The Dawkter's Wife - It's all champagne and caviar now … dahling

Adventure Log

January 16, 2013

Week 2

Psychopathology: It seems like we’re slowly all kind of getting into the groove of being classmates and friends again.  I connected with a small group before class and we all caught up on the latest in our lives.

We started our causal romp through the first 135 pages of the DSM-IV, discussing our way through pervasive developmental disorders and ADD.  Before we set out on our journey through the various mental health problems that people struggle with, I did learn a little more about the validity and reliability of the DSM diagnoses.  Though reliability and validity do not approximate zero, as suggested by our Counseling Theories professor, they are pretty poor.  It appears that the DSM-IV TR, though our best effort to date, isn’t that good at identifying underlying pathology.  You can literally present a case vignette through videotape to various clinicians and get multiple different diagnoses.  This is discouraging if you consider the importance of trying to understand the process that is causing suffering in an individual.  Does it lend credence to the Dodo theory?  I don’t know.

I had yet another argument with my Counseling Theories instructor as class got underway.  I had printed out the recommended articles that she had written down for us to read and found myself asking how she would address current research in neuroscience (fmri studies which indicate changes in the brains of OCD patients after cognitive behavioral therapy) or comparative studies and meta-analyses which refute the dodo hypothesis.

I know.  I was telling myself to shut up in my head the whole time I was talking.

I have found myself with limited motivation when it comes to actual studying and homework assignments.  Our counseling theories prof. is a feminist who has put together a cornucopia of writing assignments … which all must be presented from a feminist/multicultural perspective.  For example, we are supposed to look at a therapeutic approach.  I would like to choose cognitive behavioral therapy.  Then we’re supposed to select a tv personality and apply our approach to this individual.  Sheldon from Big Bang Theory?  That sounds fun.  I’m ready to start writing it … except … then we have to apply all of this from the perspective of a feminist (which basically means from an understanding of oppression in any form).  That’s where I just get lost and start fighting with all of this in my head.  As an FYI to myself, that’s just counterproductive.  I certainly consider myself to have some feminist beliefs.  I’m all about helping the oppressed.  Why the hell does this bother me so much as an assignment then?  I have no idea.

Avoiding getting started on the assignment isn’t going to be helpful to me though.  I’m going to have to quickly figure out why this professor’s approach bothers me so much so that I can get organized enough to get with the program and start getting things done!

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