Review from Metropolitan Tabernacle - November 1999

Review from Metropolitan Tabernacle - November 1999

Subtitled, "What the Psychology Industry is Doing to People," this remarkable book comes from a secular psychologist who writes to rescue serious psychology from the unscientific (and even unethical) practices which have swamped the profession from top to bottom in recent decades. A best-seller across the Atlantic, it is not written from a Christian vantage point, and is published by a leading secular publisher. Nevertheless it is of tremendous importance to Christian readers, particularly to pastors and other spiritual shepherds.

What do secular counsellors (so readily provided by the various public authorities) actually say to the bereaved and traumatized? Do their "therapies" have any serious scientific basis or do they get results? The ringing answer of Tana Dineen is that they do not.

The title perfectly describes the book, the author showing how psychologists have changed the public attitude to all forms of heartache or hurt, so that almost everyone at some time becomes a "victim" in need of psychological treatment. In these pages reference is made to many events that the reader will remember, such as the sinking of the Marchioness in the Thames, the Iran hostage situation, and the Scottish ritual child-abuse trial, where leading psychologists were proved utterly wrong in their expectations of wrecked emotions and permanently blemished psyches. The author quotes other psychologists who are also deeply critical of the scientifically baseless (and sometimes even deceitful) direction in which their industry has lurched.

Dr. Dineen charges her profession with the fabrication on a grand scale of synthetic victims, referring to studies which have shown that therapy often causes more suffering than if the patient had been left alone. She builds up her case with constant reference to real case histories and statements of "experts".

Writing in an attractive and cultured style, she shows how psychologists have seized the vast opportunities open to them by inventing problems, and therefore prospective patients. To her the profession has become an industry which proliferates briefly and badly schooled "junior-counsellors", sending them with their useless therapies into a politically correct (and therefore vulnerable) society. With a number of other writers she warns that the emperor has no clothes, but she does it with better reasoning and evidence than others.

Popular psychology is one of the greatest opponents of the application of Christian principles in handling and helping people's troubles. If we could get a book like this read by major and minor officialdom in our land "psychobabble" would be trusted far less.

Our traditional response to troubles (lasting from times when even the ungodly admired the standards of the Bible), advises the limiting of excessive emotional self-indulgence. Not so the world of psychologists. Grief must be worked up to be got out. Those responsible for our troubles must become objects of anger and vengeance, and so on. "Anger", they say is "the backbone of healing". Cultivate rage, they advise. "Like priming the pump you can do things that will get your anger started." No wonder grieving people, who have lost relatives by murder, stand outside law courts screaming for vengeance - it is the response urged by counsellors.

From a Christian perspective, all this is foolish, counterproductive, self-centred, and above all godless. The list of problems which the psychology industry insists must be treated grows almost by the hour, as do the horrific predictions about the ultimate fate of "sufferers" if they do not entrust themselves to counsellors.

Of course, the "lower level" are not necessarily as guilty as the upper level of academic psychologists. The later know what they do. The footsoldiers (or shall we say the salesmen) of the industry may not. They merely retail what they have been taught, having insufficient knowledge or discernment to see its inadequacies.

The author describes the incredible route of questioning devised to discover whether people have been abused as children. We are compelled to ask - how did such illogical and absurd lines of "diagnostic" questioning ever come to be respected?

In this book the author calls for people to be given back their private lives. Every page adds to a documented picture of what the psychology industry has become. Having read it, one is all the more convinced that its therapies, point by point, contradict and negate the biblical approach to life's hurts.

This, although popularly presented and most readable, is an education and deserves to be taken seriously.

Copyrigh t© 1998-2007 Tana Dineen,