb reminded me of this young lady.

There are only two basic approaches to the study of human psychology: either

1) humans are specially created in the image of God, or

2) humans are the result of a long evolutionary climb from animal forebears.

If the Psychology department at a university adopts the wrong approach, the entire result of their methodology will be flawed, and therefore is likely to result in more damage than good to the customers of their field.

The book I was reading pointed out that by far the bulk of the psychological field is dominated by the belief that humans are evolved animals, and will thus treat their patients as such.

However, if Genesis is true (and I believe that it is), then the bulk of the psychological field is contributing to the mental illness of society rather than to the healing of society's mental illnesses.

Sad, to me, that this young girl may be steering her life in a direction that does mental harm to herself and to her potential future patients. I guess it depends on the presuppositions adopted by her instructors and textbooks, but I fear that my concern is well-founded.

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