February 02, 2007

Time for a golden oldie - Political Psychology - Are they claiming you are emotionally unstable?

PsychologistEthics.net is designed to help inform the public about political psychology; that is, psychologists violating established codes of ethics to carry out the political agendas of others, especially employers. Political psychology is often used to facilitate workplace mobbing...

When one imagines using mental health professionals to target undesirable individuals, one almost always thinks of totalitarian governments such as the former USSR, China, and Cuba. There is a long and ugly precedent of using mental health professionals in those societies to target politically undesirable people and have them placed in mental institutions involuntarily.

Human rights groups refer to this practice as "political psychiatry."
Victims of political psychiatry are usually people who have filed grievances or complaints against employers or officials, or are union organizers, people who have publicly criticized officials, members of minority religions, and whistle-blowers. Because of reports of the former Soviet Union and China committing political dissidents to mental institutions, the World Psychiatric Association passed the Madrid Declaration in 1996 declaring that "all forms of psychiatric diagnosis and treatment on the basis of the political needs of governments are forbidden." Unfortunately, no such declarations have been made for or by psychologists to condemn political psychology...

In this case, an SIUC faculty member was mobbed by the university administration with the help of some of her departmental colleagues because they disliked her opinions, which were expressed through grievances, guest columns and letters to the editor, speeches, union activism, and by joining in a suit with other faculty members against the board of trustees to protest the firing of a popular chancellor.

As a result, her office was moved out of the department and her mail was stolen. Frequent whispering campaigns were held in the hallways by colleagues who quickly scattered behind slammed doors when she was sighted. She was unjustly blamed for negative tenure votes and missing department materials. The nameplate on her door was vandalized and she learned that she was referred to as "the little twerp" by some.

The university administration then hired a licensed psychologist who, the faculty member was told, would conduct counseling and conflict resolution for her deeply divided department, but who instead wrote a report for the administration indicating that the faculty member was destructive and in need of discipline and professional help.

The administration disseminated the psychologist's report to over 20 people on the campus.
In this case, the psychologist made an unsubstantiated assessment of the faculty member based solely on what the faculty member's "enemies" had said about her...
Political Psychiatry

The political use of psychiatry came to the world�s attention during the days of the Soviet Union, when the profession of psychiatry was used to suppress dissent. This practice represented a systematic use of a healing profession to incarcerate healthy individuals into Special Psychiatric Hospitals, administered by the USSR Ministry of the Interior, or the police, and not the USSR Ministry of Health. There were psychiatrists and others who fought against this practice, such as Drs. Semyon Gluzman and Anatoly Koryagin, who were imprisoned themselves for their moral and ethical work. There were also psychiatrists who adhered to, and, in some cases, furthered the practice. Geneva Initiative on Psychiatry has, as part of its mission, to fight the political use of psychiatry wherever it may occur. While devoting most of its time and resources on reform of outdated mental health systems, GIP will continue to work against these human rights abuses.

From: http://www.gip-global.org/
This week's competition: We are looking for adjectives, descriptions, short sentences - How did they describe or portray you?

Our submission to the competition: 'Has threatened suicide', 'I listened to him for one hour but he made no sense', 'emotional', 'aggressive', 'unbalanced', 'bullying', 'uncooperative', 'unmanageable', 'confused'...

Also read: A statement from Lisa Blakemore Brown


Stuart said...

My boss, when I accused him of bullying, wrote:

"I note from Dr Neilson's statement of February 5th 2003 that he is currently receiving treatment for severe depression. As a medical practitioner I am concerned that an adversarial process in dealing with his complaint is unlikely to facilitate and assist his recovery from his illness."

This alleged bully has, in fact, never practiced medicine in any form and is a public health academic.

Pierre-Joseph Proudhon said...

In fact, what would or could facilitate and assist recovery of the victim from severe depression is the pursit of an open and transparent process based on natural justice.

It is the lack of natural justice that causes severe depression. Delaying this process only adds to the severe depression.

How kind of them to worry about us! Or are they really worried about themselves?

Anonymous said...

Some of the adjectives they use are true, though not in the right context.

Power games and lies do 'confuse' the victim and do make him/her 'paranoid'.

Also, they create the conditions.

In one case, a very quiet and polite person (a 30 year old trait) turned confrontational and displayed uncontrolled and extreme anger easily. The victim, having driven to the extreme, was then described as 'someone you cannot talk to' and definitely not 'a team player'. These changes in the victim's behaviour are still evident even after the victim has left the institution.

Pierre-Joseph Proudhon said...

They also ignore the symptoms of PTSD and depression when interviewing victims of workplace bullying. So any reaction out of the ordinary by the victim is likely to be considered against the victim!

Anonymous said...

As a trouble maker.....