Whores of the court - The fraud of psychiatric testimony and the rape of American justice

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The myth of the fragile child derives from the core clinical belief that individuals are created, essentially, by the forces acting upon them - principally parents, but also the larger society - and that the process of formation is fraught with peril for the child. Almost anything can and does go wrong. The smallest mistake on the part of the caretaker forever damns the child in some indefinable way. Clinicians hold that the fate of the child lies in the hands of the caretaker, but the grip of the parental hand on the child's collar of fate is about as sure as a grasp on water.

The overwhelming majority of clinical psychologists believe this myth to be true in the absence of any evidence that it is so, and, indeed, even in the face of evidence that the opposite is true. Research shows over and over again the resiliency and adaptability of children even in the face of horrific - if all too common - experiences like war, mutilation, starvation, loss of family, destruction of the home, and so on.

Even brain functioning in young children is quite adaptable. Children quite often recover from brain injuries that leave their elders impaired for life. We don't get less vulnerable to mental injury with increasing age, we get much more so. Resilience is a characteristic of youth.

So why do the child clinicians have such a different view of the vulnerability of children to psychological injury? Part of the answer may be that the children clinicians see every day are children who have been noticeably hurt by something in their lives, children who for one reason or another are having trouble functioning well at home or in school or in the larger community. A steady diet of hurt children might well make one feel that all children are fragile creatures who are easily hurt.

[Ms. Hagen is a member of the American Psychology-Law Society and a founding member of the American Psychological Society and of the International Society for Ecological Psychology. In addition she has been a member of the most notable professional organizations in her fields. Ms. Hagen teaches courses on Psychology and Criminal Justice and Forensic Psychology at both the undergraduate and graduate level at Boston University.]

source: From the book 'Whores of the Court - The Fraud of Psychiatric Testimony and the Rape of American Justice' by Margaret A. Hagen; whoresofthecourt.com/; No date in book; Reviews about this book from: 1997