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Talking Back to Dr. Phil: Part 2, The Dr. David Bedrick Interview August 2, 2013

Posted by Onely in Celebrities, Guest Posts, Pop Culture: Scourge of the Onelys.
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Bedrick, David. Talking Back to Dr. Phil: Alternatives to Mainstream Psychology. (Belly Song Press, 2013).

Copious Readers, welcome to our ongoing series of interviews with Dr. David Bedrick, who proposes a “love-based psychology” that goes beyond the normative (restrictive) ideals that our society (as evidenced by Dr. Phil) puts upon people.

Bedrick’s approach parallels Onely’s efforts to dismantle normative prejudices against unmarried people. We disagree with the idea that couples (whether socially coupled or married) are “better” than single people, or more deserving of government protection.

Today’s Topic:

What happens when society suppresses

The “single” side each of us possesses?

Onely: You list seven basic principles of love-based psychology. We were struck by number 6: A love-based psychology views social prejudice as impacting people’s well-being. . . sexism, homophobia, classism, ethnocentrism, racism, and other forms of social biases play an integral role in the suffering people experience. . . (xxiii)

 Singlism, the discrimination against socially single or unmarried people, is missing from this list. Can you comment on this omission or provide some examples you have encountered where a single person has been impacted by seeking help from mainstream psychology?

Bedrick: Thanks for mentioning this; I obviously have a blind spot here. It is good to be educated by you!

I am thinking of two examples. First, a woman who was constantly critical of herself whenever she saw people coupled. She too believed she should be coupled and that she wasn’t because she had a personality flaw. That kind of thinking is very injurious to the psyche. Valuing her path as an individual and helping her notice the unconscious privilege of partnered people, especially in her family system, was very important.

At another level, almost all of us have a “single” part of ourselves- a part that is either not interested in relating to other people or a part that is less open to accommodating their own impulses, directions, interests, etc. for others. This often makes negotiating relationships conflictual because we are encouraged to express our “together” part only. Our “single” part gets marginalized and later shows up as resentment, distance, tiredness, or even addictive patterns.

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