Right. These are some personal thoughts on your provocative response
(deliberately, I assume) to Emma's stuff - specifically your position
that what's taught in psychology should be closer to medicine.
Medicine in Western cultures has historically taken a systems approach
to explanation of ill-health, and this seems to have been served best
by a didactic method of instruction - possibly because many examples of
ill health are attributable to specific pathogenic causes (e.g.
bacteria or viruses) or behaviours (e.g. stress or smoking).
This system just wouldn't work with most areas of psychology (apart
perhaps from certain areas of neurological insult), as it is so
difficult to tie specific areas of the brain to function, and if we
limit our study to function or cognition, how would a systems approach
help; we are not working in the physical world.
So we are left with abstract ideas and models to work with, and
therefore a polemic method of instruction, which, I would argue, is
closer to philosophy.
In fact there is much evidence coming out now that seems to indicate
that an enabling approach (such as that of counselling or cognitive
restructuring) is more successful in the long term than a
pharmacological intervention, assuming the patient has some insight
into their illness or state of mind.
This leads me on to a point that Mark made about the anomaly of time
lapse etc. in pharmacological treatment of depression. This surely
indicates that the biological model is fundamentally flawed, and cause
and effect have not yet been reliably established. Again a disparity
between the two disciplines of psychiatry and psychology is
demonstrated; psychiatry talking in terms of neurological chemistry and
therefore treating with drugs (depending on the consultant), and
psychology using a far more holistic discourse. I believe that
psychology will increasingly be proved to be nearer the mark, if they
can wrest some degree of control from the medics, and persuade the
drugs industry to let go of their stlgmillions in profit.....
Probably not. Nick.
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