Observations & meditations on modern life
Views on Psychology, pt 1
One of the most common questions I get is “How come you didn’t study psychology but you’re a therapist?”
Philosophy is currently studied as a science. It is the study that includes biochemical responses in the body to certain emotions, brain development, hormonal understanding, and so on and so forth. This is obviously a huge part of understanding our emotional wellbeing, but I just don’t believe that it is enough for some of the complexities that arise during therapy.
I believe that a major part of our emotional wellbeing is about expression. It is about how we exhibit our biochemical makeup. It is about how we experience the world through our senses. Science is fantastic, but if there’s one thing I have learned from my work is that our scientific makeup is only a part of what governs us on a daily basis, and there is a lot that we can’t explain.
I think there’s value in all disciplines. If we were to emphasize one more than the rest, that’s just shutting down avenues of understanding which seems illogical to me. We have to understand in balance. What philosophies can science explain? Are we working towards understanding phenomena that can and have been successfully treated using methods not yet recognised by science?
It comes down to the same thing that I go on and on about: balance and open-mindedness. If we work from a place of collaboration with one another, I think that our understanding of the world around us would progress at a much faster rate than if we all studied solely the discipline in which we work.
My background in literature has honestly been of more use to me than my official therapeutic training. Why? Because I spent years learning how to pick apart writing to reflect character, infer things about the author, understand a world in which I didn’t directly belong but did also share. That is far more useful to me than being able to understand a prescriptive form of behavioural science that “should” work because of our chemical composition. It’s not black and white. It’s coloured with experience, trauma, passion, love, and ultimately, the relationship between individualism and connectivity.
Find the balance, and a lot will become available to you.