Don’t be a hater!!
If there is any statement to find positive psychology in general, it’s got to be this one.
Why do we have to focus on the problem? Let’s focus on the solution!!
Now, I am not saying that I hate positive psychology. I’m not even saying that it’s wrong or incorrect. I like and use the tools that it provides. But I am in this post going to point out some philosophical inconsistencies about it.
Does it work? Yes, it can work. I think the issue with any sort of approach to mental health is that it might approach mental health as this monolithic item, most often based in empirical science, which then promotes itself as a kind of cure-all, since, it is viewing any sort of mental health element against its “positivity”.
For one, the ideal approach of problem and solution toward mental health is often a false polemic.
The issue that I have with this positivity is that it promotes a reductive and exclusionary stance upon mental health issues. In this it is not much different than any other theory of psychology and mental health. Sure, it can work depending on the situation. But it doesn’t promote itself that way. It promotes itself as if it’s a solution to all mental health issues regardless of conditions.
This way of promoting psychological and mental health theory, to my mind, is pure capitalism. Pure idealism based in the notion that “greed is good”, for an 80s mantra. It is the idea that because capitalism is real and it’s so prevalent, because capitalism is the de facto economic system of the world, then we should not set it aside. Indeed the positivity is that capitalism is the essence of what is actually true for the lives that we have to live, and that promotion, marketing, theory based on goodness, for a term, is good. Basically that I want all the goodness that I can have and that it it is good regardless of conditions, and so conditions should be ignored, we should focus on the good, and we should be greedy of the good.
The idea of positivist psychology is that we need to get rid of what is negative about our thinking. Here, thinking it’s taken as a given and there is no critical approach to what it is that actually thought might be except that it arises out of an ideological empirical reality called the physical brain.
So, yes. For certain people Who have mental health issues, within particular conditions to those particular people, such reductive approach can be very helpful.
For example, the very reductive cognitive version of a positive psychological approach, to put it very simply example, if I think that I’m no good, then we need to work on replacing those thoughts with I am good. As well, we need to attack those negative thoughts. We need to get rid of them. It seems very sensible, it seems very logical, and indeed for the people that suffer from such negativity, it seems like a good thing, a good approach.
The problem as I see it is that for probably more than half of the people that suffer from that kind of depression or negativity, this positive psychology doesn’t work. It might help, I have found that people for the most part say that it helps a little bit, but overall it doesn’t really help their condition. So, yes, my pain is reduced, but I’m still in chronic pain and I can hardly function, to put a head on it so my issue with such approaches, even though I think they can do good and they can help in many many areas, is that people who practice psychology well then continue to berate the individual with the approach, because they see it as mapping all possibility of mental health. .
And this is not only in the theory of positive psychology. I’m just using this off of my last post where and I mentioned positive psychology.
And PS: sure, my statistic of “half“ is probably not very scientific. But I would submit that any study that positive psychologists would want to give me likewise are perpetually skewed and inherently biased, despite their scientific approach.
For, as I’ve said here and there, My main concern is the exception. I’m not trying to run a marathon, nor am I looking at Health through the lens of whether or not someone is able to run a marathon. Sure, I can help people if that’s what they want to do. But I’m not imposing upon them as an assumption, as though they should assume and see themselves in the light of being able to run a marathon hello.