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Re: Beyond Pscyhobabble

Posted by so on June 15, 2005, at 23:50:25

In reply to Lou's reply to Dinah-nutralty » Dinah, posted by Lou Pilder on June 15, 2005, at 21:28:12

> perhaps be a policy that could fall into the catagory as being unsupportive to others that are getting support from reading my posts?
> Lou

I was ready to say anything that is not supportive can be unsupportive, which would be more of a neutral term, but then I looked up the word.

I didn't find it in the dictionary.

The word "unsupportive" doesn't appear in Websters on-line dictionary, but it does appear 93 times in a Google search of aka "Psycho-Babble", so the word "unsupportive" could fall into the category of "a Psycho-Babble word".


I wrote the paragraph above, contemplated it's propriety vis-a-vis the site guidelines, wondered if it is okay to call something "psychobabble" being especially certian I wasn't being sarcastic, and it dawned on me... What does "psychobabble" mean anyway? Who brought the term and the concept onto this page?

The word was the title of a book highly critical of popular pscyhology. The word is almost always used as a term critical of psychological discourse, with the possible exception of this forum where I have no idea what it is supposed to mean. But guess what - when I first found this forum, I thought it was about exactly what the popular meaning of the word was about. Boy was I ever suprised!

So just now I did a reality check. Here's how people use the word, outside of this forum, which is where I learned it:

Dr. Leon's "Psychobabble glossary":

Was Alan Parsons supportive of psychology? His song "Psychobabble" is the theme of this site.

In "Freudiana" he wrote:

I found a Freudian book gathering dust upon my shelf.
I thought I'll give it a look, would it hurt or would it help?
I saw a picture of a stranger but I don't understand.
He had a ring around his finger and something burning in his hand.
And I wanted him to teach me and I needed to believe.
But the shadows that he threw me were intended to deceive.
Freudiana, do you want to be somebody?
Freudiana, do you want to change the world?

And what are the lyrics to "Psychobabble" -- the theme song of this site? "Civil" or not?

You're readin' my mind you won't look in my eyes
You say I do things that I don't realise
But I don't care it's all psychobabble rap to me
Psychobabble all psychobabble
Psychobabble all psychobabble
You're lighting a scene that's faded to black
I threw it away cause I don't want it back
But I don't care it's all psychobabble rap

And what about the book "Psychobabble" that made the term a household word?
It was subtitled "Psychobabble: Fast Talk and Quick Cure in the Era of Feeling" 1973

Twenty years later, another author used the same title to criticize modern psychology, this time subtitled "The Failure of Modern Psychology and the Biblical Alternative".

In Psychology Today July/August 1998, Professor of Psychology Kay Deaux, PRESIDENT OF THE AMERICAN PSYCHOLOGICAL SOCIETY, in an article titled "Beyond Psychobabble" explored "approaches used to assess various aspects of psychology; factors which influence '****BABBLING***' among individuals; and detailed "some of the errors which can evolve when attempting to analyze psychological problems.

Drop the "psycho" and just consider "babble" ... is that word ever used with a positive connotation regarding the speech so described?

Then I contemplate what was apparently one person's evolution toward developing rules of "civility" apparently several years after deciding to name a forum "Psycho-babble" -- at a time when he had little idea what issues would arise in administering the forum. I'm not sure the name would hold up today -- if the forum was named "Robert Hsiung's Mental Health Support and Education Web Site" and someones message about people's failures and shortcomings when discussing mental health issues was titled "Psychobabble" would they be asked not to post anything that might make others feel put down?

And I think about other issues -- support, attachment, nostalgia -- how much harm and how much good could come from requiring everyone involved in this forum to let go of the familiar name -- same rules, same yellow pages, same script, same "Dr. Bob" -- just another name -- no more "Psychobabble". Why doesn't the name of the site conform to the same expectations we are to follow.

I not writing this to put down the name -- I consider Alan Parsons to be a profound artist -- I'm just suggesting it might be time to retire the name, and replace it with something more suitable for the current expectations of the forum.

No .... no need to shut down the forums. Let's just start talking about a new name ...




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