• Education
    • BA, psychology
    • PhD, clinical psychology
  • Occupation
    • 40 years as a clinical psychologist
  1. How often must a clinical psychologist prove their continued effectiveness as a health professional?
    1. Every two years, registration is renewed.
  2. Do you have any specialty within clinical psychology?
    1. Yes, developmental and psychology (like child psychology). My career saw me working with children before including adolescents and adults.
  3. Is your opinion, Dr., is there, outside of issues stemming from legality, anything wrong with being addicted to a substance?
    1. I think so. Addictive behavior lowers motivation. Addiction becomes more central than other activities. It takes energy away from doing constructive activities.
  4. Could you tell me what trait(s), in your experience, most led to the worldly and personal success of your patients? Was it intelligence?
    1. The need to achieve is more important than intelligence. Self-motivation.
  5. Is it true that having structure in one’s days leads to greater emotional wellness?
    1. In general, yes, but too much structure can be bad. Also, for structure to be significantly effective, it must be implemented and driven by the patient.
  6. Could you give me a good idea of what antipsychotics do, and what they don’t do.
    1. Antipsychotics decrease substantially, or even eliminate, the emotional component of a psychosis. But they aren’t a cure.
  7. How do you know that someone needs medication, as opposed to non-medication therapy?
    1. If the patient is impenetrable, they are then referred to psychiatrist.
  8. So the point of medication is to allow talk-therapy to work?
    1. Yes, medication makes one open to therapy.
  9. How do we convince people that emotional (mental) illnesses are real, that these people are legitimately ill?
    1. There is still a significant stigma. As it is, some people “get” it, some learn to “get” it, some never “get” it.
  10. As for the people who don’t get it, what’s going on inside their mind? Why do they hold such a draconian viewpoint?
    1. Those who don’t, and won’t, understand, are afraid of their mind. They’re afraid that they’ll develop mental illness. It’s a defense mechanism.
  11. Could you break down the societal stigma against mental illness a bit?
    1. Sure. We simply seem to equate mental illness with violence.
  12. What is spirit to you, and how important is it in the recovery process?
    1. Spirit is invisible; a high-quality spirit largely mediates recovery from mental illness.
  13. Why doesn’t psychology center on spirit more, then?
    1. Spirit doesn’t have a uniform definition in psychology – its not an official concept.
  14. Could you comment on the support that one’s family should give them, if they have a mental illness
    1. In my opinion, family is only as healthy as its sickest member. They should be there to support their recovery as much as possible, without enabling them to become more sick.
  15. Could you comment on teenagers their outlook, and why they are apt to engage in risky behavior?
    1. Teenagers, scientifically speaking, have no view of the distant future. They suffer from brains that tell them: “no limits”
  16. How did you approach the issue of, for instance, your teenage clients drinking a lot or smoking a lot of pot
    1. It’s a form of compensation. Find out what they’re compensating for, and go from there.
  17. What do you think about the United States government and their approach to marijuana regulation?
    1. Well, the gateway theory of marijuana is false. Marijuana is also not as dangerous as alcohol.

Retrospective:

Firstly, it’s important to note that this Dr. practiced from the 1950’s until the mid 1990’s. Back then, marijuana was not the THC-bursting kind that is becoming more and more common these days. As a result, it was less harmful. That said, I still can’t imagine THC helping people, beyond increasing appetite and reducing pain, the latter of which is, now that I look at it, not trivial at all, especially considering the opioid addiction epidemic that’s gripped our nation. I think the gateway theory has been disproved enough. Personally, my gateway drug was codeine, which I took for back pain when I had lymphoma.

Next, I would agree that addiction takes away productivity in anyone’s life, especially if the substance isn’t legal and readily available. The so-called “functioning alcoholic” would, I’d imagine, function a lot better without the booze.

I was struck by the statement about the “need to achieve”. I’d always thought that people with mental illness tend to be smarter than the average bear, but the Dr., and another psychiatrist I talked with, Dr. Inge Deweille, both downplayed the idea. This motivation he spoke of must come from somewhere. Personally, building this website has been a great motive to get out of bed. Exercise and having obligations certainly help me as well.

There’s the real individualist component I sense, that largely drives recovery. In addition to motivation, a uniquely-structured lifestyle is very important; importantly, one that the patient themself create. It can’t be leveled upon them through an outside party, or at least it would be less healthful that way.

Let’s see…so our interview reneged the idea that medication provides a base for therapy to do a substantial part of the work. I thought it mildly amusing that people who ardently oppose the concept of mental illness are just compensating for their of maintaining their own sanity, a bit of irony there. Additionally, the importance of spirit was recognized by the Dr.

Sources: former Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Inge DeWeille