Geller: Without data, you only have one opinion | Chroniclers

Inspired by a 1992 book in which the author criticizes “the self-help movement in the field of mental health treatment,” Mr. Fisher questions whether the diagnostic labeling of clinical science has been developed through “social science research” or “did they invent diagnostics by pathologizing (sic) normal behavior.”

He concludes that this labeling system creates and promotes a “model of pathologization (sic) of normal and normalizing pathology” and asserts that American sociologists have decided for the public what is, and what is not, ” normal ”and they conduct a course of research to prove and demonstrate their case.

This is where this opinion becomes downright inaccurate and harmful.

First, as in medical science, there are distinct fields of psychological science, and clinical science – not the social sciences – develops, evaluates and offers individual, group and community interventions to address mental problems and disorders, emotional and behavioral. As in medical science, intervention methods vary widely depending on the particular mental, behavioral, or emotional problem. Obviously, the diagnostic etiquette of a psychological disorder determines the therapeutic approach, as is the case in medicine for a physical disorder.

Shame on Mr. Fisher for demeaning a rigorous diagnostic system developed and implemented to classify and treat psychological challenges. To claim that such a labeling system allows people to “excuse their inappropriate and irresponsible actions, decisions and judgments” is irrational, inaccurate and indeed dangerous.


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