Archive for the ‘social psychology’ Tag

I’M HAPPY FOR THE ATTENTION PAID TO MENTAL HEALTH, BUT…   2 comments

The latest thing in “explaining” mass shootings is to focus on the shooter’s mental health. All good and well. Why wouldn’t this Psychologist be happy to know people’s mental health is gaining in focus and purpose?

But this Social Psychologist doesn’t like the way it’s being used to avoid the more basic horror – the cultural grounding in which poor mental health is being fostered. What sensible, alive, and aware person doesn’t carry a substratum ache of empathy, concern, and fear in this world of cruelty, killing, and destruction. It almost seems like a mark of emotional health to be disturbed. No, I don’t like the implication that the cause lies in an individual’s deviation from the norm. On the contrary, the cause lies in the culture that fosters the human potential for evil.

Will we ever get around to looking at the painful, destructive inequities in childcare, education, financial status, health care, gender acceptance, respect, and expectations for individual accomplishment (not necessarily measured by financial wealth)? What did I leave out?

It could be done. We could create a culture based on encouraging personal growth, self-confidence, gratitude, appreciation, cognitive competence, kindness, personal value – dare I say love?  But that would require reducing the “blame the other” emphasis implied in the focus on individual mental health and looking instead at our own responsibility as part of a culture. As it is, I’m afraid we have adopted “mental health” as a way to avoid looking at our own selves.

Please notice, I haven’t used the words “mental illness.” That’s a related but different story.

I’M SEEKING REVIEWS FOR “IT SUCKS: I WANT TO LIVE” WHERE NICK SPOONER CHRONICLED THE LAST TWO MONTHS OF HIS LIFE.   Leave a comment

This little 100 page book was Intended as a memorial to a good man who died too young two months after his diagnosis of glioblastoma multiforme. But this collection of his Facebook entries during that period has become so much more as his struggles and the person he created reach out from the pages along with testimonies and revelations from family and friends about his own gender trials and acceptance.

Today I’m addressing folks like those who teach courses in death and dying, gender issues, personality, social, and developmental psychology, social work, or who work with the terminally ill in settings such as chaplains, Hospice, nursing homes, or hospitals.

The title, IT SUCKS, comes from the last words on Nick’s Facebook page.

At this point I would appreciate reviews, especially those I might quote on the back of the book or in its initial presentation. Given the COVID-19 restraints there will probably not be the book launch I had hoped for at one of his favorite places in Shakopee, Minnesota: Wampach’s restaurant, Turtles Bar and Grill, Pullman’s Club or Babe’s. I’ll just have to find more creative ways, beginning with responses from you or folks to whom you forward this request.

If you are interested in receiving a galley copy for review, please e-mail me a request along with a quick note about your occupation and how you might use the book. Please put “request a galley copy” in the subject line to forgivenessoptions@earthlink.net

And, of course, you are welcome to make a comment right here.

%d bloggers like this: