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Psychologists do not sell their empathy

Psychologists do not sell their empathy

June 17, 2024

Maybe because of the influence of counseling, perhaps because of the influence of humanistic psychology, there are many people who believe that psychologists are characterized, basically, by being a kind of mystic.

Not the kind of mystics so alienated that it is impossible to feel identified with them, but that kind of spiritual gurus who act as an inspiring mirror for others. People who, having reached a very high degree of understanding about the human mind, are able to adapt their ideas to make room for any way of thinking of others and connect with it .

In other words, it has been assumed that the psychologist is the one who transforms his own philosophy of life into a very simple principle: always empathize with others, without giving more importance to their own ideas than to those of the other .


This idea, of course, is based on an exaggeration about the degree of skills that psychologists come to acquire throughout their career; After all, they are people of flesh and blood. However, my opinion is that this idea is not only misguided, but also harmful and is used simply to try to silence certain ideas and opinions.

Political correctness in psychologists

It is very common to hear phrases like "it seems a lie that you are a psychologist". The alarming thing about this is not that it is common to get angry or reproach something to a person dedicated to this profession, but, in most cases, this kind of complaints is not given when a psychologist expresses ignorance about a subject that should dominate , if not when he behaves in a way that he does not like and that is considered as an attack on the opinion of others .


For example, if a psychologist or psychologist has very clear ideas about a controversial topic and expresses his opinion assertively, it is possible to criticize the lack of tact by giving an unambiguous point of view and very committed to a form of see things.

This does not happen with almost any other profession: doctors, engineers or carpenters can have a very settled philosophy of life and talk about their ideas without major worries, but the psychologist he seems to be obliged to have to speak all over the world, maintaining a very low and discreet profile . Political correctness is assumed as something that must emanate naturally from their profession, and has reached the point where it must be assumed, for example, that all currents of psychology are equally valid because they reflect different ways of thinking .

Marketing with empathy

But psychologists they do not dedicate themselves to renting their way of thinking to constantly welcome the views of others with the aim of creating empathy.


In the first place, a psychologist is defined by what he does in his professional facet, not in his personal life. That a psychologist should not confront the ideas of a patient, for example, does not mean that he can not express diametrically opposed opinions to someone in any other situation.

This, which seems obvious, is often overlooked by the influence of two elements: relativism and constructivism taken to the extreme.

The belief of "anything goes"

Since radical relativism, especially in its aspect of cultural relativism, it is taken for granted that there are no more valid attitudes and thoughts than others . That means that psychologists should not strive to find regularities in the way people think and act, since each individual is a world; Instead, you must develop a special sensitivity to "connect" with the mind of the other person at a particular time and place, to help it come closer to a certain goal.

In this view of psychology it is not considered that there are certain theories about behavior that are more valid than others because they have been tested empirically, and therefore psychologists they do not have the added value of knowing better the mental processes of people in general .

Thus, the only thing they are valuable for is their "sensitivity", the ease with which they connect with meaning systems created from scratch by other people (that's where constructivism comes in). And this sensitivity, if not expressed in all facets of the psychologist's life, can not be authentic.

Psychology is knowledge

The idea that psychology is basically the implementation of an almost artistic sensibility it is totally contrary to the notion of psychology as a science.

What defines psychologists is not their ease when establishing therapeutic connections with other people; This is only one of the characteristics of a certain class of psychologists: those who intervene on people and groups of specific people.Moreover, even during therapy, the psychologist does not have to assume all the contents of the patient's discourse as true, and he has good reasons to believe, for example, that a mystical experience in which a saint appeared has not been real.

What all psychologists have in common is that, to do their job, they use knowledge generated in a scientific way and that, consequently, allows you to reduce uncertainty about a topic . Psychologists try to predict to a greater or lesser extent the behavior of people taking into account a series of variables, and if they do it is because they have information that is more valid than other types of information.

Thus, psychologists do not have to accept, for example, religious fundamentalism or racism simply because they are "ways of thinking" that reflect a mental reality as valid as any other. Complain that someone who is trained in psychology does not accept the "truth of oneself" is meaningless precisely because of that.


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