The straight line is godless and immoral

Two ideologies that keep us going

Economics, and Therapy.

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There are therapists throughout the country, and they’re very important, because they pick up the refuse of the economic-political system.

We have mental health clinics all over the nation, in every city and county. And they all produce pamphlets about how to deal with the problems of addiction, battered wives, childhood disorders. Someone has to pick these people up, and therapy does it. But therapy operates with an ideology – an individualistic, must-learn-to-cope ideology. The individual has to learn how to cope, and the therapist helps that person stay in control. This ideology is based on the idea of individual growth and potential.

Most schools of therapy share the idea that there’s an inner world that can be made to expand and grow, and that people are living short of their possibilities, and that they need help to… what she we call it? Fulfill their potential. Therapy has become a kind of individualistic, self-improvement philosophy, a romantic ideology that suggests each person can become fuller, better, wiser, richer, more effective.

I believe we now have two ideologies that run this country. One is economics, and the other is therapy. These are the basic, bottom-line beliefs that we return to in our private moments – these are what keeps us going.

Sy Safransky is the editor and publisher of The Sun Magazine. This is an excerpt from “Conversations with a Remarkable Man: Honoring the late James Hillman,” The Sun Magazine, by Sy Safransky, Scott London and Genie Zeiger.

James Hillman was an American psychologist. He studied at, and then guided studies for, the C.G. Jung Institute in Zurich, founded a movement toward archetypal psychology and retired into private practice, writing and traveling to lecture, until his death at his home in Connecticut on October 27, 2011.

Comments on the article “Two ideologies that keep us going ”

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Anonymous

How Psychologists Subvert Democratic Movements

"...Once anti-authoritarians have their pain and their anti-authoritarianism validated and feel more whole, they are likely to become less on the defensive and more secure. That’s when the real fun begins, as we can move to the next level—we can learn to get along with one another. When anti-authoritarians regain the energy to do battle with the corporatocracy and learn to get along with one another—we might actually achieve something closer to democracy in the United States.” (Has Bruce Levine ever wrote for Adbusters?)

Anonymous

P.S: Another interesting and useful quote from Bruce Levine is that, "by pathologizing anti-authoritarians, psychologists and other mental health professionals are taking them off "democracy battlefields.” "

Anonymous

This fits in with many of Adbuster's ideas, yet there are few replies. In 2012, can it be that people still fear the issue of Mental Health?

Anonymous

It's interesting to think would we need so much therapy if our society was different? Would we be having such high numbers of people with mental health issues? I've always thought that people would be much happier and content if our society shifted the focus from consumerism and spending so much of our lives working for material things to improving the quality of life. So much stress comes from the hustle of everyday life and our polluted surroundings and being disconnected from a lot of true human interaction from technology. If we lived in a society more connected with nature I think everyone would be healthier and happier.

Anonymous

The Boomtown Rats put it well in Rat Trap:

"...Billy don't like it living here in this town
He says traps have been sprung long before he was born
He says hope bites the dust behind all the closed doors
And pus and grime ooze from its scab-crusted sores
There's screaming and crying in the high-rise blocks
It's a rat trap, Billy, but you're already caught..."

Anonymous

So therapy offers them a way to cope, which isn't much but it's something. What do the ideological critics of therapy offer them? Nothing. Really in the final analysis they offer nothing at all. They only offer verbiage suggesting if we lived in a better society less people would need therapy to cope and so on. Such is undoubtably true.

But one can live in pain for decades and decades waiting for society to change, and so what's the fricken point? It's not individualistic that's for sure, it depends on vast quantities of citizens waking up and fighting for that world, but to make that happen the individual is fairly impotent. No wonder they need their dosage of therapy, they have some power over it. Maybe they even get enough power from it to go out and tilt at windmills.

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