Friday, August 05, 2005

Beverly Eakman On Psych-Based Education

This great article can be read in its entirety at http://www.newswithviews.com/Eakman/beverly31.htm

In the article, Eakman talks about the "brouhaha surrounding actor Tom Cruise and his Hollywood colleague, Brooke Shields, regarding their respective views on antidepressant drugs."

"Inevitably," she says, "psychotherapies in general became intertwined with the topic of mind-altering substances -- and so did Scientology, the bĂȘte noire of the psychiatric profession."

Eakman clarifies that she is not a Scientologist. She sayst that until Scientology’s spin-off organization, the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, contacted her in 1996 concerning two of her books on education, she had only heard of it in passing and had never heard of CCHR.

She had, however, independently discovered that psych-based education was ruining the school system. In fact, she says it is why she quit her job as a teacher. "Long ago and quite independently, I had come to certain conclusions, the primary one being that psychology had compromised the educating process. That was why I left the teaching profession. The new emphasis on emotions meant that academics took a back seat. It inaugurated what I felt was a phony and counterproductive self-esteem movement. Finally, psychologized education brought in a counseling industry that undermined the moral authority of adults, with the consequence that teachers were handling little 'mob-ocracies' instead of kiddy cliques."

"With the arrival of the counselor-therapist," she says, "I got the sinking feeling that psychology in schools was 'morphing' into something more ominous: psychotherapy and drugs were replacing the discipline and character-building functions that had been the staples of education and childrearing."

Her suspicions were confirmed by the time reports started appearing, in the late 1980s, alleging that schools were intimidating parents into putting their children on psychiatric drugs.

She says, "Not only was real, scientific research on learning methods being scuttled, but I couldn’t find any hard, statistical validity behind the claims for psychiatric drugs that were being prescribed for behavioral problems. Eventually, renowned experts in government and on the boards of major pharmaceutical companies were blowing the whistle on unreported side-effects, unsubstantiated claims, and outright fraud -- and they weren’t Scientologists. Experts and authors like Drs. Peter Breggin, David Healy, Charles Medawar, and (more recently) former Pennsylvania Inspector General Allen Jones were, in many cases, actually hostile toward Scientology.

"Today, reports that many antidepressants have no more effect than a placebo are ubiquitous. Which brings up the question: Is the aggressive marketing of psychotropic drugs creating a market based on the power of suggestion?"

She says she takes most of what Hollywood stars say "with a grain of salt," and that Tom Cruise’s June 24th interview on NBC’s “Today Show” may not have been the most articulate discussion about drugs or that whole field technically known as “behavioral science.” She says Mr. Cruise was particularly blasted for suggesting that vitamins and exercise could serve as solutions for emotional and mental problems.

"But we must remember," she goes on, "that such interviews revolve around sound bites. That’s all television journalists really want: short sentences that explain little but are easily merged into a 7-minute topic segment that TV executives believe will keep viewers keep from changing channels. Hollywood’s stars know whatever they say must be condensed down to a sentence.
Experts increasingly are learning how to do that, too."

Her indictment is scathing. She says, "The fact is, there is nothing in the medical, scientific literature that confirms objective abnormality (“objective abnormality” equates to disease) in Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Conduct Disorder (CD), Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), Post-partum Depression, “math disorder” or hundreds of other “diseases” that psychiatrists swear up and down are “biological.” If they were biological, scientists would be able to see evidence in blood workups, x-rays, urinalyses, taps of spinal fluid, or something. But they can’t. No one knows, for example, how much serotonin (the chemical associated with depression) is normal, or how much is too much or not enough. But medical doctors can tell for sure if you have a vitamin deficiency, and they can tell you which vitamin, too. Vitamin deficiencies, allergies and sedentary lifestyles frequently do contribute adversely to mental function."

This is a former educator and a very articulate writer who sees the insanity being perpetrated on our school system by psychiatrists, psychologists and psych-based education.

The article is worth the read.

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