Have we learned anything about mental health? Oh!! Wait a minute. I’m a psychologist with a Ph.D. I’m supposed to know about such a thing.
In reality the first question above is very much to the point. Over the decades of my career I feel like I’ve seen a wrecking ball taken to the field and in some ways it seems like no one noticed. In my head I’ve had to dismantle the whole system a piece at a time.
A Rough Division
It is impossible in a small space to be comprehensive and totally informing. But let me offer something of a view.
Why do we call it mental health? We had to get these troublesome issues away from the churches. We were beginning to see that God was not misdirecting much of this in our lives and neither was the devil. So if we moved it over to “health” we could take other more functional approaches.
When I Came To The Field
I came to psychology wanting a career with a science. But shortly after I began my doctorate I found I was not drawn to the form of science I was seeing. In fact my intuitive personality had put its foot down. I wanted to explore what might be and there was much more of an open door if I moved my studies over to the the clinical arena.
Here Is A Noncomprehensive List of Sorts
In a sense the field had been broken up with a pitchfork. Psychoanalysis had different parts but its focus often was on self exploration. Fair enough. A person might not see themselves as sick but wondered what they might find with self exploration.
There were general studies of a life going wrong. Entry was through a rather large door with a lot of possibilities. It might be truly troubling or simply problematic and in need of work.
Then there were relationship issues. Failure to find a deeply engaging other. Questions about sexual identity. And on and on.
Family issues related to marriage and the functioning of children, our parenting ideals are examples. Again, it might not be very pathological but intriguing or just plain troublesome.
At a larger focus there were community and socially based issues including the effects of financial and job factors.
And then, of course, there was biological/congenital issues and that may well mean insanity and other such deeply dysfunctional and disturbing issues.
What Is The Point?
From the list above it is apparent that it is almost impossible to be totally comprehensive and perfectly organized when it comes to human functioning.
But it would be useful if we did a better job of organizing the issues because that leads to more focalized approaches. And then, of course, there is the matter of personal and bias agendas.
In future posts I’m going to give some specific examples which demonstrate why we need greater clarity in our focus and organization. Human needs in our functional and emotional elements are important and evaluation is crucial. I found exactly the same set of issues when it came to testing for intelligence. We can come up with basic data but it is immensely more complicated than the scores achieved with intelligence tests.
Lying Before Us
Challenges in human existence are everywhere. We can see that as troublesome or we can work to organize and focus the challenges. Decade after decade I’ve felt the same way about getting clearer foci and dedication. In coming posts I’ll give some examples.
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The child of prophesy is coming of age.
Earth has descended into almost biblical chaos.
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Avery’s life of dedication is enhanced when she meets the love of her life. They could not know that they shared a destiny and that a mission set long ago by our Earth Goddess was ordained.
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