Psychology is a very broad professional field in which there is room for a large number of activities, work topics and approaches to the same problem. However, despite all this heterogeneity, one of the things that all psychologists share the stereotypes and prejudices that circulate about them.
Of course, these biases are often not expressed in the form of statements, but of questions.
Silly questions every psychologist must have heard
Below we will do a brief review of all of these questions based on ignorance of the psychology profession which, by being heard over and over again over the years, can threaten to end up exhausting the patience of more than one.
1. Did you get a degree in psychology to understand your disorders?
Ignoring the bias of the question, psychology does not even deal primarily with mental disorders, so the question does not make sense. In fact, a psychologist can be engaged in research on consumption patterns, the use of social networks, educational processes, etc. It is a field that has many different branches of specialization.
2. My 5 year old nephew made this drawing, what does it mean?
One of the great myths of psychology is the belief that the task of a psychologist is to diagnose mental disorders or identify personality traits from the observation and analysis of drawings. This is totally wrong, for two reasons.
The first is that the interpretation of a few drawings simply knowing someone’s mental processes isn’t working, And has shown only half-hearted validity in identifying cases of severe schizophrenia (which can be recognized, and better, without having to go through this method).
The second is that it is impossible to create a reliable drawing interpretation system which can be used by many psychologists to reach the same conclusions.
3. Are you going to psychoanalyze while we speak?
Neither the personality analysis nor the diagnosis of disorders can be done without the consent of the person in non-forensic contexts, nor through conversation. Outraged, psychologists are not characterized by psychoanalysis. A triple bad question.
4. I dreamed that I tied the ropes with snakes, what does this mean?
Dream interpretation can be a stimulating creative activity, but it certainly has not been shown to reveal anything about the dreamer’s mental processes.
5. Can you tell me what are the repressed ideas of this person?
Current psychology rejects the Freudian ideas on repressed desires by the unconscious understood as a struggle of intrapsychic entities with their own opposing goals. Moreover, no one can be assessed psychologically without using systematic methods.
6. What title could you give to this image?
Unlike the previous questions, this one is usually not asked by people totally unfamiliar with the subject, but by students in the early months of psychology or certain academic careers in the humanities who seem to believe that psychologists are also engaged in the subject. interpretation of artistic forms. expression and, worst of all, summarize their findings in a simple title.
7. Why do some people suddenly stop loving?
Such generic responses cannot be responses, among other things because there are many factors at play which are different in each case. Asking this is like asking why some people start to become obsessed with a musical record and end up hating it.
8. Why do you insist on labeling people?
Fish science does not label people, but names the behaviors of people. The diagnostic categories used to delineate mental disorders, for example, are not adjectives, but simple nouns used to identify a patient’s symptoms.
9. Is your job to care for patients?
Psychologists do not cure, it is the job of psychiatrists. In all cases, they offer readjustments in behavior and thinking to improve the lives of patients.
10. What does it mean to be crazy?
Abstract terms like “madness” or “madman” have no scientific value and are generally used to stigmatize certain people. It is not the task of psychology to define words commonly used for generations by point the finger at the different and keep it away from society.
11. Is it true that psychologists charge for listening?
The work of psychologists is not based on listening, but on develop concrete solutions to concrete problems. The idea that the psychotherapist is accused of being immobile taking notes probably comes from the psychoanalysis sessions on the couch, but in reality, in psychology there is much more than active listening. There’s also setting specific goals, training the patient on how to achieve them, and tracking progress.