Video: Is The Psychologist A Sentence? - Society
When they came for one, I was silent.
When they came for others, I was silent.
When they came for me, there was no one to intercede for me.
Based on Martin Niemöller's historic speech, history is known to repeat itself. If society does not draw conclusions from the dramatic events that it has lived through, then again and again it steps on the same rake. When in the summer of this year the State Duma toughened the punishment for inclinations to suicide, we rejoiced: now children are protected from the insidious "blue whales", or rather suicidal "whales".
It turns out that it was also necessary to think about the protection of psychologists. Which now, in the case of suicidal behavior of clients, it is much more "convenient" to prosecute: must someone be to blame? In the eyes of the public ("vengeance is mine, and I will repay"), a convenient figure of absolution for this is the one who tried to help the suffering … to help. The suicide was not in a state of dependence on a psychologist, right? Hence, the psychologist is to blame.
Do you think I'm exaggerating? Not at all. I was prompted to such reflections by urgent news, alarming for the psychological professional community. Although, alas, it is natural, in the trend of abuse.
More than a hundred people were taken to the Sledkom after a special operation in a training company in St. Petersburg. Together with the leadership of the organization engaged in "personal growth of a person", more than a hundred people were taken away from the business center in the Vyborgsky district for interrogation. All of them are under the supervision of the OMON for several hours. As the relatives of the detainees told “Fontanka”, on October 1, they were all in the “XIX CENTURY” business center, at 17 Pirogovskaya embankment, for a three-day training session with the head of “Zeora” Viktor Markelov. At about 11.30, investigators entered the room with riot police. Markelov was taken away first. And the participants in the classes in two bus runs were sent to the Investigation Department of the Frunzensky District … they are all interrogated within the framework of an initiated criminal case under Article 239 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (“Creation of a non-profit organization that infringes upon the personality and rights of citizens”). According to the investigation,the creators of Zeora conducted courses in which they applied techniques and methods to clients that could harm the mental health of citizens. Three years ago, one of the training participants got hit by a train. Her family saw her unhappiness as a result of her training. But the investigation then refused to initiate a criminal case.
Are they waiting for the initiation of a criminal case for three years? And the detention is massive, unprecedented; such investigative actions (one hundred detainees) are not carried out without approval from the top. But the main thing is the wave of information negativity that has already swept through the media. The other day this "hot news" has been broadcast on several federal TV channels. Publications simultaneously in many major media (including Komsomolskaya Pravda and RBK). Anyone who is “in the know” understands that behind this there is a pre-prepared centralized media plan, a political technological approach, an all-Russian action of the “show flogging” format.
And I am personally not worried about the specific criminal case of "Zeora", the investigation and the court will deal with it, just give me a time limit. Most importantly, the information pressure (popularly referred to as "hitting") is directed at a large social group, united on the basis of professional affiliation, in order to incite a negative attitude towards it in society. If this continues, then in the eyes of a significant part of the population the word "psychologist" will sound derogatory, if not at all almost like a verdict of guilt.
Well, yes, by no means all training "gurus" are white and fluffy flawless and blameless, and sometimes financial pyramids or destructive religious sects are hidden under the guise of (pseudo) trainings. But it is unacceptable to cut all trainings “one size fits all”, “bring them out on clean water” and “stigmatize”, use other custom-made propaganda clichés, thereby stirring up aggression in society - it is unacceptable. It is necessary to thoroughly understand each case, avoiding indiscriminate sticking of labels, which in the eyes of public opinion tend to be indelibly associated with social phenomena subjected to massive media pressure. (Do you remember about specific films? Performances? Art exhibitions? Social actions? Public processes? All this is one information field of the berry.)
Corruptors? Oppositionists? Western leaders? Syrian terrorists? Alarmists and economists? All these persons faded into the background in the media field. Now the main media antiheroes are, of course, psychologists. It is their malicious intrigues that threaten the bright future of humanity. New "enemies of the people" - found? Moreover, the association with these is by no means accidental. The persecution of psychologists in our country has a long historical tradition. They began in 1936, with the memorable decree of the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks) initiated by the "father of peoples", which actually slowed down the development of Russian psychology for as much as half a century. If it were not for the persecution of psychologists (as well as the persecution of intellectuals, persecution of people who think independently), the development of society could proceed differently.
