"The primary misunderstanding of Freud and Psychoanalysis, a misunderstanding that continues to be propagated by the forces of Therapism, concerns the locus of responsibility for our behavior. Freud's greatest insight was that to a large extent our manifest behavior is the outcome of compromises among many impulses and inhibitions, most of them unconscious, which sum and move us to action. As such, the goal of Psychoanalysis has always been to make us more aware of our hitherto unconscious motivations so that we can take more responsibility for our behavior. Therapism does the exact opposite; it attempts to relieve us of responsibility by assigning motivation and blame to all sorts of agencies (parents, society, brain chemistry) which are by definition outside the realm of our moral agency.
"It is a small step from such thinking to enabling and encouraging the government to tell people how to live, how to raise their children, and how to think. As Neuroscience enlarges our understanding of the biochemical and physiological underpinnings of behavior, those who have done so much to diminish moral responsibility will be in a powerful position to mandate proper thought. The dangers are real and growing."
The Money Quote:
"And here is the dirty little secret at the heart of Therapism: Those who press the Therapism ethic are unknowingly pursuing their own unconscious desires, for power, control, and a host of other hidden wishes. They imagine their motives are pure but the unconscious exists even within those who wish to help you 'for your own good'"
It would not be excessive to say that in many if not most sectors of the mental health industry, the pursuit of unconscious desires for power, control, and a host of other hidden wishes is epidemic. This can be seen, for example, in many university counseling centers where serious study and discussion of unconscious mental processes has become taboo (especially among counseling psychologists). In the name of egalitarianism, discussion of unconscious processes is derisively dismissed as the "medical model."
In fact, fiercely guarded ignorance of unconscious processes frees these practitioners to behave in self-serving, destructive ways that seriously diminish the quality of assistance that can be offered to students while also damaging the quality of professional peer support, consultation and clinical training available in these settings.
Over the past 20 years, the venom directed toward depth approaches to psychotherapy has increased in tandem with a growing sense of entitlement to career advancement that is most often reflected in unabashed political exploitation of race, ethnicity, gender and sexual-orientation. These issues typically serve as cover stories for individuals pursuing fulfillment of an assortment of unsavory conscious and unconscious wishes.