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I agree entirely with the OP, and it scares the **it out of me! Two comments, one personal and one which is probably boring and technical.
1. “Subjective assessments, such as determining… if a person is exhibiting behavior within the normal range of human experience will always require a value judgment”
OMG yes! I was diagnosed with Borderline PD years ago. A major contributor to my diagnosis:
a) Psychologist was young (late 20’s?) and pretty mainstream, like many MH workers. She’d never even heard of polyamory, even though we were in a progressive university town with at least 150 out poly people;
b) I’m polyamorous, had been for ~13 years, and was in 2 long-term (years!), committed, loving relationships (everybody knew and was happy with it).
Result: “Promiscuous -> instability, impulsivity, victimisation.” Hmmm.
Her experience of the “normal range of human experience” was very different from mine.
Her “subjective assessment” was based on her mainstream point of view, and she made some pretty serious “value judgments” based on that: -Monogamy=THE WAY IT IS DONE, non-monogamy=WRONG, and *ahem* unstable.
-Nobody could possibly *choose* to be poly, so I clearly couldn’t have done extensive reading, talking and thinking over years and chosen a lifestyle which, for me, is healthy and happy. I must have just impulsively fallen into bed with two men. (Over and over for years)?
-Polyamory is only about sex (it really isn’t), and a woman having sex with 2 men=promiscuous and/or victimised.
2. I’ve been reading about data science a lot lately, as I’m trying to figure out what I might be able to do if I get well enough to get a job again *highly unlikely, but one has to have hope, right?*. A lot of it is very cool stuff, theoretically, but I find quite a few of the examples of how to apply it concerning.
The scariest thing I’ve seen is that quite a few examples on educational sites are either done without paying any attention to the context, or don’t bother to discuss the context and how it affected the analysis. Get some data; clean it up; do x, y and z to it, and voila! Pretty graphs, a few numbers that are less than 0.01, and some comparisons that show that A is greater than B. Awesome!
Except… If we use a drug trial as an example: How were the data collected? Were certain groups of people excluded from the trial? How many people were there originally, how many dropped out, and how did they deal with that? If all the patients had a certain diagnosis, how certain were they that it was correct? How did they make sure that none of them were, say, smoking pot here and there during the trial? Did any of them have a bereavement during the trial? Etc., etc. People often grab data sets off the web and have no idea how they were put together. Some of those data sets are essentially garbage, no matter how much you “clean” them.
A lot of the courses in data science you can take on the web are pretty short, but they’re advertised as everything you need to become a data scientist. Hmmm. Statistics, as I’m well aware from my previous career, is very, very complicated. If you choose the wrong kind of test, the numbers you get from it might look reasonable but mean nothing. If you simplistically train people to use x, y and z whenever they have data that look like , they may well do that in situations where t, q and g would be much more reasonable steps to take. You can’t just follow a series of steps without an in-depth understanding of what you’re doing. You may get results that seem useful, but…
Even if we assume that the theory is good, the data were collected in teh best way possible, and that, for example, tech *can* detect depression from the colours in your Instagram pics (sounds hinky to me, but I haven’t read the paper), how do we know that the people coding the tech definitely know what they’re doing? How do we know that, in the way of many coding projects, there hasn’t been a massive rush to get it out, with a few corners cut?
Faking it? ?! Where do they get these ideas from?!
I adore Gabor Mate.
**trigger** mention of rape
Not ALL therapists. I’ve see many therapists/counsellors in the past 30 years. One was actively abusive. Most were simply doing a job, and were exactly as described in your post and others, above. They were either actively destructive or simply useless.
However, two counsellors have been caring, person-centered allies who actively cared for me and helped me to figure out my cr*ap (still ongoing). Both treated me as an equal, listened to months of mostly shallow babbling until I trusted them enough to open up, cried/got angry/physically reacted to a few things I said (despite attempts to maintain professional distance), gave me a contact number for use in dire emergencies (used once), and cared enough for me that they charged me a token fee* for years, even as one went through financial problems that resulted in him sleeping in his office.
Both are politically active and actively discuss the influence of government oppression, lack of medical care, poverty, disability, structural barriers, etc. on my current emotional state. My current counsellor actively inquired into my support system, and has numbers for my partners and a friend, just in case. They have hers, as well. (Again, for dire emergencies – never used.) Both of them worked to help me to dismantle some of my extreme self-reliance, and helped me to learn to rely on others (still a work in progress, but I’m doing really well).
So some counsellors can be amazing. I’ve found two of them (although one was a rape crisis referral, so I won’t use the word “lucky”). I guess I’m just saying that if one is prepared to look hard and sort through a large quantity of chaff, and one has funding or is lucky enough to get it, one might find a gem…
* I suspect that both would have seen me for free, but both of them had figured out that I wouldn’t have been able to accept free help.
So…. rTMS for CPTSD and refractory major depression… Run like the wind, or try it?
It seems more common in the UK.
Effexor XR withdrawal… My psych dropped me from 375mg to 225mg overnight. Nothing I said or did would change his mind. Cue 1.5 months of Hell.
I was just thinking that. I do, indeed, have purple ideas.
Great description of lack of boundaries –> learning to set them. I went (am probably still going) through the same process.
Mention of rape and abuse below
I was thinking the same things, particularly wrt the “borderline” patient/client. If she is identifiable, some people (including some with power over her, family, friends, current therapists, etc.) might blame her for it*. Others might refuse to treat her, or treat her with the aim of doing the same thing to her. Just having it brought up in such a public way could be very triggering for her, too.
As a BPD service-user**, let me point out that many of us struggle because of past sexual trauma(s), often stemming from childhood sexual abuse. Many of us have… different approaches to authority figures, a desperate need for love/care/approval, and a lack of/unclear grasp of boundaries. If one of my counselors/therapists had been sexual with me (before the last 6 years, anyway), I would have let it happen and then suffered horrendously because of it, probably for years.
*As a certified BPD** S-U I was accused of causing my own rape at one point, as well as of making it up for attention.
** I don’t agree with the BPD label, or that the disorder actually exists.