September 4, 2008

Psychotherapy’s Executioner?

Below is an article we have been wanting to share for some time. In it the author explores how after decades of cautionary tales and advances in theories of consciousness much of mainstream clinical psychology is still opertating from a reductionist, materialistic and ultimately Cartesian perspective. Let's hope that as brain science matures so too will an appreciation for the more qualitative and 'interior' (phenomenological) dimensions of human psychology.

From BrainBlogger:

Neuroscience: Psychotherapy’s Executioner?

By Jared Tanner

Within the field of psychology more and more research is based on the functioning of the brain. Even in fields such as social psychology, which traditionally was opposed to looking at the relationship between brain and behavior, is neuroscience growing. More and more psychological disorders are being explained in relation to neurological function or dysfunction. Depression is caused by too few or too many neurotransmitters. Schizophrenia is caused by a “mis-wired” brain. Anxiety is caused by a hyper-reactive sympathetic nervous system (and possibly an abnormal amygdala). We are overweight because of hypothalamic problems and can’t sleep because our reticular activating systems are out of whack.

All psychopathology is now being described in neurological terms. Many believe this implies that all psychopathology is now treatable and curable by medication because all psychopathology has a biological basis. Cartesian dualism is alive and well; in fact, it’s never been stronger.

Read More: Here

It is amazing and saddening to think that, at least in certain respects, our brightest minds are being stunted and misdirected by an impoverished and limited view of nature, self and society. We obviously still have many changes to make in our scientific, academic and educational systems if our civilization is ever going to become all that we know it can be.

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