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Talking Back to Dr. Phil, Part 4–The Dr. David Bedrick Interview August 2, 2013

Posted by Onely in Celebrities, Everyday Happenings, Guest Posts, Interviews.
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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 makes you think I want to be more like you?

Onely: You say we need to protect marginalized people and forms of expression being seen as “problems” (xxv) and that such allopathic thinking, prevents us from seeing chances for individual growth–and thereby social growth (5).

How do you think society might benefit by attempting to eliminate marital status discrimination? Would such an effort stabilize or destabilize us?


Bedrick: Great question! This is an interesting debate in the GLBT community where many are fighting of the right to be legally married while a smaller minority does not see this as the best direction because it presupposes that being more like “them” is a better way to be.

I think it was James Baldwin, a black gay man, who said something like “what makes you think that I want to be more like you?” There is a powerful assumption that people want the right to be like those who enjoy the most social privilege, however individuals and society suffer from marginalizing our diversity when actually what they want is the fair distribution of privilege- from affirmation and fair witness to legal rights.

Certainly if this discrimination were lessened, people would be more free to not hold partnering/marrying as central to their esteem and life goals freeing them to express their gifts in ways more suitable to their authentic selves. In addition, as I suggested above, even people who are partnered would enjoy greater inner support for their independent dreams.

Lastly, let me express my appreciation for your work. Your questions, vision, and focus have required me to reflect more on the issues you raise, making me more conscious, a better ally, and a better counselor.

Onely: Thanks so much for taking time to talk with us. Feel free to contact us in the future with any other thoughts or ideas about applying the principles of love-based psychology to Oneliness!

***

Copious Readers, please find the previous parts of this interview right below this one!

–Christina

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Talking Back to Dr. Phil, Part 3–The Dr. David Bedrick Interview August 2, 2013

Posted by Onely in Celebrities, Guest Posts, Interviews.
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1 comment so far

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:  The Failures of “Fixing”

Onely: You comment on Dr. Phil’s extreme popularity, yet point out that There are no books reflecting on his counsel, critiquing his approach, or providing alternatives to his advice. (xxiv)

What challenges have you encountered in being effectively the first person to present a large-scale critique of such an ingrained cultural institution? (Dr. Bella DePaulo and Lisa and I hit numerous brick walls when we took on the underdiscussed-topic of marital status discrimination.)


Bedrick: While I have sent my book to Dr. Phil, I have had no response from him. However, many people are offended by some of the ideas I present.

The most provocative ideas are these:

1) I support people to not marginalize their unique individual selves. However, this means, as you have encountered, bumping into deep mainstream beliefs and morality. In fact, mainstream psychology has, as one of its functions, to foster mainstream morality even if that means looking at people who are different as sick or pathological. So, when I don’t condemn anger, try to ‘lift’ people out of depression, or help people become more “productive” then people take issue with me.

2) Our culture has taught us to ‘fix’ what disturbs us. (more…)

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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1 comment so far

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.

Talking Back to Dr. Phil: Part 1 of the David Bedrick Interview July 27, 2013

Posted by Onely in book review, Interviews.
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A love-based psychology promotes social justice, whereas mainstream psychology treats the difficulties of individuals in a vacuum –David Bedrick, J.D.

Copious Readers, Onely has been unhappy with Dr. Phil for a very long time, because he has counseled single people to embrace themselves and their hobbies and be happy, so that they can find a partner. Instead of just being happy, period.

So we were glad to have the opportunity to interview David Bedrick, author of Talking Back to Dr. Phil: Alternatives to Mainstream Psychology. (Belly Song Press, 2013). He 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.

We came up with some questions for Bedrick that we hope will flesh out the similarities in our missions. In a series of posts, we will tackle one or two questions at a time.

Today’s Topic:

Are people trying to “Normalize” your way of living to their (more common) way of living?

Don’t React to their behavior–Act Out their behaviour!

Onely: Dr. Bedrick, you say in your introduction to Talking Back to Dr. Phil (xvii):

The norms inherent in mainstream psychology’s diagnoses essentially reflect the majority’s beliefs, values, and viewpoints regarding psychological health. As such, it is a psychology often in service of normalizing people, seeking to help them act more reasonably and get along better with others even when the accomodation is contrary to their natures and life paths.

Do you agree that the normalization performed by mainstream psychology parallels the normalization of romantic relationships that occurs in our culture on a daily basis? If so, how do you think this impacts people who are “single at heart” and have no desire to seek a committed-romantic partner (which would be a life path contrary to the norm)?


Bedrick: Absolutely! Most blatantly in the way mainstream psychology promotes stereotypic gender roles that not only marginalize GLBT relationships but all relationships.

Mainstream culture encourages, celebrates, and bestows privileges on people who partner, especially those who partner in a traditional marriage. People who use their energy to focus on their own creativity, ambitions, healing, happiness, or non-traditional paths are looked at as if something is wrong with them. The internalization of this experience, a kind of shame, can leave people feeling depressed, angry, or both. This shaming can pressure people to look for a partner even if that is not truly their way.

Onely: How would you apply a love-based-psychology to someone who fears being single because of family pressure, or (Western) cultural pressure? (more…)

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