Group Narcissistic Manifestations in Critical Social Justice (aka Woke) Movements – Part 1

Introduction In June 2021 I wrote an article for Merion West in which I discussed the psychodynamic processes present within the Critical Social Justice (CSJ) (or Woke, used here interchangeably) worldview. By analysing commentary on this worldview, adherents’ behaviour, and their self-disclosure, I identified and discussed several of its inherent intrapsychic dynamics. In this and …

Group Narcissistic Manifestations in Critical Social Justice (aka Woke) Movements – Part 2

This is the second part of the two-part series on Woke group narcissism. In the previous section I give a summary of the psychodynamics of Critical Social Justice (CSJ) as a worldview, and I discussed the Mastersonian understanding of narcissistic character pathology. In this section, I discuss my observations of similar subtypes of narcissism at …

The Myth of White Supremacy

We are well into a societal imbroglio dubbed the culture wars.  What is this exactly?  Since the racial reckoning, and especially after the police murder of George Floyd, progressive Left enthusiasts including the Black Lives Matter activism movement have determined that so-called “white supremacy,” including structural, systemic, and institutional racism, lies at the heart of …

Mutilate and Medicate: The Body Modification Trans Cult

When I first learned of extreme body modification, I found it fascinating: facial tattoos, skin implants, tongue splitting… the guy who removed part of his nose so he would look reptilian… I wondered how body mod enthusiasts got started down that path, how they might feel about the things they’ve done to themselves; whether they …

A letter to The Lancet: Making Way for the New Social Paradigm of Gender Identity…

Introduction The following piece provides a detailed critique of the human rights narrative which drives the new social paradigm for gender identity. The Lancet Psychiatry (2022) recently carried an editorial, reviewing the history of psychiatry as an oppressive form of medical practice with regard to sexuality and arguing for a more active stance against conversion …

How Ideological Capture is Hurting Clinical Psychology

It is clear that America’s political polarization has eroded our ability to navigate complex issues. My own field of clinical psychology has failed to evade this problem, and now finds itself deeply steeped in a troubling narrative. The American Psychological Association (APA) recently published a special report on the topic of racism that states, “Pursuing …

Freud Explains Cancel Culture

The superego is the woke part of the psyche. It’s moralistic, but it isn’tnecessarily moral. There sure is a lot of moralism going around. Censorship, condemnation,excommunication, demands for apologies. There are even spontaneous chants of“Shame! Shame! Shame!” directed at the villain of the moment. I recently saw an ad fora psychology workshop that argued outright …

Elders in the Therapy Professions – it’s Time to Step up to the Plate!

Where are you, elders in our professional therapy community? You know who you are – those of you in good standing: department heads, theorists, writers, conference keynote speech makers with well-deserved reputations.  At this time of crisis, you have been notable by your silence. The therapy field is threatened existentially – are you just going …

Woke Psychology and New Racism

What began as a social justice movement directed by empathy and compassion for those who have experienced racism, social inequality, and marginalization due to power differentials in social institutions and culture, has now devolved into a radical left political-social ideology bordering on authoritarianism wearing cloaks of virtue.  There is no consensus on what wokeness actually …

Sharing Personal Pronouns in Therapy: Legal and Ethical Arguments against Therapist Self-Disclosure

It is increasingly becoming a new norm in therapy for personal pronouns to be actively negotiated within therapy. Clients may be invited to state their preferences for pronouns when first contacting a therapy agency or an individual therapist. In turn, therapists seem to be increasingly requested to ‘share’ their own personal pronouns within professional meetings, …

Leftist Extremism is Turning Therapists and Counselors against their own Clients

It’s never been easy to have a dissenting opinion, but it’s been getting harder and harder. Today, countless people face social and professional consequences for expressing their political views, and many more self-censor because they fear the consequences of candid dialogue (see here, here, and here). Harassment, racial demonization, and social ostracization are becoming more …

