An Alarming Trend in Psychotherapy by Christine Sefein – (Woke Therapists Want You To Stay In a Victim Mindset and Miserable)
Below: embedded video, “Christine Sefein: An Alarming Trend in Psychotherapy”
This video is largely addressing woke, Neo-Marxist, identity politics influences in the mental health profession and its damaging ramifications upon groups of people (such as women, people of color, and so on).
However, much of what is mentioned is identical as what I said in previous posts in regards to psychologists or therapists (or friends) enabling people with mental health problems, by merely echoing back and validating the negative thoughts and worldviews of those persons.
There is a time and place for non-judgmental emotional support, but if a friend, family, or mental health professional merely validates the person’s distorted (negative) beliefs, and does so for months to years on end, and does not challenge or encourage the person to change their behavior (when and where it can be changed) and/or change how they view their situation or themselves, the person will remain in a state of Learned Helplessness.
Therefore, the person’s anxiety, depression, or whatever issue they are facing, will not diminish or cease.
Giving someone with depression (or certain other conditions) nothing but validation and on-going emotional support – as the therapist in the video below explains – will actually keep the person in a depressive state, or possibly worsen her mental health.
(This is exactly what I was saying in other, older blog posts and other media, but got chewed out over it by others.)
While the far left in the mental health field love to tell people that they are experiencing depression or some other problem because of the identity group they are a part of (whether they are black, homosexual, a woman, what have you), on the individual level, some people are buying into this toxic thinking because they have a Victim Mentality (see this previous post for more about Victim Mentality).
If a friend of yours, or a mental health professional, is simply sitting around agreeing with your negative views – that you are a victim in life, and you always have life oh-so-hard, and isn’t life horrible and unfair, and there’s nothing any of us can do about it – they are aiding you in keeping you trapped in your anxiety and depression.
If this person was actually competent and compassionate, they’d be trying to help you to find steps to take TO CHANGE, to improve in some way.
Offering empathy or emotional support is only one part of the pie, it should not be the entire pie – and that emotional support is useless and garbage if it’s being mis-used to keep someone “stuck” in some disorder or harmful mindset they have.
If you continue to think of yourself as a victim, your situation or condition will never improve.
If you continue to believe that your life and all its problems – or obtaining happiness or peace – is not in your control at all, that it remains outside of your control and due to external factors, you will continue being depressed and feeling hopeless.
I spent over 30 years with clinical depression – I was diagnosed by psychiatrists with it – and I spent years trying to figure a way out of depression, when the sessions with psychiatrists didn’t help me, and the prescribed anti-depressants didn’t help me, either.
I finally figured my way out of depression (on my own), and I can tell you that the “woke” approach to “treatment” will absolutely keep you trapped in depression.
Getting primarily, or only, emotional support from a therapist, friends or family, when you’re dealing with depression (or most other problems in life), and thinking of yourself as a victim in life, isn’t going to help you rebound and heal in the long run.
As I said in a previous post, receiving emotional support for a problem initially is fine, but at the end of the day, if you want to solve a problem and make it go away, emotional support only won’t cut it – you will have to change something about your life, your usual routine, or how you think about yourself or your life or your problem if you hope to break free.
For our latest video, FAIR’s Christine Sefein explains how her field of psychotherapy has been taken over by what she describes as a “divisive and regressive ideology” that led her to resign from her position as a professor of clinical psychology at Antioch University in Los Angeles.
This ideology teaches people to see themselves as part of an oppressed group and to blame their hardships on oppressor groups. And sometimes that’s true! But most often this way of thinking, which encourages hypersensitivity, is harmful to people who are seeking help from mental illness conditions.
Sefein worries that her field, which is designed to help people overcome their mental illnesses, will actually exacerbate patients’ symptoms by causing them to view themselves as having no control over improving their situation.
Instead, people are acquiring an attitude called “learned hopelessness,” which locks them into a feedback loop of pessimism and despair.
(Link): Christine Sefein: An Alarming Trend in Psychotherapy – video on You Tube (should also be embedded below)
Partial Transcript of the video (comments by Christine Sefein, Professor of clinical psychology):
(Video opens by Sefein explaining how her parents came to the United States from Egypt, not knowing any English – and yet, her parents overcame difficulties to thrive in the USA.
Sefein mentions she became a clinical therapist to help other people develop resiliency, to overcome problems.
She goes on to explain that a particular ideology (which I will refer to as leftism, Neo-Marxism, or “woke-ism”) has taken over her field of psychology, and that of the department of her former place of employment (Antioch University).
…”This ideology teaches people to see themselves as part of an oppressed group and to blame their hardships on oppressor groups. And sometimes that’s true!
“But most often this way of thinking, which encourages hyper-sensitivity, is harmful for people who are seeking help for mental health conditions.
“As mental health professional, our job is to encourage clients to build resilience and self empowerment to improve their lives and climb out of negative mental states.
“But we are now being encouraged to validate our client’s perceptions that they live in a world of micro-aggressions, inequity, and racism, and that they have no control over improving their situation.
“This mentality locks clients into a condition known as “learned helplessness” in which breaking free from depression seems hopeless.
“If we therapists validate our client’s view that the world is an unsafe and hopeless place, we implicitly affirm that their circumstances are impossible to change.
“For those suffering from serious mental illness, their therapists may be the very last stop before they decide their life is not worth living.
“Before I resigned, my department had encouraged therapists to cease using professional terms that are now deemed “psychologically damaging,” including the term “maladaptive behavior,” perceived to be judgmental towards our clients.
“This term could be the key to a client’s mental health as it clearly distinguishes unhealthy coping actions (such as substance abuse and self-harm) from healthy coping actions (such as social support, exercise or meditation).
“This ideological environment is also impacting the students. I have seen psychology students quit working as counselors due to perceived microaggressions from client or coworkers.
“A student justified turning in assignments late because they were “traumatized” by a debate in class and needed a week in bed to recover.
“When I showed a video about a new treatment for addiction, students focused on the speaker’s skin color instead of the essential content.
“I am deeply concerned about those suffering from mental illness and the recent rapid rise in anxiety and depression. What I saw in my workplace makes me fear the next generation of therapists will be trained to make the problem worse.
“As professionals, we can successfully treat mental illness if we return to the basics: empowering therapy, adaptive coping skills, and a strong support system with medication when needed, teaching Learned Optimism instead of Learned Helplessness.
“Showing our clients our own belief that they have the power to improve their lives may be the most healing thing of all.”