is excerted from an August 17, 2002 article by Joe Woodard entitled:
#1: Our therapeutic culture
(In defence of his profession,
University of Calgary psychology professor Tim Rogers (not related to
Carl Rogers) argues the discipline can't be held to the same standard
of objectivity as the physical sciences...he admitted the popularization
of psychology may have loosened people's sense of moral responsibility
by shifting focus to social "power relationships." But psychology
can't be held responsible for the results of its popularization.)
Vancouver (sic) psychologist-writer Tana Dineen, author of the book
Manufacturing Victims, disagrees.
"We change the fads, but we're never held accountable for last year's
fad and the damage it did," Dineen said. "The fact that we said
something stupid last year becomes evidence that we must be wiser this
The problem, Dineen said, is that psychology now steps far outside its
area of expertise -- genuine, definable personality disorders -- to pontificate
on all the issues of human life.
"I keep seeing psychologists taking larger and larger roles, commenting
on everything from child rearing and spanking to moral and legal issues,
with no real knowledge base," she said.
Psychology has no expertise in moral issues, she said. And when psychologists
pronounce on social issues such as spanking and child murder, they do
so without any real evidence.
Yet, despite constant warnings from psychologists like Thomas Szasz (The
Myth of Mental Illness) and Paul Vitz (Psychology as Religion), the public
still accepts its authority, she said."It's become a very arrogant
profession, abusing its power," Dineen said.
"What's more worrisome is that society still accepts its authority.
Why do psychologists have such authority?
"It can't be just good marketing techniques. It must serve a function."
Dineen said psychology has always served its masters, from big business
to big government. Quoting Szasz, she said psychology is a method of control
well suited to democratic society.
What's more, psychology now promises "salvation" -- quick and
easy happiness, said Dineen.
As part of modern society's "new religion," it is so much "the
air we breathe," questioning it is now almost impossible, she said.