The dilemma all psychologists face today is that we have capitulated and given our crown of science & arts to psychiatry and the Medical Model.
While psychiatry has usurped the role of leading provider of mental health services in the maintenance of the public health and welfare from psychology, psychiatry accomplished this without having to put up much of a fight. Indeed, the betrayal came from within—from within the ranks of psychology itself.
Returning that crown to its rightful owner may prove next to impossible. Certainly, there is a lot of truth to the adage:
It takes a man a lot longer to get himself out of trouble
Than what it took to get him in trouble in the first place
So it will be with the return of psychology and behavioral science to its rightful place as King.
In part, I predict this will require the awakening of the public at large to the fact that behavior, character, and moral choices make differences in one’s life trajectory, outcomes; and in one’s mental health.
There may be certainly some modicum of credence in the parallels between the deterioration of culture in the United States and the deterioration of mental health, stability and well-being of the individual.
If one reflects upon current world situations and especially the fragmentation, if you will, the Balkanization of the United States, one realizes quite quickly how the conflicts within the individual may be reflected in the conflicts within society.
It is this particularly poetic justice and beauty of reality that allows one to judge the status of both “the status quo” and the status of the individual within “the status quo.”
It is difficult to over generalize and it is difficult to oversimplify, but sometimes the reduction of both the health of the society and the criteria for the mental health of the individual allow for succinct and salient comparisons. However, it is extremely difficult, neigh impossible to determine cause.
Think of this as a chicken and the egg question: which came first? In other words, did the mental health of the individual deteriorate first or did the culture deteriorate first?
Truly, the status of the culture and the individual mutually impact each other. More importantly, we need to determine target goals and the intervention in order to improve both the health of the culture and individual within the culture.
As is typical in health interventions, we wish the least invasive intervention and leverage that for the maximal outcome. The problem becomes one of ethics because in the typical clinical setting it is requisite to obtain “informed consent to treatment” before intervening.
In today’s society, we have had decades of “intervention” without “informed consent.” Allow me to explain:
We have had decades of “intervention” and “social engineering” without the consent of those being treated!
Moreover, during the last century not only has the electorate (Forgive me folks for getting political.) not been in charge of who has been elected for almost a century, especially President of the United States; more importantly, we have not been in charge of our fate since then.
At this point in time I would like to introduce the reader to the concept of psychosociopolitical warfare. This is not my term, nor is it a new term. In fact the first evidence of it I have found is in the title of an article published anonymously in 1936. It was a title of an article which described part of the undermining of America.
However, the credibility of the article is challenged because there is neither authorship nor publisher associated with it. Moreover, the largest concern regarding its credibility that I have personally is that the strategies announced in this article (purportedly written in 1936) predates the discoveries of most of the modern agents which the article advocates for use in undermining the health and welfare of the best and brightest Americans.
Those agents are drugs, more specifically, psychopharmaceuticals. Most of the psychoactive drugs which are employed in the treatment of mental illness have been discovered since the 50s.
Nonetheless, one must consider the possibility that this article published in 1936 entitled Psychosociopolitical Warfare might be exactly what we have been experiencing for almost a decade.
I am a behavioral psychologist, and as such, I look at function. In other words, I conduct a functional analysis in order to determine what the most salient interventions might be.
I’m also a trained musician, a composer. And during my training as a musician at Berklee in both classical and jazz, I learned that “functional analysis” is paramount in understanding music and its structure. Hence, all things come down to function and function dominates any analysis and understanding.
While we may discount and attack the credibility of Psychosociopolitical Warfare based upon several features including (1) lack of authorship, (2) lack of publisher, and (3) historical features, we may not ignore reality.
One must not ignore the actual impact such proposals as contained in Psychosociopolitical Warfare might have and have had. I advance the fact all of the strategies recommended in Psychosociopolitical Warfare have been implemented!
What do you think?
Feel free to call me paranoid. But remember, it is a healthy paranoia and an informed skepticism.