Manifesto No. 1

Psychology has long stood as a sort-of red-headed stepchild in science. Called at times a social science, a statistical science, and even pseudoscience, psychology borrows heavily from medicine and biology and tries to extrapolate theories of how the mind works from experimentation. On its private face, psychoelogists toil away to discover the root of sensation, perception, cognition, and behavior. On its public face, psychology is merely psychotherapy, a means by which to treat mental disorders, and is relegated to asylums, non-profits, and comfy offices in New York where rich women lie on a couch and talk about their long-dead mothers.

I took my first psychology class in 1999 as an English undergrad. I became a psychology major at another school in 2004 after some time off. I knew I wanted to practice therapy, but I love the science behind it as well. I love research, and one day I realized that there is a problem in how psychotherapy is taught. It is taught as a series of successive historical changes in a field that is only about 150 years old. It is not taught from the perspective of “what we know,” but “how we got here.” This would be akin to teaching biology by starting with what the Sumerians knew about biology, then moving forward.

The developments in neurology and biochemistry have allowed us more knowledge of the brain than ever before, and our wealth of information is constantly growing. However, training in psychotherapy is still made up of arguments about nature v. nurture, psychoanalysis v. gestalt, and, to some extent, physical v. spiritual.

I am now a graduate student in counseling at Capella University. This blog will allow me to sort through my ideas about the world of psychology, the development of science-based therapy, and the knowledge we gain from research inside and outside of psychology. I will probably also take a few shots at the quacks out there who profess to help people with unproven methods.

I will probably borrow heavily from other blogs. That is the nature of the beast, with so little time and so much to say.

Thank you for reading. Enjoy life, and check back.

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