Dr. Ellen K. Rudolph Blog Psychology and Psychiatry: Two Peas in a Pod – Dr. Ellen's Blog

Psychology and Psychiatry: Two Peas in a Pod

Posted on August 18, 2016 By

The study of mental illness is one of those uniquely radical corners of higher education that gets little real scrutiny. Most people know very little about these professions, even though they may have used their services at one time.

These disciplines are grounded in Sigmund Freud

A fixation on turn-of-the-century Freudian notions of the unconscious inhibit real understanding of the workings of anxiety in human relationships, and particularly in families.

Yet this is precisely the fixation of  both the Academies of Psychology and Psychiatry. Freudian notions inform these disciplines through and through.

Consequently, these disciplines have never adequately resolved pressing societal problems that are inflicted upon us by deranged individuals.

How so? Because their traditional form of analysis focuses microscopically on the internal machinations and fixations of the deranged individual, rather than on the emotional context that engulfs them, and has engulfed them since birth.

NOTE: the invention of unconscious motives emerged in the second half of the nineteenth century in the mind of an avowed atheist who, among other things, described belief in God as a “collective neurosis,” and who devised his theories of the mind during a particularly non-enlightened and anxious period in European history. It was during a time period when rigorous sexual morality was the norm, along with an intense and collective preoccupation with sexuality in general.

Amazingly, Freud’s theories of the human mind survive intact today in required curricula that are studied by everyone seeking advanced degrees in psychology or psychiatry, and social work.

The exceptions are rare.

The Freudian approach, in fact, has dominated our mental health system for generations, with the end result of turning it into a system that is focused on diagnosing and managing individuals with mental illness.

Actually there are ways to improve the lot of humans but the systemic keys that can access those pathways are not held by Freud’s acolytes.

The fact is…

If you put Freudian-trained mental health and social work professionals in the same room with the members of an extended family, even if there are ten of them in the room, they do not view that family grouping as an “interdependent whole” with a shared emotional history and repeating relationship patterns.

To the contrary, they view these individuals with similar surnames as mere INFORMERS being called upon to help the professionals to better understand “the sick one” – i.e., the individual (adult or child) with dysfunctional symptoms that just happens to come from that family. Usually these family sessions are dictated by the courts or others in the local justice system when time is of the essence, and where they hope to discover new revelations about the “sick one” to help make their case against them.

These Freudian-trained mental health professionals in no way perceive, or focus on, or can even grasp the significance of the  relationship history that binds the family members sitting in the room with them.

The very act of prescribing psychiatric drugs or mental hospital confinement or shock therapy, etc. to “the sick” one reflects their Freudian modus operandi (whether they admit to it or not.)

But when a child grows up and leaves home, whether it be by running away or through marriage or any other means, even imprisonment, they remain emotionally connected to their family of origin (and extended families) until the day they die. And visa versa.

This is true, even if their behavior or adult relationships come to be viewed as highly embarrassing to that family.