Re: Psychotherapy in science-fiction

Timothy Bates (
Tue, 18 May 1999 18:55:02 +1000

> Speculations about life in the Pleistocene, however engaing and brilliant,
> don't help a depressive get out of the trough.
> Damien Broderick

I would dispute that on the basis that theories of social status and depression suggest intervention quite opposite to those currently practiced by "counselors".

The biggest trouble with therapy is that is is chronically insulated from reality via such linguistic non-senses as validating all positions on the basis that they are "news of difference" (told to me by a senior academic just last week as justification for including psychoanalysis as a year III paper at this institution).

Also, and perhaps more apposite, in recent discussions with the chief research psychologist of a large maximum security hospital, i learned that he is applying "Speculations about life in the Pleistocene" not only in therapy but also in diagnosis and research.

Even if the outcome of this is an acceptance that nothing can be done bar gene transplants (and that is not the case), we would still have more validity pretending that discussing "widlers" or desensitizing our eye movements are effective interventions.

Using biological psychology (not evolutionary psychology which is full of PC cop outs) is far far better than the alternative clinical "philosophies" which are designed specifically to insulate knowledge claims from reality tests (read for instance of Freud's own falsification of critical case studies (Frederick C. Crews (1998). Unauthorized Freud : Doubters Confront a Legend
< 6495641-9087838>).

or recent developments in the genre such as


"School Board Says Zero-Tolerance Policy Will Be Strongly Enforced"