Re: Who controls explanations of unwanted behaviors.

Esteban Laso (
Thu, 12 Feb 1998 00:30:41 -0500

Hi everybody

Yesterday, Jim Mancuso wrote about the psychology/psychiatry bussiness. I
agree with him. We must, as psychologists, try to create new ways to look at
disengaged behavior -and to go beyond the disease narrative with its
implications of non-accountability, biological causes which need chemical
treatments, etc. We shouldn't try to negotiate or share the psychiatric
point of view -there are lots of ways to understand the same things.
I dare to say that the main reason for all of this is our own dislodgement
from our hypothetical role of psychologists. Maybe we are afraid (and
envious!) of the social power assigned to the medical profession and
medicine as a science -a pretty neat one, also! Our psychological
explanations sound like fantasies and daydreams, while the "lack of A
substance" and "presence of B gene" are tangible enough to become
unquestionable. And if he who is behaving weirdly is just sick, then to say
that his behavior is a quest for good answers to wrong questions is, if
anything, useless and nonsensical.
So, if psychology is to be of any use, we have to build its place in
society -as well as within our minds.