Re: Psychotherapy

From: Harnad, Stevan (
Date: Thu Feb 23 1995 - 14:25:37 GMT

> From Thu Feb 23 13:59:38 1995
> From: Flynn, Emma" <>
> I consider psychodynamics to be like a kind of 'human
> philosophy', all of the opposing theories, proposed by people such as
> Freud, Jung and Adler, are all theories about why we behave how we
> behave. They are comparable to the philosophies of life suggested by
> Plato, Aristotle and many other eminent philosophers, however they are
> able to be applied to a more personal level, eg. 'why I hate mess' as
> opposed to 'why am I here?'.

If they are philosophies of life, shouldn't they be taught in the
Philosophy Department, as Philosophy? Isn't what's taught in Psychology
supposed to be a bit more like Medicine? If not, why not?

> Freud, however, as has often been reported was exceptionally dogmatic
> and unwilling to break down his theory and therapy and rejecting any
> criticism, Perhaps this is one of the initial reasons for the problems
> that psychotherapy faces today. Jung on the other hand had a much more
> felixible out look and believed that the Jungian therapists who would
> follow should consider each case and not be restrained by any of the
> 'suggestions' that Jung proposed. This seems like a much more sensible
> idea.

Unfortunately, Jungian therapy has fared no better as a therapy, and
Jungian theory is no less hermeneutic (take-it-or-leave-it
interpretation rather than testable true-or-false explanation) as
a theory than Freudian therapy/theory.

> Finally I would just like to propose, if 50% of psychotherapy works
> and the other 50% of the patients are not harmed by the process they
> have undergone, then surely it must continue because at least some
> people are being help.

And if a control comparison shows that doing nothing at all "works" for
50% as well?

Here's a terrific way to get rich (before the era of ultrasound
scanning): Set up a "psychic obstetric clinic" that predicts the gender
of babies in utero. Give a money-back guarantee. For 50% of your
colleagues it will work and the other 50% will not be harmed by the

(Actually, you could get a slight edge by calling them ALL boys, because
a slightly larger number of boys than girls are born -- though, sadly,
fewer of us make it through to adulthood...)

Chrs, Stevan

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