Will on Therapism

Nobody beats George Will when he's disgusted. His target today is "therapism," the notion that just about nobody is psychologically qualified to handle life's ups 'n' downs on his own.

Observes Will:

Vast numbers of credentialed – that is not a synonym for "competent" – members of the "caring professions" have a professional stake in the myth that most people are too fragile to cope with life's vicissitudes and traumas without professional help.

So there's a decent about of money at stake in promoting said notion; the media aren't particularly skeptical about it. The results are predictable, ranging from amusing (teachers using purple pens instead of red, to avoid stressing their students) to outrageous ("[A] study released in 1990 claimed that half of Vietnam veterans suffered from some [post-traumatic stress disorders] – even though only 15 percent of Vietnam veterans had served in combat units.")

UPDATE: Once you've read Will, Joel Achenbach has a response you might want to check.


Last Modified 2012-10-26 4:47 PM EST