The Modern Family
“The modern middle-class family still feels that its justification has to be derived from what it produces, but the only thing it produces now are children. Their perfection should justify the labors if not the very existence of the family. ...Perhaps we were all better off when children were seen as a gift of God, however they turned out, and not something, the high quality of which provides justification of our family.”
- Child psychologist Bruno Bettelheim, in his essay “Why Youth is in Revolt.”
The false diagnosis of children
“As a result of organizing a group of parents of late-talking children back in 1993, I encountered many stories of emotional devastation that these parents went through because their children were diagnosed as autistic--diagnoses which the passing years have shown to be false more often than not. ...Many of the treatments inflicted on children diagnosed as autistic would be called child abuse if they were not done as medical procedures, and they can set back or distort a child's development.”
- Thomas Sowell, senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, speaking in the Maui News (11-19-07).
“There are many ways of coping with tragedies. One of the less promising, and often dangerous, ways is to launch a crusade. Crusades may be emotionally satisfying, politically popular and welcomed by the media. But crusaders are not known for caution, for weighing evidence or for counting the costs, which may extend well beyond the cost in money. ...Most crusaders...seem unwilling to consider the possibility of errors, much less the consequences of those errors.”
- Thomas Sowell, senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, speaking in the Maui News (11-19-07)
“Children's thirst for their fathers can never be slaked, no matter how bottomless and brimming the vessel. I have abandoned my children a thousand times; failed them, left their care and comfort to others, wandered in by telephone or e-mail from the void of a life on the road, issued arbitrary and contradictory commands from my mountaintop when all that was wanted was a place on my lap, absented myself from their bedtime routine on a night when they needed me more than usual, forestalled, deferred, or neglected their needs in the name of something I told myself merited the sacrifice.”
- Michael Chabon, reflecting on his own parenting after discovering a tendency to hastily judge others, in Details Magazine (Jan. 2009)
The Dangers of Psychotherapy
“What few patients seeking psychotherapy know is that talking can be dangerous, too - and therapists have not exactly rushed to tell them so. ...The failure to heed Hippocrates reflects the assumption that psychotherapy is, at worst, innocuous. That naive trust should have been blown out of the water when ‘recovered memory’ therapy actually created false memories, often of childhood sexual abuse, tearing families apart. But the ‘Handbook of Psychotherapy and Behavior Therapy,’ the clinicians bible, devotes only 2 1/2 pages out of 821 to adverse effects, even though documented risks of therapies could fill a small book. ...What is remarkable about psychotherapies is that few patients have any idea that ‘just talking’ can be dangerous to their mental health.”
- Science writer Sharon Begley, in The Rocky Mountain News.