Colonial Psychology- Mad in America

Around the Web, from Psychology Today: “Psychological theory, research and practice have been increasingly criticized for their narrow perspective and biases, many of which are reflective of WEIRD culture (Western, educated, industrialized, rich, democratic [sic]; Henrich et al., 2010). There are alternative approaches to psychology.

In his new book, A New Psychology Based on Community, Equality, and Care of the Earth, Arthur Blume (2020) provides both a critique and an alternative psychology, based on how psychology has been practiced for thousands of years by Indigenous/First Nation communities. Blume contrasts the premises of Indigenous psychology with what he calls colonial psychology.

Colonial Psychology

The field of psychology was founded by White males and continues to be dominated by people who are descendants of White Europeans. Only 0.1% of American Psychological Association membership is American Indian/Alaska Native. From the beginning the field tried to establish itself as a science, but not the kind of science Native Peoples practice.

Blume identifies several perspectives of the ‘colonial’ worldview he considers myths because they are contrary to the longstanding psychologies of Native Peoples.

Blume calls nature ‘creation,’ to ‘grant it the respect it deserves as the entity from which we derive our existences’ (pp. 4-5).

Here are key constructs within the field of ‘colonial’ psychology. Note that it can be difficult to recognize one’s own cultural assumptions unless one is immersed in a contrary culture. Again, these are contrary to Indigenous psychology.

— Creation must be improved.

— The individual self is central.

— Life is compartmentalized.

— Ownership is possible and desirable.

— Time is bounded.

— Existence is hierarchical.“

Kim Saeed; Outdated Narcissist Freud Information

The concept of narcissism as a defense mechanism is a sorely outdated theory that was first developed by psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud in 1914. He proposed that people use narcissism as a defense mechanism to protect themselves from feelings of inferiority, shame, and low self-esteem. Freud believed that people with narcissistic personality disorder have an excessive need for admiration and an inflated sense of their own importance (basic, vague).

Many of Freud’s theories were either proven wrong or received great criticism from his peers. Freud largely worked with people who were mentally ill. Further, his ideas, which were highly subjective, were born from his obsession with sex.

Here is a sampling of ideas from Sigmund Freud that have been proven false:

  1. The Oedipus Complex: Freud suggested that all boys went through a stage in which they had sexual desires for their mothers and wanted to kill their fathers. This was later disproven.
  2. Psychosexual Development: Freud proposed that our development is determined by the sexual desires of our childhood, but this has been disproven by research.
  3. Unconscious Desires: Freud believed that most of our behavior was determined by unconscious desires, but this has been disproven by research.
  4. Penis Envy: Freud suggested that girls had an unconscious desire to have a penis, which has been disproven.
  5. The Death Drive: Freud suggested that we have a drive towards death, but this has been disproven by research.

Yet, the field of mental health is founded largely on these archaic Freudian ideas, which are doing immense damage in the world and coddling abusive personalities.

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