Brad Peters, Psychologist
I am a writer, presenter, professor, and a Halifax Psychologist working in private clinical practice. This website serves an ongoing writing project and as one of my intellectual outlets. What’s it about? Read on.
What does it mean to be a human-being in these modern times? … In an age of globalization that spreads Western ideals based on capitalistic values, consumer driven desires, individualism, competition, and the specious assurance of ‘progress.’ We are taught to be unquestionably future oriented and easily distractible… looking toward a tomorrow that will promise what we call achievement, success, and ‘happiness.’ These tacit values seep into nearly every aspect of human life, affecting our perceptions of self-worth, our sense of purpose and meaning, and even our definition of what it means to live a ‘good life.’ In this kind of environment it becomes exceedingly difficult to separate truth from illusion.
Clinical psychology will sometimes work to deconstruct human myths and illusions if they are deemed unhealthy or maladaptive. But our training programs also tend to subscribe to cultural values that place psychopathology on the level of the individual… which may keep us blind to forms of cultural sickness. Though it is often implicit, psychologists are arguably trained in such a way that their role becomes one where they seek to help people develop themselves within the constraints of Western definitions of success, productivity, and happiness. We risk becoming co-conspirators of Western modernity… fulfilling consumerist demands for quick fixes and instant cures, while unknowingly assisting our patients to carry on in their lives with a minimal level of functioning, and often without need for deeper self-exploration, challenging personal growth, and greater awareness of their place in the world. The great existential-humanist (and therapist) Rollo May certainly had many of these concerns.
This website serves two main purposes. The first is to provide a forum for thoughtful critique on what I will call human myth or illusion, both at the individual and societal level. I believe that a workable definition of mental health can involve an individual and a society living with as much reality as it can bear. This allows us to more flexibility act, think, and feel, in ways uninhibited by illusions that otherwise restrict us. The second purpose of this website involves a grassroots call to action. It is a pleading for other psychologists and related professionals to ask more from themselves and their profession. It is a call for them to see through and challenge, when necessary, individual diagnostic labels, cherished theoretical assumptions and paradigms, cultural myths, and restricting illusions. It is a challenge for academics and mental health care professionals to ask difficult questions of our patients and our cultures… to become larger advocates for humanity in an age of insanity.
Email correspondence: firstname.lastname@example.org