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Post 120

Saturday, August 27, 2005 - 1:52pmSanction this postReply
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OK, you've sucked me into it again, goddamnit.

I used to think that way too. Talking to buds can be therapy. But, there is an objectivity issue that impedes, for one thing. For two, therapy involves, go figure, a disciplined approach, and training. Therapy is aimed at a result. A buddy can empathize, he can give a certain amount of advice, but a true therapist he is not. A buddy is not where you go if you have a deeply-seated trauma that has been on you for years- you can't expect him to help you fix that.

Look- some people do not believe in mental illness, despite what you see from one end of things to another out there. They might think you can just figure it out for yourself. I'm not going to address this, to me it doesn't bear addressing. I think I.N. Rand covered that with great clarity for the purposes of this discussion.

A simple idea, it's really just William James 101:  The power of an experience. Say that you had an unpleasant incident with someone, you were very upset. The fact of it is that even years later it is possible to recall this incident and have an even more powerful emotional reaction to it than you first did. This is a true thing that happens to people all the time, this cannot be argued against. You can be a clear, rational, moral beyond reproach Objectivist, with kick ass ethics and even better aesthetics. A is always fucking A as far as your eye can see. And yet, this can happen to you. It very bloody likely has happened to you, because that is how human beings are wired up.  This is clearly a subjective situation! Yet, it causes the pain. Picture many, many of those, of various magnitudes, built over a long period of time. This type of situation is one where a therapist can be of great use. You cannot always objectify it. It is too much, sometimes.

I'm just giving one, simple, basic idea here.  


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Post 121

Saturday, August 27, 2005 - 1:54pmSanction this postReply
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I am disturbed by the attitudes of many Objectivists when it comes to psychology, mental health and especially addiction. There seems to be a rather disturnbing trend of wholesale dismissal of some very real issues. The stigma out there in the real world is bad enough. 

Objectivists don't seem to get that there is more to it than being overly emotional, thinking irrationally or self-induced insanity. I know some of this comes from Ayn Rand herself. She was clearly a creature of her times. 

I cringe when I see repression held up as a virtue or psychology being lumped into the same catagory as uga uga.  Afraid of being labeled emotionalists?  There is nothing mystical about guiding another human being who is working towards recovery. Sure there is tons of Ophrah, Chicken Soup, pity party pseudopsch crap out there, but that is no reason to throw the baby out with the bathwater.


Post 122

Saturday, August 27, 2005 - 2:01pmSanction this postReply
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Andy,
Please direct me to the part of the American Psychiatric Association position paper on recovered memories where they state that people don't repress traumas.
Thanks,
Glenn


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Post 123

Saturday, August 27, 2005 - 2:06pmSanction this postReply
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One more concretization, Phil, from post #119: The thread continues, but I need a shower.

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Post 124

Saturday, August 27, 2005 - 2:11pmSanction this postReply
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Phil,

Is it that the quotes are all about personalities, instead of ideas?


Post 125

Saturday, August 27, 2005 - 2:15pmSanction this postReply
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Andy,

Your post 104 in this thread is a valuable contribution to this discussion, and I have sanctioned it as such. You are definitely off my list of trolls at this point. Congratulations on having done a good job.

You still seem to be dropping the context on "psychologist." There is a real science of psychology out there (e.g. Elizabeth Loftus and the American Psychological Society) who are at the opposite end from the touchy-feely subjectivists whom you rightly criticize.

Post 126

Saturday, August 27, 2005 - 2:25pmSanction this postReply
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Phil
-
-
I'd guess it's failure to engage the others.

--Brant

(Edited by Brant Gaede on 8/27, 2:31pm)


Post 127

Saturday, August 27, 2005 - 2:29pmSanction this postReply
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"Is it that the quotes are all about personalities, instead of ideas?"

Jon, I can't award you the grand prize of an all-expenses paid trip to Civilityland until the other contestants have weighed in :-)

That's certainly an important part of it. But it can be narrowed down further.


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Post 128

Saturday, August 27, 2005 - 2:43pmSanction this postReply
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Philip Coates:

When I clarified the original context of Branden's Talmudic (mis)quote, Rich Engle apparently noticed that I have connections to the Jewish tradition - and in post 30 responded by smearing me as a candidate for the Hitler Jugend. I answered, accurately: You ought to be writing for National Review. They have a tradition with that sort of thing: "To the gas chamber, GO!"... Per your post 119 in this thread, you include my response to Rich Engle's smear - but not the "Hitler Jugend" smear that occasioned it - among remarks that make you "wish for a shower."

Please explain.

