Critique of the Therapeutic Industrial Complex (TIC) by way of Christianity

A lot of critiques one levies against Christianity can be levied just as strongly against the therapeutic industrial complex (TIC).

Both are disingenuous about authority.  In Christianity this takes the form of denying the faith is in fact a religion and making people think their opinions actually come from God and not religious authorities (that’s why they’re fine with people being attuned to the voice of God so long as it doesn’t go against their teachings).  With the TIC therapists claim to be facilitating one’s own decision making process when they suggest things (the therapist I have to see told me to quit my job, which would have been bad had I done it).  The problem is in order for therapy to work one must trust in the authority of the therapist (for example sleep therapy where the therapists told the patients not to have such anxious thoughts about going to sleep).  One of the austerity measures in Britain was to force people on the disability roles to see therapists that would presumably tell them to get a job.  This brings up another thread where the dynamic of the doctor patient relationship changes depending on who is footing the bill (so an upper middle class professional seeing a therapist on private insurance might use a therapist as a sounding board only where someone lower down will be more controlled by them).

Both include thought crimes.  In Christianity this is obvious borne from Jesus’s teachings on lust and anger.  The negativity bitterness is met with also seems to indicate Christians are culpable for their emotions as well.  Things aren’t any better in the TIC.  Sexuality is left alone much more in the TIC but other thoughts get banned.  You enter the tyranny of self-esteem.  Feeling bad about yourself (even if it’s warranted though reasons grounded in anthropology and common sense) is off limits.  And to continue to do so just brings more guilt.  Negative thoughts are almost always seen as bad even though they are often accurate and ground a person in reality.  Treatments try to get deep inside your head and are really invasive with your thought processes with the promise of making you “healthy”.  But often, like a half done house, these mechanics applied poorly are worse than them not being applied at all.  People who can’t play the cognitive tricks needed to succeed in therapy are guilted the same way Christians who don’t experience God are (both require a brain way beyond mine).

Both have an unrealistic expectation for purity.  In Christianity this is obvious, there is an emphasis on sinful things and not being good enough.  In the TIC “unhealthy” replaces sinful as the term to stay away from though they are much less direct about this.  The TIC tends to assume one has the material, social, and emotional resources to live a successful hyper individualistic life and if one happens to fall short of this they aren’t healthy.  They demonize neediness because that implies dependence which is something to stay away from (plus a lot of people would see therapists less if they had good friends).  People of lower means often don’t have access to “healthy relationships”, simply because people who the TIC deems healthy generally don’t associate with people the TIC does not.  Like God’s perfection, being what the TIC calls healthy is an impossible goal only available to a small portion of the population.

Both pretend to care about you when all they want to do is control you.  I understand there are caring therapists and caring people in the faith but these are a minority.  Most people want to exploit and control you, it’s just that in some professions they have to do so while playing lip service to having concern for you.  Remember that the religious people who tell you to take your experience of God seriously won’t be there to pay the mental hospital bills when you do.  And therapists are not bound to what their work produces the way engineers are.  If a bridge fails an engineer will often suffer the consequences.  If a therapist ruins a life no one bats an eye.  In fact because patient confidentiality and the itinerant nature of that kind of care they more often than not will never know.

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