Theory of Knowledge

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A Vision for Psychological Check-Ups

Should we encourage folks to get psychological check-ups? If so, what would they look like? Read More

The human disease

I think the idea of a psychological check-up sounds good in theory, but in practice, is a bit too radical. I think if we do advocate yearly psychological check-ups many people will be afraid than encouraged. Education is key in understanding your strengths and weaknesses, but that takes resilience effort on an individuals part. Just because you are an introvert doesn't mean you need to work on your social skills; just because you are an extrovert doesn't mean you need to lessen your social skills. Everybody has a unique set of characteristics and adaptability skills that the life they are currently living in will look normal to them, behaviorally accessible to their community, schools, and governments. To them that they need to do a psyche check-up will scare them away of any progress, if he or she needs psychological understanding. I mean, if we barely can encourage those to have medical check-ups, imagine what a psyche check-up can do.

That's not to say that it is a bad idea, but a lot of factors need to come into play to make it work. Is difficult to tell people that your struggle to lose weight is due to your work schedule, or that if you want to sharpen your memory skills you need to exercise regularly. I don't think we have every right to tell people how they can improve their well-being if they feel that their well-being was never a problem to begin. For the most part many people are mentally healthy. They have families, kids and good paying jobs that conflicts originatimg at home or at work or at school are just part of the human process and development. What should be a priority is helping those who come to us as oppose as we are coming to them. Especially in serious conditions or issues. Just like how many people come to the PsycheToday to learn, I don't know, something about themselves or a study or commentary, that same principle should apply to the world as well. I think that's a proven and effective method. In my opinion.

Do you see this check-up to

Do you see this check-up to be useful in helping individuals that become "the lone shooter" that wrecks havoc upon society?

Where can I find existential help now?

You list spiritual/existential dimension in one of the wheels. Where could a person go to get help in that area? I am an athiest, and so far everyone I've encountered thinks existential issues are strictly for teenagers! What can I do about this?

Existential help

I, for one, don't think that existential issues are for teenagers. They are central to our EXISTENCE! The first place I would point you to is to read Victor Frankl's Man's Search for Meaning (especially the first half of the book). Psychologists and counselors, at least some, who are trained in more “depth work” might be helpful. Finally, you might look into some worldview orientations like Buddhism, which is interpreted by some as essentially atheistic.

I wish you the best with this.

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Gregg Henriques, Ph.D., is a Professor of Psychology at James Madison University.


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