On the Social Utility of Psychopathology

On the Social Utility of Psychopathology

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Nathaniel Pallone argues that, whatever else is true of psycho-pathology, it serves purposes which are socially useful. Whate‹Ÿver else is true of its clinical treatment, such treatment funce²nions as a form of social regulae²nion. In societal terms, such treateilent may serve purposes quite other than the relief of psychoeiogical disease or even the remedy of psychological disorder. If psychopathology had not emerged naturally, society might have needed to engender psychopathogenic conditions both to fulfill soe‹žially useful purposes and to elicit that subtle mechanism for social regulation we term qpsychothere‹”py.q Pallone constructs his areŒ†ument by summing up the evie‹“ence for two points which apply to all psychotherapeutic practice: that the relief of psychopathology is in no dependable way associe‹”ted with psychotherapeutic treatment; and that in all schools of psychotherapy, the only clear-cut criterion for terminating treatment is the limit of the pae²nient's financial resources. What surprised me in this manue²žcript is the stark simplicity with which Pallone constructs his areŒ†ument [that] society acquires the license to create unlimited [psye‹žhological] disease, to define this disease as intolerable, to finance armies of disease alleviators providing 'treatments'that are in even more profound contradice²nion with each other than were the religions of old.... The illustrae²nion[s] make Pallone's argument crystal clear. -Ivan Illich, from the Prefacetermined and governed, that they respond to forces inherent in the social fabric, then we might find that a societya#39;s essential values ... American Psychiatric Association, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 3d ed. ... Richard Bandler and John Grindera#39;s The Structure of Magic (Palo Alto: Science aamp; Behavior Books, 1975) is also instructive. ... 19 percent entirely symptom-free) in the famous midtown Manhattan survey by Leo Srole, Thomas S. Langer, Stanley T. Michael, anbsp;...

Title:On the Social Utility of Psychopathology
Author:Nathaniel J. Pallone
Publisher:Transaction Publishers - 1986-01-01


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