Dr. Stanley Goldstein - Author and Psychologist

A Psychologist's Thoughts on Clinical Practice, Behavior, and Life

The Cause of Mental Health Difficulties

April 19, 2018

Tags: mental health

Today, professions battle to be considered relevant in the public financing landscape.Thus, schools seek fancy technology for their problematic students and clinics promulgate quickie solutions and electrical gadgets that a witch doctor would admire. Sadly, these ignore The Elephant In The Room: that the mind is complex, the unconscious is powerful, and good early-life parenting is essential to producing children with healthy ego capacities. Virtually all mental health ills (including addictive disorders) derive from faulty early psychological development. One must consider psychopathology in developmental terms to grasp its nature.

Being developmental in nature, the earlier that intervention occurs, the better, and the cheapest, best early intervention would be to educate new parents about parenting. Virtually all children, if read to and with as toddlers, would be reading (simple books) by kindergarten. Moreover, ordering children to do things ("Do it because I say so.") rather than explaining why, depresses the development of the capacity for abstract thinking and cripples adult potential. This was stated by J. McVickers Hunt in 1963. As has been said, what's old becomes new again.

Thus my suggestions: increased public education about human psychology; more educating of all mental health professionals on developmental psychopathology and psychodynamics; and not hopping on the latest (superficial) bandwagon. Educating new mothers, through home visits by specially trained staff, would make a good start.