Mental Health Monday: Carl, Counseling, Culture and Context

Freud often gets a reputation as being a perv. Keep in mind he was dealing with wealthy, Victorian women who were stuffy, so sexual issues were repressed and not often discussed.

Also consider American culture when Rogerian theory was tested and arrived as influential.  Children were to be “seen and not heard.” Authoritarianism was the norm.  Politicians, parents, church leaders were generally obeyed and respected.  For a client to sit in the chair and be totally accepted and allowed to say, think, feel whatever they honestly felt was drastically new and innovative. People desperately needed that.

What about now?  What about subsequent generations?

Saw a lot of TV about the Kennedy assassination because of the 50th anniversary.  Many view that as a turning point in American history towards cynicism and pessimism.  Definitely the Vietnam era saw rebellion and revolution become a norm.  Authority and Authoritarianism took some big hits in the 60s and 70s.  The period from the Dealey Plaza to Watergate saw revolutionary, societal change in American.

So now we have a few generations raised in a more lassez-faire atmosphere as far as parenting is concerned.  Instead of being seen and not heard, the spotlight landed directly on the youth of our families and culture. Authority–whether governmental, church, or parental–is not as respected as in Rogers day.

So what about these people? Maybe some boomers, but definitely the more recent generations? Will they respond to “unconditional positive regard” as well as previous generations? Some will suggest they have already received too much of it. Will they need more direction because of the lack of direction given during their upbringing?

I don’t have answers, just some thoughts I wanted to share. I do believe that culture has a great impact.

What do you think?

New Header Foto

You may have noticed the new header photo (unless you only read this in email or a reader). I finally changed it.

The old one was a tiny lighthouse in the middle of the frozen Hudson River.  It was from my spiritual retreat in February, but also represented how I felt around that time.

The new photo (cropped) is the Parthenon at Centennial Park in downtown Nashville and represents 3 things that are important to me.

Nashville:  my new hometown.  It’s a great town.  I wish I had time and money to go to some concerts.  But lots of great history (music, church, civil war) and lots of fun things to see and do.

Ancient Greece:  it’s a replica of the Parthenon in Athens, Greece.  I saw the real one once.  I love history, especially Greco-Roman.  I won’t have time to read any but it’s a nice visual reminder.

Wisdom:  The original structure was named for and a temple for Athena Parthenos (Athena the Virgin), the Greek goddess of Wisdom. I am going back to school and learning about the human psyche.  Of course, I seek Wisdom from the Lord-His written Word and Holy Spirit, but also believe that psychology can teach us some things about the human condition just as physical doctors can teach us about our digestive system or blood.

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Colonials vs Native Americans, Round 2

Teddy Roosevelt, in The Winning of the West, presented the American mentality a hundred years after the Revolution.

“No treaties, whether between civilized nations or not, can ever be regarded as binding in perpetuity.  With changing conditions, circumstances may arise which render it not only expedient, but imperative and honorable, to abrogate them.  Whether the whites won the land by treaty, by armed conquest, or, as was actually the case, by a mixture of both, mattered comparatively little so long as the land was won.  It was all-important that it should be won for the benefit of civilization and in the interests of mankind.  It is, indeed, a warped perverse, and silly morality which would forbid a course of conquest that has turned whole continents into the seats of mighty and flourishing civilized nations.” (p. 19)

“…the hard, energetic, practical men who do the rough pioneer work of civilization in barbarous lands are not prone to false sentimentality.  The people who are, are the people who stay at home.  Often these stay-at-homes are too selfish and indolent, too lacking in imagination, to understand the racial importance of the work which is done by their pioneer brethren in wild and distant lands.  So they judge them by standards which would only be applicable to quarrels in their own townships and parishes.”  (p. 20)

“The most ultimately righteous of all wars is a war with savages, though it is apt to be also the most terrible and inhuman.  The rude, fierce settler who drives the savage from the land lays all civilized mankind under a debt to him.” (p. 21)

Berc0t:  “The English policies guaranteed that the white man and the Indians would not be able to live in peace.  Because they couldn’t live together, one side had to go.  And that was the Indians.  We’re talking about genocide….”  (p. 22)

There is more I could have quoted from Teddy, but I hope his arrogance and disdain for the Native Americans (and those who might not join in the killing/colonizing) comes across clearly.