- "A Society of Victims" (2006)
- "Will psychiatrists have the sense to realize that by medicalizing the human response to stressful situations, they have created a culture of trauma and thus undermined the general capacity to resist trauma?" (fonte-imperdibile)
Come invito alla lettura dell'originale, riportiamo di seguito alcuni passaggi del saggio di Paul Lutus: [una traduzione in italiano da parte di un benevolo lettore sarebbe certamente gradita e pubblicata]
- Psychology's Fashion Pendulum - Clinical psychology plays a central role in cultivating professional victims. Because clinical psychology is not a science (for reasons explained here), it has instead become a sort of opinion pendulum, swinging in step with popular fashions and beliefs. (...) But of all the factors working to change psychology's outlook, none is more important than some widespread changes in society outside the clinic doors. From a baseline attitude that individuals must accept individual responsibility for their actions, an idea that has been gradually eroding away in modern times, we are on the cusp of declaring everyone a victim of something — parents, society, genes, acts of God — and any throwbacks presuming to hold individuals responsible for their own fates and actions are accused of "blaming the victim," an inspired phrase and one perfectly in tune with modern times.
- An Age of Victimhood - Continuing the pendulum metaphor and its present swing away from holding people accountable for their personal circumstances, the notion that everyone is a victim seems to have reached its extreme in the 1990s, a time during which a number of dubious practices were accepted, even temporarily in courts of law. One example was "recovered memory therapy," the idea that people might have memories, entirely suppressed, of terrible crimes that had been committed against them, typically when they were children. In phase one of this practice, a therapist would encourage recall of these memories, the client would recall horrible crimes, and the accused parties would go to jail. In phase two, the client would realize she (these individuals are almost always women) had been taken in, the jailed parties would be released, and the therapist would be sued by the falsely accused, sometimes also by the client. The advantages to this arrangement should be obvious — the client would be able to claim victim status twice: first by the childhood evildoers, then by the therapist. (...)
- Successful Failures - If we lived in a time when personal accountability and responsibility were held in high regard, a time during which choosing victimhood from a list of social options would seem utterly stupid, it would suffice to say that successful people aren't victims. But those are not the times we live in, and to some people, perpetual victimhood of one kind or another actually seems an attractive option. (...)
- Avoiding the Victim Trap - Obviously there are some people for whom a lifelong posture of victimhood is not a choice, but I think there are many for whom it is a conscious choice. For those people I suggest they consider the possibility that clinical psychology may make their condition worse, as it did in the examples listed earlier. This prospect can be made worse yet by the passivity and suggestibility that is typical of those disposed to fall into the victim trap. (...)
E la fulminante chiusura:
- In the final analysis, professional victims like to think of themselves as pure and blameless, but when they teach victimization to others, the students really are being victimized — by their teacher. That is an optional victimization, and the most creative thing the students can do is refuse to accept the description. Think how easy it would have been for Mahatma Gandhi, or Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (who studied Gandhi's credo of non-violence and put it into practice), to think of themselves as victims while they were being beaten up by their ignorant opponents. Think how easy it would have been for them, or any of their followers, to strike back in a fit of self-righteous victim rage. But they didn't, and consequently they won the good fight. They won because they refused to accept that they were victims. Each of us owes Gandhi, and Doctor King, and many other like-minded thinkers, a debt of gratitude for the behavior they modeled, and the results they achieved. For the purposes of this article, I ask that you meditate on the lives of these people, and think, "They were not victims." And you are not a victim.
P.S. in tema, segnalo due recenti vicende:
- il milione di euro di risercimenti richiesto dai genitori di nove dei bambini dell'asilo di Casarile, per risarcimento dei presunti maltrattamenti subiti dalle maestre indagate. Il grido del loro legale: «qualunque cifra dell’eventuale risarcimento non potrà ripagare la sofferenza dei genitori, che si fidavano di quelle persone»;
- la bambina non violentata dal branco a Grottaglie, con contorno dei soliti "esperti" psicologi e i loro disegni immancabilmente "inequivocabili", nonché della non-madre-di-una-vittima che adesso rischia grosso [via l'interessante blog Abusologi: "Bambina cade dalla bicicletta: intervengono gli abusologi e diventa uno stupro"]
P.P.S. ancora in tema, a novembre l'Università Cattolica di Milano chiama a convegno alcuni nomi importanti della traumatologia e della vittimologia (mancano però Richard McNally e Ben Shephard, peccato) per la proposta "Dal disturbo post-traumatico semplice al disturbo post-traumatico complesso". I vocaboli sono importanti, e così forse potremo iniziare a chiamare vittime tante altre persone che fino a ieri magari non sapevano ancora di esserlo, riducendo la complessità della loro vicenda ad una etichetta molto semplice: "PTSD complesso".