It’s Time for the PTMF to Stop Categorising Men as Negative Stereotypes

This article is reproduced here by kind permission from The Centre for Male Psychology.  It was originally published here online in the Male Psychology magazine on April 13th 2022. Around 25 years ago, as an undergraduate, I learned about the anti-psychiatry movement of the 1960s. The iconoclastic ideas of characters like psychiatrists RD Laing and Thomas Szasz resonated with me and other students …

Critical Social Justice Is More Likely to Lead to Division and Victimhood Than to Equality

Alarm bells have been ringing loudly for some time about the incursion of Critical Social Justice into the therapeutic professions.  But it doesn’t seem that many clinical psychologists or other mental health professionals are listening.  In some ways that’s understandable.  Who knows what ‘Critical Social Justice’ actually means?  It doesn’t trip easily off the tongue, …

Through the Looking Glass: Making sense of the MOU – Part 1

Introduction This is a two-part article exploring the impact of trans activism as channelled via the Memorandum of Understanding on Conversion Therapy (MOU) on the practice of counselling and psychological therapy within the context of the United Kingdom. While the development of this particular organisation and its associated policy relating to conversion therapy is specific …

Through the Looking Glass: Making sense of the MOU – Part 2

(The first part of this article looks at the background and history of the Memorandum of Understanding on Conversion Therapy in the UK (MOU). The Memorandum sets out a policy on opposing conversion therapy on the grounds of sexual orientation and of gender identity. The Memorandum has been signed by the majority of professional therapist …

The Mental Health Profession Is at a Crossroads Beween Science and Politically-Biased Narratives

As a clinical and forensic psychologist, I’ve always been interested in the causes, not correlates, of mental health, because associations, masquerading as causal mechanisms, bedevil psychology. Our profession is at a crossroads between science-based causal reasoning and knowledge versus politically biased narratives, where scientific evidence is irrelevant, and trauma is all that matters. Why is this …

The World Turned Upside Down

Meaning is made from the inside out and also from the outside in. From the inside out, meaning revolves around us and provides us with a sense of our importance and goodness. From the outside in, it is based on what we need to know to get by with others who don’t think we are …

‘Woke’ Therapy Weakens the Client

Critical Social Justice (CSJ)-driven therapy (aka ‘woke’ therapy) is a completely different practice to traditional counselling and psychotherapy. This point cannot be overstated. The mistake that many people are making is that they perceive this new politicised approach as a development or evolution of therapy—the social justice turn, if you will, in the counselling and …

BACP and Terfism: Reaching the Point of no Return for Ethical Therapy?

Words matter. For therapists, words matter a lot. To find the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) promoting a trans activist perspective on current gender issues therefore comes as a shock. The BACP is hosting an event badged as ‘Queering the therapy space’, which may have a lot more in common with promoting Queer …

The Importance of Maintaining an Evidence-based Approach in CBT

Preamble In October 2021, The British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Therapists’ (BABCP) published a piece in CBT Today by the founders of the ‘Women and Gender Minorities Equality Special Interest Group’ (WOMGENE). It suggested that implementing the following five recommendations would reduce violence against women, as follows: “Five things you can do to help …

My Resignation from the American Psychological Association

I’ve been a member of the American Psychological Association (APA) for years, and a fellow for the past six or seven years.  I sat on their Council of Representatives, which theoretically sets policy for the APA, for 3 years.  I am just ending my term as president of the APA’s Society for Media and Technology, …

Calibrating Gillick* in the Age of Gender Wars: Part 2:  The Curious Case of the Tavistock

Applying Gillick at the Tavistock The past year has seen a dizzying series of legal decisions about young people’s capacity to consent to puberty blocking drugs for gender dysphoria at the Tavistock Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS). In December 2020, the GIDS’ consent procedures for under 16’s were overturned via a judicial review brought by …

