Many of the criticisms of Positive Psychology could be based on a false dichotomy.
To my surprise, in recent times I have been finding many allusions to a supposed “industry” based on the irrational and unconditional search for happiness on numerous media, television, radio and print channels .
Like any argument or current that is reduced to the absurd, it loses its foundation when we forget the true essence or reason for being of Positive Psychology, to establish derogatory analogies such as, for example, the fact of making certain publications on social networks of the type Mr Wonderful or how to make fun of the “need” of having to go to a “motivational coach” to solve some kind of trivial question.
After the numerous episodes of this kind of “attack” on a sector of psychotherapy or mental care (as we must not forget that the etymological origin of the word therapy is related to the concept of care), coming even from sectors “colleagues ”, Who did not finish learning from the old paradigmatic battles between behaviorists and cognitivists or between natives against environmentalists, among others (paradoxically, both confrontations leading to the emergence of integrative paradigms).
Unfair Criticisms Against Positive Psychology
I can understand that from ignorance or ignorance, endless disqualifications and criticisms can be made, more or less destructive. But what I cannot understand is that there are professionals of psychology, who cling to their old paradigms and methodological currents, like castaways to the wreck, to defend their model or way of practicing the profession, as if this were the only one possible.
On the other hand, they are not so reluctant to embrace concepts such as “Learned Helplessness”, developed by Professor Martin EP Seligman, to justify the development of depressions or other psychological imbalances, this being one of the standards of positive psychology .
I understand that the medical model of psychodiagnosis continues to exert a notable influence on the understanding of psychology for some. But, dear colleagues and curious people of a diverse nature, the psychopathological clinical model does not explain the complete diversity of human behavior, and that is why without the need to intervene in the prevention or rehabilitation of psychiatric pathologies, there is a field of psychological.
A person who feels bad or is dissatisfied with the life he leads is obviously not sick. In fact, there are many people classified as sick or disturbed who raise many doubts about the reliability of the diagnostic system. If they knew the damage that a person can cause to feel labeled for life, forming part of a “bag” or group of pejorative connotations for their own health and consequent social adaptation, they would be more careful when performing according to what type of classifications.
The problem of overdiagnosis
Recently, I have had the opportunity to learn more about the opinion of Dr. Javier Álvarez. This head of psychiatry at the Hospital de León is a champion of a movement called “New Psychiatry”, which postulates the inconsistencies and suspicions of a medical model probably influenced by another type of industry, but in this case a real industry. The pharmaceutical. The rapid growth experienced by the main psychiatric diagnostic and classification instrument (better known as DSM) is curious .
Since its inception to date, the number of mental disorders has seen its number increased exponentially and its treatment has been entrusted as a priority to the use and administration of psychotropic drugs. Psychotropic drugs whose mission is mainly to act on brain neurotransmitters “involved” in the development of the current disorder. The problem lies in the conviction and confidence that they give off about the tiny knowledge that exists about the functioning of the aforementioned neurotransmitters as a sufficient guarantee to experiment with these chemical drugs.
I do not want misinterpretations on my part, I am not an anti psychotropic drug, or anti any other type of treatment, but I do consider that we have developed a remarkable confidence in something that is still in its infancy and we have neglected and even ridiculed other ways of understanding the world of psychology and psychiatry, without finding so many daily examples of criticism of this. The smoke of the “charlatans” in front of the “magic pills”. And it is not about this, but not about the other.
Each person is a world and in each world one type of intervention or another is required.
My problem is neither bigger nor smaller than yours.
It may not even be a problem.
But it is mine and I decide how I want or need to approach it.