(Edited by Adam Reed
on 8/27, 2:48pm)


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Post 129

Saturday, August 27, 2005 - 2:45pmSanction this postReply
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Wow, I step away for a couple of hours and can't even catch up now.

Steven, I place no emphasis on credentials, except when I see people purporting(innocently perhaps) Branden to be a psychiatrist.  He has a PhD, not an M.D.  And yes, in California especially, you can damn near pull a psychotherapy license out of a Cracker-Jack box, and if you dig around in there enough PhD's are not much harder to find.  I questioned his credentials, because I make a big distinction between psychiatrists and paid-for friends.

Also, I was looking around his web site and I noticed that depite 5 pages of articles(mostly the ask-Nathaniel-the-omniscient type) there is a conspicuous lack of articles that were published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.  If psychotherapy wishes it's finding to be treated as a science, then publish it in a peer-reviewed journal, have your results replicated by an independent group using the appropriate scientific controls and then you might have some evidence on your side.  As it is though, saying "I've had many clients who have experienced remarkable results" is not doing science, it's intellectually doing yourself, i.e. intellectually fucking yourself.


Post 130

Saturday, August 27, 2005 - 3:03pmSanction this postReply
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I vaguely recall that Branden's PhD is not in Psychology but is in Education.  Can anyone confirm or deny?


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Post 131

Saturday, August 27, 2005 - 3:16pmSanction this postReply
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Jeff-
I think his Masters was in education.  My understanding is that his PhD came from some unaccredited place in California and is only recognized in two states.  I know this does not defeat any of his arguments, but good information none-the-less.


Post 132

Saturday, August 27, 2005 - 3:20pmSanction this postReply
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To CivilityLand? Oh, fuck that. Iím out.

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Post 133

Saturday, August 27, 2005 - 3:48pmSanction this postReply
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For those who judge Branden, his profession or his work to be of no use I suggest his latest book "The Art of Living Consciously".    It may be the best book written thus far about the practical application of Objectivism to the various contexts we face in daily life.   I have several reservations about many specific assertions made in Branden's writings and I would prefer a more serious, scholarly, non selfhelpish style but the overall content is of such high merit that those reservations do not preclude me from wanting to read what he has to say.  Nathaniel Branden retains to this day the title of best "brainstormer" in regard to the implications and practical applications of Ayn Rand's philosophical discoveries.  

 - Jason

(Edited by Jason Quintana on 8/27, 3:57pm)


Post 134

Saturday, August 27, 2005 - 5:30pmSanction this postReply
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"You include my response to Rich Engle's smear - but not the "Hitler Jugend" smear that occasioned it - among remarks that make you "wish for a shower." Please explain." [Adam]

The explanation would be about a common theme in what i clipped..and I will wait till more people answer my question in #119, rather than just discussing it with you one-on-one. And it is the *barroom level of the WHOLE THING* that made me feel like I had fallen into a cesspool.

[ Yours was the far lesser mistake of "rising to the bait" [don't feed the troll, remember.] If someone insults you so blatantly (and if this is their pattern), sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me. Walk away!!!

It's usually best to either ignore the insult and cease debating the person entirely or even explicitly point out that the person is no longer worth it. If you fire back in kind and in anger, you just add another personal ongoing feud or exchange to the thread, thereby detracting from the conversation. ]

Phil

PS, I did include the "Hitler Youth" insult in my compendium - around line 11.

PPS, Let's not waste time with this kind of "personal" stuff - I gave you an explanation this time..but this would be better done (and continued offlist). If you want to discuss philosophy or ideas, that's another matter.

PPPS, You can use my first name. We -have- met.
(Edited by Philip Coates
on 8/27, 5:32pm)

(Edited by Philip Coates
on 8/27, 5:34pm)


Post 135

Saturday, August 27, 2005 - 5:57pmSanction this postReply
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Ah, hell. I can refuse the prize, afterall.

Phil, Is it that none of those posts have anything to do with the article?

Jon

Post 136

Saturday, August 27, 2005 - 6:16pmSanction this postReply
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I second John's submission.

Post 137

Saturday, August 27, 2005 - 6:58pmSanction this postReply
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Jason, in post #133: well said. One of the more rational statements in this thread.

Glenn

Post 138

Saturday, August 27, 2005 - 7:33pmSanction this postReply
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Those quotes are all about getting another by the throat, nothing more.

Post 139

Saturday, August 27, 2005 - 8:02pmSanction this postReply
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Andy Postema re your post 106. I don't see any science in psychiatry. The fact that psychiatrists are MDs doesn't put science into the profession. Those "diseases" are only metaphors for diseases for now.

--Brant


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