Why Your Woke Therapist May Be Doing You More Harm Than Good

Popular forms of social justice activism are creeping into psychology training programs and therapist offices. Even if woke theory is your preferred path to social justice (there are others), this creates a “buyer-beware” situation. Unlike friendships, intimate partnerships, parenting or collegial teamwork, psychotherapy is a relationship that is all about one person—you, the client. The …

LGBT Research and the Push for a UK Ban on Conversion Therapy

LGBT issues in relation to therapy are increasingly in the spotlight at present within the UK. Calls for a government ban on conversion therapy are gaining ground. At an Albany Trust event, Stephen Fry referred to conversion therapy as ‘this wretched business’. 1 In the House of Commons debate, responding to an e-petition on the …

White Therapists, Trainers and Supervisors – Mend your Ways! 

Black Identities and White Therapies: Race, Respect and Diversity. Edited by Divine Charura and Colin Lago. PCCS Books 2021 A Review Colin Feltham You may find this cynical but I want to begin with the assertion that we all protect and advance our own self-interest and that of our group, even when it is not …

British Psychology: Where are we now?

A year ago, I wrote a letter to the governing body of British Psychology (The BPS), raising concerns about the direction the organisation, and the discipline, was taking. Specifically, I was concerned about the organisation’s promotion of the overtly political Critical Social Justice ideology, which I believed threatened the scientific integrity of the discipline, prevented …

Political Bias at the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy

 I’ve been a member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) since 2013. By far the largest professional membership body for counsellors and psychotherapists in the UK, with over 50,000 members, the BACP has considerable influence over the provision of counselling education through accredited training programmes, and on the continued professional development of …

One-Dimensional Intersectional Psychobabble

Intersections of Privilege and Otherness in Counselling and Psychotherapy: Mockingbird by Dwight Turner (2021) A review by Colin Feltham Where to begin a review of a book of this kind? Since the author declares himself at the outset a black, heterosexual, able-bodied man, perhaps I should declare myself a white, heterosexual, able-bodied man. Turner and …

Is Psychotherapy a Safe Space for ‘Political Dissidents’?

Looking back to the 1970s, I always understood psychotherapy as something free from religion and politics. Its focus was the individual client and his or her distress, turmoil, or need to explore the idiosyncratic inner life. Although the 1960s and 1970s were culturally momentous in many ways, some of us turned to therapy as more …

Selective Attention: Ideological Bias Evident in the APA 2020 Virtual Conference

Given the current cultural polarity, few topics may be as unanimously agreed upon as the unanticipated adversity of the 2020 calendar year: A global pandemic with devastating health and financial ramifications, Saharan sandstorms, plagues of locusts, wildfires, police-related deaths and racial protests and rioting, and a contentious presidential election with a disputed outcome top the …

From Psychotherapist to Psycho-activist: How Therapy is Becoming Derailed

This is a public health warning: the seal on the tin labelled Counselling and Psychotherapy has been tampered with and the contents have become contaminated. Mainstream culture has been captured by Critical Social Justice, an ideology that prioritises group identity over the individual. The wholescale adoption of this belief system threatens to change the practice …

Why Critical Social Justice Activism Could Increase Suicide Risk

No death impacts others in the way a suicide does. With a death by suicide come shame, guilt and many questions—the most prominent of which is why? But sometimes we can put the pieces together. Several plausible theories may help us conceptualize the key factors that may lead someone to attempt or complete suicide. Being cognizant of …

The Contradictions of Critical Theory and Counseling

When a mental health professional begins working with a client, there’s a common phrase which suggests the first course of action: “meet them where they are.” In essence, this means in order to help the person, you need to first understand how they conceptualize themselves, the problem they face, and possible solutions. Each person is …

A Therapist’s Plea for Freedom of Speech

To suppress free speech is a double wrong. It violates the rights of the hearer as well as those of the speaker.—Frederick Douglass. The single best predictor of a positive therapeutic outcome is the relationship a client has with her therapist or counselor. Cultivating a relationship in which the client can be her fully authentic …