Medieval medicine in Western Europe was composed of a mixture of existing ideas from antiquity, spiritual influences and what Claude Lévi-Strauss identifies as the “shamanistic complex” and “social consensus.”
In the Early Middle Ages, following the fall of the Western Roman Empire, standard medical knowledge was based chiefly upon surviving Greek and Roman texts, preserved in monasteries and elsewhere. Many simply placed their hopes in the church and God to heal all their sicknesses. Ideas about the origin and cure of disease were not purely secular, but were also based on a world view in which factors such as destiny, sin, and astral influences played as great a part as any physical cause. The efficacy of cures was similarly bound in the beliefs of patient and doctor rather than empirical evidence, so that remedia physicalia (physical remedies) were often subordinate to spiritual intervention.
The underlying principle of medieval medicine was the theory of humours. This was derived from the ancient medical works, and dominated all western medicine until the 19th century. The theory stated that within every individual there were four humours, or principal fluids – black bile, yellow bile, phlegm, and blood, these were produced by various organs in the body, and they had to be in balance for a person to remain healthy. Too much phlegm in the body, for example, caused lung problems; and the body tried to cough up the phlegm to restore a balance. The balance of humours in humans could be achieved by diet, medicines, and by blood-letting, using leeches.
“Bring me the leeches.”
The degree of professional ignorance and incompetence is incredibly profound. Professional psychology should be ashamed of itself.
“The patient’s humours are clearly out of balance. There is too much phlegm. We must balance the patient’s humours to restore good health. Bring me the leeches, we must bleed the patient.”
There is no such thing as “reunification therapy.” Nowhere in any of the professional literature is there a defined model for what “reunification therapy” entails. No theorist. No description. Nothing. Nowhere. They are just making stuff up – completely making stuff up. Any mental health professional who says they do “reunification therapy” is selling snake oil. Who knows what’s in the bottle of elixir they’re selling.
There is no such thing as “reunification therapy.” It doesn’t exist.
“Bring me the leeches.”
There are NO studies – not one – demonstrating the validity of the conclusions and recommendations of child custody evaluations. Child custody evaluations spend extensive amounts of time collecting data and writing reports, but when it comes to interpreting what the data means – they just make it up. Really. They just make it up. Whatever they feel like.
“The patient has too much black bile which is causing the patient to be overly melancholic. Bring me the leeches.”
Seriously, it’s that bad.
I continually receive requests from targeted parents for help.
“What can I do? Do you know any therapists in wherever?”
I’m sorry, but as long as our mental health professionals are “diagnosing” an imbalance in humours, there is no hope whatsover.
It’s like going to a physician and being diagnosed with diabetes and being treated with insulin. The problem is… what the patient actually has is cancer. So the patient is treated with insulin and dies from the undiagnosed and untreated cancer.
That’s the state of our current mental health response to the family pathology traditionally called “parental alienation.”
But it’s even worse than that, because instead of receiving an even remotely accurate diagnosis and possibly effective treatment, the patient is actually diagnosed with an imbalance in their humours and is treated with leeches. Oh my God. I am astounded by the degree of professional ignorance and incompetence.
Because of the profound degree of professional ignorance – “bring me the leeches” – the patient is left to educate the professional. Targeted parents must EDUCATE the mental health professional regarding the nature of the pathology. Oh my God. What sort of upside-down world is that?
Imagine going to a physician with symptoms of a disease and having to EDUCATE the physician regarding the nature of the disease you have. That’s absurd. Yet that’s exactly the situation targeted parents face. Because the degree of professional ignorance is so incredibly profound, the patient has no choice but to try to educate the professional. Bizarre. Truly bizarre.
Imagine going to an architect and having to instruct the architect on the intricacies of load-bearing structures and blueprint design.
Imagine going to an attorney and having to instruct the attorney in the nature, precedent, and interpretations of the law.
Imagine going to a cardiac surgeon and having to instruct the surgeon on the nature of the circulatory system and then educate the surgeon on surgical procedures.
Imagine having to instruct the mental health professional regarding the nature of the mental health pathology and its treatment.
Bizarre. Truly bizarre. Professional psychology should be ashamed of itself.
The current state of professional psychology with regard to the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of the family pathology traditionally called “parental alienation” is absolutely medieval. Bring me the leeches.
Craig Childress, Psy.D.
Clinical Psychologist, PSY 18857