Today, the public watches, reads shocking and "revelatory" news and is bewildered: here they are, psychologists! And due to the well-known mechanisms of the psyche, the stereotype of generalization works: all psychologists are like that.
After all, to cover specific events in such a way as to exaggerate "fried facts" and cast a shadow on the representatives of an entire professional group is the same as indiscriminately reproaching them for dishonesty. We already went through all this three years ago, starting with the memorable article in KP: “In St. Petersburg, a housewife threw herself under a train after a personal growth training session. The psychologist who worked with her is the best specialist in suicide prevention."
So what if the presumption of innocence is accepted in modern jurisprudence and what else the creators of Roman law knew: “after that” - after all, does not mean “because of that”. The modern mass audience, suffering from a decrease in criticism, does not understand such subtleties. And the same case becomes the subject of legal proceedings three years later.
Even then, in 2014, I wrote: “Society is being prepared for the next 'witch hunt'. On the pages of federal newspapers, "would-be psychologists" and "psychologists-killers" appear. Soon we will learn from the media that … who is to blame for all today's troubles in our society? Of course, psychologists ((Here he is, the "internal enemy", on whom now you can blame the responsibility for the numerous troubles of public health, education and public safety. And for the fact that people voluntarily leave life. And for the fact that their life is that they voluntarily leave it! If it goes on like this, then the “fires” will definitely be kindled, in droves … not firewood will burn in them, but books - starting with Freud and including modern authors …"
Alas, several years have passed - and the forecast is being realized. Everything is back to square one, and the hype in the media, and social pressure. Earlier we talked about the stigmatization of psychiatric patients, then - the psychologist's clients. Now it's time to talk about the expanded stigmatization - of psychologists themselves, and indeed of representatives of helping professions. In public opinion, they are increasingly trying to portray them as the culprits of various problems - just as in the eyes of psychiatric patients, the attending physicians appear to be the “culprits” of their suffering!
And just as building an alliance with doctors is necessary for the patients suffering from mental ailments themselves, building the right attitude towards the psychologist in society is necessary for society itself to solve its own problems. The antipsychological social trend in our homeland, of course, is convenient for someone and frankly beneficial. And not only to the recently activated “fighters for rights” on behalf of Scientologists. Psychologically ignorant people are easier to manipulate for economic and other purposes. In strict accordance with the classical principles of Chomsky: to distract the masses from real problems, replacing them with far-fetched ones, appealing to emotions instead of logic, offering simple solutions to the latter and keeping people in the dark about their own potentials, misunderstanding of themselves …
That is why it is so important not to turn society against psychologists - but to strive for the social integration of all helping professions, not to destroy the fragile germs of the authority of practical psychologists - but to nurture them. This will help to maintain social stability and prevent social epidemics.
Of course, practical psychology / psychotherapy, counseling, and training activities in our country are still historically young, hence there are many contradictions and unresolved issues associated with them. Authority in the eyes of society must be earned, and psychologists must not declare their usefulness for this, but prove in practice. The way to solving existing problems lies through the integration of all interested representatives of helping professions, their professional self-organization. Today we are faced with the need to unite the psychological community, legislative regulation of the activities of psychologists and psychotherapists. And of course, at the preliminary stage, recalling the precepts of the classic, "before uniting, you need to dissociate yourself", separating the real psychological help,having a scientific basis and representing a demanded and important activity for society, from its imitation.
Systematic work in the direction of such an ordering, social integration is carried out by various public organizations working in the field of psychology / psychotherapy, and the All-Russian Council for Psychotherapy and Psychological Counseling, which unites them, in which all interested professional communities and initiative groups can take part. Initiative and consolidation of efforts, your initiative and your efforts - this is what is needed today for the final formation of practical psychology as a profession in our country.
What to expect next? What is your prediction? Express your opinion. And tell others.