Re: DSM: Cult-school comparison

Robert Swanson (
Wed, 13 Dec 2000 01:09:42 -0800

I'm glad I have not experienced counseling from a coercive counselor. I
would not choose to go there. If you are referring to people locked in an
institution, I am glad that is not me. In any case, that is not the
"counseling" I was referring to. I presented that aspect of counseling that
I see as beautiful and worth emulating.

Astrology is "prediction of events by the stars" (Franklin Dictionary). That
is exactly how I intended its use.

Departing from the model? Is the model intended to be static within the
parameters established over the last thirty years? Then, yes, I am proposing
a change. The model should not be static but based in intelligent growth.
Assumptions that my ideas imply coercion are unfounded and erroneous. What
fear is this that is being projected on me? I am guessing that "knowing
thyself" and stepping into new paradigms is a scary thing. My main point is
that adults (parents and staff) can take responsibility for affecting the
milieu in all their actions or non-action. And it would be interesting if
people, via the JC, decided to enforce this. My main point concerning
students is that they have profound potential, undreamed of potential
realized in the context of a congruent sense of self. The status quo does
not model this congruency.

Again, it is a terrible wast of energy to turn these discussions into
personal attacks. We all can find interesting intelligent products of heart
to add here. Of what use is hateful emotionalism?


on 12/12/00 6:16 AM, at wrote:

> Suffice it to say that:
> 1) with many (around 20, last I counted) 'schools' of counseling out there
> based on as many schools of psychology, promoting 'counseling' in general as
> a model for *anything* is hopelessly vague. On the specifics, most schools of
> psychology (from a way high-level dabbler POV here) have specific problems
> when related to the Sudbury model - specifically, coercion and denigrating
> the person's experience in favor of the counselor's expectations, among other
> things. From a critical-thinking POV, it is good to remember that one man's
> subjective enlightenment is another man's objective hogwash.
> 2) Astrology? I feel, as I often do when reading your posts, that you are
> using common words in ways that defy understanding. True, sometimes really
> new thoughts will require a new vocabulary, but, out of kindness, could we
> try here to put things in words used in as close to their commonly understood
> meanings as possible, or, failing that, to at least point out that we're not
> using them that way? That would aid my understanding and ease my frustrations
> with these posts.
> Finally, I agree with the sentiments expressed by others on this list - once
> you have a specific measurable outcome in mind for the students, one that
> you'd take concrete steps to ensure, you're no longer talking about the
> Sudbury model. This is not to say you can't have a different model if you
> want, but just recognize that it is different.
> Joseph Moore
> In a message dated 12/12/00 12:53:24 AM Pacific Standard Time,
> writes:
>> A paradigm-cult for school--counseling:
>> A cult is people using beliefs and rituals that are not mainstream. So,
> what
>> would a self-enhancing cult be (one that improves the individual)?
>> How about counseling? The beliefs and rituals of counseling are not
>> mainstream. It is an arena where it is okay to openly, honestly express
>> feelings. It is okay to dig deep within for the truth. Chit chat, denial,
>> and projection are considered a waste of time if not overt lack of
> wellness.
>> Counseling, by the measures in the last message below, is a great cult.
>> People are informed of the terms of their relationship up front. No one is
>> harassed for making decisions in behalf of themselves. Kindness and
> equality
>> are landmark virtues. People are to be respected and heard if not obeyed.
>> Specifically supported are: being in touch with your feelings, having the
>> ability to think analytically, questioning, looking at issues from multiple
>> perspectives, and having control of one's behavior.
>> Gosh, I wish everyone would sign up with a counselor. In contrast, most
>> everything about our lives is selfeffacing.
>> Mysticism is a reference to the spiritual or to the mysterious. What was it
>> Einstein said, either one must believe everything is an accident or that
>> everything is a miracle. Spirituality is the possibility that the eyes do
>> not see everything. Only the religion of arrogance would reject this. And
>> science, science delves into the mystery. Mystery stirs us to the core. How
>> wonderful is the mysterious! Here is a mystery for us all, the scientific
>> statistical odds are trillions to one in favor of the idea that our space
>> program has governed the timing of its rocket science according to the
>> position of stars and planets -- I'm talking about astrology, not
> astronomy!
>> (See, 11/8/99)
>> I wouldn't throw out the baby with the bath water just yet.

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