Fun and Games for Psychologists
In the discussion of assessment that I posted on July 16, 2013 – which I believe is well worth reading if you haven’t been following this blog since its inception – I neglected to mention that much of it was taken from a paper that Steve Bernstein and I prepared for presentation at a Canadian Psychological Association meeting in Vancouver many years ago.
Another long-age fun presentation was a talk that a colleague and I gave on schizophrenic speech about twenty-five years ago. It began with normal, everday language and gradually became more schizophrenic as the presentation progressed. What fun!
My oldest grandchild collects clip-on buttons with cute saying on them. In rummaging around to see if I had any that might be of interest to her, I ran across one that read, “I love Polymorphous Perversity.” Polymorphous Perversity was a journal that used to be published (and maybe still is, for all I know).
I think that I told you before that psychologists are devils – Freud being one of our better examples for suggestiong that people are motivated by sex. There was a time – before Hitler, etc, etc. – when Aleister Crowley had the reputation of being “the wickedest man in the world,” partly for his dictem, “And it hurt no one, do what you will.” According to topdocumentaryfilms.com, he was bisexually promiscuous and vocally defiant against both Christianity and Victorian and post-Victorian prudishness, as well as being a recreational drug experimenter who believed in gaining self-knowledge, seeking out one’s ultimate purpose in life, and uniting with the larger universe. How wicked can you get?!
It is the qualifier, “And it hurt no one,” that is the kicker. For many years, I worked with sex offenders, and the main issue, aside from their sexual attraction to children, was their failure to understand the harm that they were doing. In contrast, psychologists are expected to be more aware of the consequences of their actions, more aware of cause and effect. But most psychologists would subscribe to the belief that many of society’s taboos have little rational basis and, in the absence of reason to the contrary, you might as well “do what you will.” Sometimes we err, as in the example which Doug cited, and another one in which I participated: There was a time when we shaped a waitress/stripper in a dingy bar in Detroit into taking off more clothes than she had attended. I remember that particular piece of perversity because she had been tucking her tips into her bra and, when she took it off, the money fell onto the floor. Just imagine patrons crawling around on the floor trying to pick up the money that had fallen. Oh, sick, sick, sick!
But my favorite of all time was a paper that I presented at a meeting of the Clinical Division of the Ontario Psychological Association at a convention in Toronto many years ago. It was entitled “Women’s Lib, Witchcraft, and Sex” and, when it was finished, you could have heard a pin drop. They had no idea what to make of it, and I trust that you won’t, either. Nevertheless, I will serialize it for you over the next few postings.
Fun and Games for Psychologists