Psychologists don’t sell their empathy

Maybe because of the influence of counseling, maybe because of the influence of humanistic psychology, there are a lot of people who believe that psychologists are characterized, basically, as some sort of mystic.

Not the kind of mystics so alienated that it’s impossible to feel identified with them, but the kind of spiritual gurus who act as an inspiring mirror to others. People who, having attained a very high degree of understanding of the human mind, they are able to adapt their ideas to make room for any other way of thinking and connecting to it.

In other words, it was assumed that the psychologist is the one who transforms his own philosophy of life into a very simple principle: always sympathize with others, without giving more importance to own ideas than to those of others.

This idea, of course, is based on an exaggeration of the degree of skill that psychologists come to acquire throughout their careers; after all, they are people of flesh and blood. However, I believe that this idea is not only wrong, but also harmful, and is used simply to try to silence certain ideas and opinions.

Political correctness among psychologists

It is very common to hear phrases like “it seems you are a psychologist”. What is alarming about this is not that it is common to anger or berate someone for someone in this profession, but that in most cases this type of complaint does not happen. not when a psychologist expresses his ignorance on a subject that should dominate, otherwise when he behaves in a way he doesn’t like and which is seen as an attack on the opinions of others.

For example, if a psychologist has very clear ideas on a controversial topic and expresses his opinion confidently, it is possible to criticize the lack of tact by giving an unambiguous point of view and very attached to a form to see things. .

This is not the case with almost all other professions: doctors, engineers or carpenters can have a well-established philosophy of life and talk about their ideas without major worries, but the psychologist he seems to have an obligation to speak all over the world, keeping a very low profile and discreet. Political correctness is supposed to be something that has to come naturally from one’s profession, and it has reached the point where it has to be assumed, for example, that all currents of psychology are equally valid because they capture different ways of thinking.

Market with empathy

But psychologists they are not engaged in renting their way of thinking to constantly embrace the views of others so that empathy can be created.

First, a psychologist defines himself according to his professional facet and not his personal life. Just because a psychologist does not have to confront the ideas of a patient, for example, does not mean that he or she cannot express the diametrically opposed views of someone in another situation.

This, which seems obvious, is often overlooked by the influence of two elements: relativism and constructivism taken to the extreme.

The belief “everything is worth it”

From radical relativism, especially in its aspect of cultural relativism, it is taken for granted that there are no attitudes and thoughts more valid than others. This means that psychologists should not try to find regularities in the way people think and act, because each individual is a world; instead, he must develop a special sensitivity to “connect” with the other person’s mind at a particular time and place, to help them move closer to a certain goal.

In this view of psychology, we do not consider that there are certain theories on behavior more valid than others for having been empirically contrasted, and therefore psychologists they do not have the added value of a better understanding of the mental processes of people in general.

So the only thing they value is their “sensitivity,” the ease with which they connect to systems of meanings created from scratch by other people (this is where constructivism comes in). . And this sensitivity, if it is not expressed in all facets of the psychologist’s life, cannot be authentic.

Psychology if it’s knowledge

The idea that psychology is fundamentally the implementation of an almost artistic sensibility it is totally contrary to the notion of psychology as a science.

What defines psychologists is not their ease in establishing therapeutic links with other people; this is just one of the characteristics of a certain class of psychologists: what they do about specific people and groups of people. Moreover, even during therapy, the psychologist does not have to assume as true all the content of the patient’s speech and has good reason to believe, for example, that a mystical experience in which he appeared as a saint did not exist. was not real.

What all psychologists have in common is that in order to function they use scientifically generated knowledge and, therefore, it allows to reduce the uncertainty on a subject. Psychologists try to predict to a greater or lesser extent the behavior of people by taking into account a number of variables, and if they do, it is because they have more valid information than others. types of information.

Thus, psychologists should not accept, for example, religious fundamentalism or racism simply because they are “ways of thinking” that reflect a mental reality as valid as any other. Complaining that a person with a background in psychology does not accept “self-truth” does not make sense precisely because of this.

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