On Therapy as Social Control

I was reading an interesting article in the Medical Humanities journal, about use of psychological therapies to “help” unemployed people find work. The article, rightly in my view, points out that such therapies are on very dubious ethical ground.

There’s a view out there, which I think is utterly erroneous, that therapy and psychiatry can act as a remedy for all sorts of social ills. Give everyone enough CBT and fluoxetine, so the idea goes, and poverty, social inequality, abuse, bad housing etc will simply cease to be a problem. Does it work? Of course it doesn’t.

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Radio 4 on Satanic Ritual Abuse

Thanks to Jo D Baker for pointing out this excellent two-part Radio 4 series on so-called satanic ritual abuse. Presenter David Aaronovitch describes how various professionals have made lurid claims about supposed rings of Satanists abusing and murdering children. Some of these claims were utterly bizarre: babies being conceived for sacrifice, ritual altars, organised conspiracies dedicated to Satan. If that sounds implausible, there’s a simple reason for that: the claims were cobblers.

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