Ware Farms

Speaking truth to prejudice

Friday, October 28, 2005


Psychologists Enlist Community Support for Their Clients


You said, "One example of an institution she gives is the discipline of psychology, which is structured in such a way that its practitioners have a very hard time remembering that human beings are social creatures, and cannot be adequately conceptualized by intrapsychic processes."

This characterization is just plain silly. Perhaps you are thinking of some psychoanalysts who are left over from the Freudian era. Today, psychologists often work with doctors, nurses, social workers and other staff members as part of a team which provides a holistic approach to the clients' wellbeing. In any case, psychologists work with local schools, churches, community centers and government agencies in the interest of the client. Relatives and friends, who may be part of the problem at times, are also enlisted to be part of the solution instead.

With formal therapy limited to perhaps one hour a week, building a social network to help support the client the rest of the time is essential. Just as the therapist helps the person become more integrated and better able to function as a person, he or she helps the person become more successful in his or her personal relationships and a more integral part of his or her community in general.

If there is one person in town who knows more about the local support systems and services than just about anyone, it's likely to be the psychologist who employs these resources generously for the benefit of his or her clients. After all, when therapy ends, it is these societal resources as well as the person's own new found capabilities that will sustain the person into the future.

So, not only do psychologists "remember" that human beings are social creatures, they actively employ these interpersonal and societal resources as part of a successful treatment regimen.

Also posted at Marriage Debate as comment #10


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