1894. George Stuart Fullerton, The Psychological Standpoint

As you will note in the abstract of George Stuart Fullerton‘s publication below, the issue of psychotherapists having special knowledge v. having a scientific mind, was an argument of the 19th century and earlier.

It is still argued that mental health practitioners who practice psychotherapy from a scientific base rather than acquiring knowledge and expertise from observations in their offices, are more informed about their profession.

You might ask your therapist what they read, what psychological organizations are they affiliated with, what professional journals they subscribe to. If those questions cannot be answered simply, you may have a therapist who leans on their observations, rather than science to treat you. My guess is that you wouldn’t lie beneath the sharp knife of a surgeon who hasn’t read a medical journal in years. Why be treated by a mind specialist who hasn’t read a psychological journal in years? Is it because he or she is warm and fuzzy? Because they know you and care about you? OK.

In addition, how could he/she be practicing within the standard of care if they are not abreast of the current scientific data available in their field? They cannot know much beyond what they teach themselves.


“The Psychological Standpoint”

by George Stuart Fullerton

“The difference between the plain man and the psychologist does not lie in the fact that the latter uses any method peculiar to himself, esoteric and above the comprehension of the unlearned. It is amply a case of the difference everywhere found between the scientific and the unscientific, the man who applies methods carefully and seeks accurate and exhaustive knowledge of a subject, and the man who feels his way blindly, going only so far as he is impelled to go by immediate practical needs.”

Psychological Review, 1894, Vol. 1, (2) (Mar).

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