10 June 2005

Psychological Warfare II: God and Country are not Values

I have been told of a book on methods of psychotherapy in which the subject of values was discussed at length. Here is the list of Values Domains from the book:

  1. Primary love relationship

  2. Children/family

  3. Friendships

  4. Work/career

  5. Community

  6. Personal growth/development

  7. Environment/planet

  8. Play/recreation

Now, no such list can include everything, but one can quibble about whether it includes the most important things. The things that make us who we are. One wonders how the values of, say, Pat Tillman might fit into this scheme.

Apparently the authors consider religion and spirituality to be subsumed under personal growth and development. As if spirituality were an option like reading a book, or learning to play piano.

I have learned from VCBC's Forum thread on "God = Nature" that putting Spirituality under Personal Growth may be misleading. Maybe it should go under Environment. Or maybe, it should replace Environment, so that psychotherapists could explore their own feelings about the absence of one of their core value domains. Because for many people the Environment is the transcendent value that they substitute for the spirituality that they have rejected, or of which they are simply ignorant.

Ah, but what about "Country?" Perhaps that could be included under Community, but Community is usually understood to be one's neighborhood, or maybe one's town. Maybe it also includes one's voluntary associations. I think "Country" was left out because many psychologists think that nationalism of any kind is a negative value. Nationalism and religion just cause wars. Never mind that the Enlightenment that spawned the liberal democracies that defend individual rights with national power originally sprang from Protestant Christianity.

I wonder how they would handle a client with the Pat Tillman's values. I suppose they would struggle with counter-transferrence issues of antipathy toward religion and nationalism, and try to cure the client of both.

Imagine that. Values for psychotherapists with no room for God or Country. All I can say is that if your Boy Scout or Girl Scout has behavioral problems, choose his or her therapist very carefully.

1 comment:

Scooper said...

Worse still, Xenos, they seem to think that spirituality is either a form of psychopathology or a crutch that people use to avoid dealing with their psychopathology.