I swear … to please no one will I prescribe a deadly drug or give advice which may cause his death.
~ Hippocrates (460-370 B.C.)
Hippocratic Oath for medical doctors
Socrates (470-399 B.C.) was a famous Greek philosopher from Athens who taught Plato, and Plato taught Aristotle. Socrates used a method of teaching by asking questions. The Greeks called this form “dialectic” – starting from a thesis or question, then discussing ideas and moving back and forth between points of view to determine how well ideas stand up to critical review with the ultimate principle of the dialogue being veritas – Truth.
Socrates: We are gathered here today at my academy to discuss and hopefully resolve an exceedingly vexing societal problem: Are America’s psychiatrists, psychologist and clinicians responsible doctors that promote healing, or licensed drug pushers that habitually over medicate their patients for craven expediency and crass monetary gain?
Psychiatric community: (collective gasp!) We didn’t come here to be lectured to by you, Socrates! We are respected doctors of the community and will not have our integrity impugned by a mere philosopher.
Socrates: Indeed. Before we begin this symposium, I would like to direct your attention to the recent case of Rebecca Riley, a 4-year-old little girl who tragically died Dec. 13, 2006, from a fatal overdose of medicines her parents administered to their child to treat her so-called bipolar disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, including clonidine, valproic acid, depakote, dextromethorphan and chlorpheniramine. As if the death of their only child wasn’t enough to endure, now the little girl’s parents and their psychiatrist have been brought up on charges of murder. My question to the members of this symposium is this – does medication = healing?
The memorial card passed out at Rebecca’s funeral.
Freud: I have never accepted the idea of “medicating” psychological problems, for it is no cure. My approach would have been to ask the little girl about her dreams, her fears, the deep dark recesses of her mind. I don’t “heal” my patients; I cure them by only one thing – talk, not prayer, not sacrifice, not exorcism, not drugs, surgery, changing of diet, but recollection and reflection in the presence of a sympathetic, dispassionate professional.
Socrates: Indeed, Dr. Freud. I can see that your ideals on the study of the human mind, psychoanalysis if you will, has certainly influenced many others after you, yet there is consensus in the psychological community that you never actually cured anyone, and at one point in your career, Dr. Freud, you did treat patients with drugs – cocaine, I believe, was your drug of choice then, was it not Dr. Freud?
Freud: (convicted) Yes, Socrates, indeed it was. I was wrong.
Socrates: Let us hear from some of Freud’s primary successors and the psychological, psychiatric and psychoanalytic schools they founded. I want to hear about their ideas in relation to medicine, healing and the Rebecca Riley case.
Carl Jung: (1st School – Analytical Psychology) Originally, I was a fervent disciple of Sigmund Freud, one of the first, but I later left him because of his radical ideas on sexuality. I vehemently objected to his Oedipus Complex, or the idea that an infant boy sexually desires his mother.
Joseph Campbell: (Mythology) My analytical approach to psychology dealt with my own popular writings on the hero myth (Judaism, Christianity, Islam and all religious belief). My therapy gives no regard to morality, religion or the metaphysical realm.
Alfred Adler: (2nd School – Individual Psychology) I, Alfred Adler, not Jung, was the first of Freud’s inner circle to defect. I argued that neuroses arose not from libidinal forces but from overcompensation for feelings of insecurity. My therapy gives no regard to morality, religion or the metaphysical realm.
Carl Rogers: (Humanistic) My theories to treat mental illness or psychological problems was originally called client-centered therapy where the focus is placed on the experience of the patient. My therapy gives no regard to morality, religion or the metaphysical realm.
J.L. Moreno: (Psychodrama) My approach to treat neuroses was through studying how people interact in groups. Therefore, I devised the psychodrama, a technique that stresses role playing, creativity and spontaneity in reaching a catharsis. My therapy gives no regard to either religion or the metaphysical realm.
Harry Stack Sullivan: (Interpersonal Psychotherapy) My hands-on system encourages therapists actively to challenge, guide and support the patient during the session. My therapy gives no regard to either religion or the metaphysical realm.
Sandor Ferenczi: (3rd School – Active Therapy) In direct contrast with Freud’s nondirectional methods, I, Ferenczi, helped develop Active Therapy, which allowed the analyst to play an active part in the session. My therapy gives no regard to morality, religion or the metaphysical realm.
Socrates: Now comes Otto Rank (Birth Trauma) Karen Horney (Social Psychoanalysis) Heinz Kohut (Self Psychology) Nancy Choddrow (Analytic Feminism). Note that none of these therapies gives regard to morality, religion or the metaphysical realm.
John Watson: (4th School – Behaviorism) B.F. Skinner: (Stimulus & Response) I, B.F. Skinner, followed Watson in ignoring unconscious motivations and focusing chiefly on observable behavior. My therapy gives no regard to morality, religion or the metaphysical realm.
Socrates: Now comes Aaron Beck (Behavioral Therapy); Cognitive Therapy; Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy; Cognitive Behavioral Therapy; Rational Living Therapy. Anna Freud (Modern Freudian Psychoanalysis), Peter Fonagy (Psychodynamic Psychotherapy) and Psychodynamic Developmental Therapy. Note that none of these therapies gives regard to morality, religion or the metaphysical realm.
Let us hear the conclusion of the matter. Regarding the Rebecca Riley case, we have heard Freud’s analysis not to administer his drug of choice to treat young Ms. Riley (cocaine) but to talk to her, showing that Freud’s perverse ideas about the mind, particularly childhood sexuality, has diminutive redeeming value; moreover it is dangerous to one’s psychic health. We have heard from the five psychological schools of thought and the primary progenitors of each school, which all advocate in one form or another what Freud proposed: 1) all talk; 2) all drugs; 3) more talk/less drugs; 4) less talk/more drugs; 5) no talk/all drugs; 6) shock therapy; and 7) hypnotherapy.
Rebecca Riley is like Cassandra of ancient Troy whose seeming hysterics portended the doom of Troy by Achilles and the Greek legions, yet she was ignored, mocked by her own parents and later murdered. Likewise, from beyond the grave has the Rebecca Riley incident become a tragic case study against the anti-metaphysical, anti-historical treatments of the past, but also to the ineffectual and even diabolical treatment of people with mental illness who have to suffer under this new, enlighten generation of psychologists and psychiatrists, post-Freud.
Dr. Freud, since you and your progeny prefer to treat the symptoms rather than the cause of your patients’ mental illness, this catastrophic state of affairs has only led an entire generation of people who in my day would be considered “normal” children in need of a parent’s loving care, attention and protection, to instead be manipulated for craven medical expediency and crass financial gain by these legalized drug pushers, and condemned to an early grave.
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