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In the 1966 book, The Practice of Psychotherapy, renowned individualist psychologist Carl Jung identifies a fundamental connection between philosophy and psychology. He states, “I can hardly draw a veil over the fact that we psychotherapists ought really to be philosophers.” (Jung, 1966).

Jung goes on to argue that an individual’s cognition and behavior (psychology) are deeply connected to their understanding of the world, their interpretation of the meaning of life, and their system of values (philosophy). …


“Psychiatrist Thomas Szasz has argued that having diagnoses based upon patterns of behavior is completely arbitrary because what represents a sexual “problem” for one individual may be a desired outcome for another person. Thus, the whole notion of sexual “dysfunction” is a social creation in his view” (Lehmiller, 2017).

A Theory of Modern Psychiatric Mythology

Thomas Szasz (1920–2012) has drawn plenty of criticism over the years for his views. In his 1961 book The Myth of Mental Illness, Szasz takes a libertarian approach to the complex intersection between religion, philosophy, politics, and psychiatry. Notably, Szasz interprets the paternalistic influence of science and medicine as “a quasi-theological…


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“It is important to note that, in the modern world, [a child] expressing curiosity about sex, masturbation, and/or engaging in sexual activities with one’s peers are all generally regarded as normal and perfectly harmless by the medical and psychological communities” (Lehmiller, 2018).

Toxic Moralization of Sexuality in the Home

In some cultures, open discussion within the family about sex is discouraged. Talk of sexual behaviors may be shrouded in stigma, moralism, or even sacred implications. Further, some parents find it awkward to speak about sex with their children. …


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In recent years, social dialogue has centered around deconstructing the traditional western gender binary. Growing awareness of the inner experiences of transgender and genderfluid individuals has led to greater empathy from the cisgender majority as progressive western culture attempts to make space for the full spectrum of gender identity that appears in the human species.

According to social psychologist Justin Lehmiller in his book The Psychology of Human Sexuality, “gender identity refers to an individual’s own psychological perception of being male, female, neither, both, or something in between” (Lehmiller, 2017, p. 118). Addressing the gamut of gender identity, Lehmiller states…


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As a nation that defends the human right to religious freedom, we must reckon with the pain that the rigid application of religious and ideological beliefs can bring upon our lives. This is a story of such pain and loss; a story of faith gone bad and of the dark side of the very beliefs that we look to for light in the dense mystery of human existence.

I was raised as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. As such, the obligation before God to shun members who leave the group for ethical or intellectual reasons was an important part of my…


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The following is an open letter to the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses that is included as an appendix in my book A Voice From Inside — Notes On Religious Trauma in a Captive Organization.

Dear Brothers,

Perhaps you are uncomfortable with me addressing you as such; my Brothers. But we are all connected as spiritual brothers and sisters in ways that extend beyond the unity of belief. Our spiritual kinship transcends the Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses, transcends the Holy Scriptures, transcends Jehovah.

My words may sting like a locust strike (Revelation 9:5), but the fact that I have not held…


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“It is useful to acknowledge that every single sexual act is the result of several powerful forces acting upon one or more persons. These forces include our individual psychology, our genetic background and evolved history, as well as the current social and cultural context in which we live” (Lehmiller, 2017).

The above quote is taken from The Psychology of Human Sexuality by Justin J. Lehmiller. In the opening chapter of his text, Lehmiller addresses a number of prevailing theoretical perspectives on human sexuality. After discussing how psychological influences, cultural and social influences, and biological and evolutionary influences affect human sexual…


The US needs mental health first response teams as it addresses increased suicide rates.

As the “second-leading cause of death among people ages 10–43” (Hedegaard, et al, 2018), suicide presents an ongoing public health concern in the United States. Naturally, the mental health community seeks to make psychiatric care as available as possible to individuals who are at risk of suicide. To this end, federal and state-sponsored public services such as twenty-four hour a day, seven day a week text message and telephone hotlines fill a critical need as the first line of defense in the fight against suicide.

However, at times extreme cases of suicidality require an in-person response from emergency services to…


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Mental health is a growing concern in the United States with more than 1 in 5 Americans living with a mental illness; over 51 million individuals in 2019 (National Institute of Mental Health, 2021). The most prevalent mental illnesses in the United States are depression and anxiety spectrum disorders such as Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD).

Pharmaceutical and psychotherapeutic treatments for depression and anxiety offer varying degrees of relief. But for some, symptoms continue. When symptoms of depression and anxiety persist despite treatment with known pharmaceutical and psychological interventions, the condition is referred to as treatment-resistant…


(Ethical Disclaimer: The following article was prepared to fill the requirements of an undergraduate university course on abnormal psychology. This academic assignment in no way suggests that the author has the education or training to complete a personality disorder diagnosis in a professional or clinical setting. Moreover, the conclusions drawn in this article do not imply that Charles Sobhraj has been formally diagnosed with any psychological condition or consented to any treatment.)

The 2021 BBC mini-series The Serpent has brought the slippery character of Charles Sobhraj back into popular culture awareness. The Serpent tells the story of Charles Sobhraj’s killing…

Geoffrey Wallis

Author of “A Voice From Inside” | JW PIMO | Writing about Psychology, Mental Health, Religious Trauma & Jehovah’s Witnesses.

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