By Chet Yarbrough
Narrated by: Mina Sands
In Think Psychology 2010, Abigail Baird offers an enlightening introduction to human psychology. In 18 chapters, Baird introduces an overview of psychology beginning with research methods, middling through how the mind works, including psychopathology, and ending with psychological health.
In her book, Baird reveals histories of leaders in the profession; recounts some ground-breaking patient cases that reveal brain function and segmentation, explores brain abnormalities, and writes about revelatory psychiatric studies. In her journey through psychology’s history, Baird explains patient’ classifications, defines modern patient’ diagnosis, and explores interpretations of sex, gender, cognition, conscious, subconscious, and unconscious. In exploring how the mind works, Baird addresses learning, memory, and sleep. Baird touches on the legal profession’s use of psychology to defend clients, issues of social psychology, and questions about nurture versus nature. As an introduction to psychology, there could be no better review.
Psychology appears to have come a long way in explaining how humans think, why they do what they do, and how fragile the connection is between thought and action. It seems the utility of psychology is less advanced; i.e. psychotherapy remains a mystical concatenation based on interpretation by old and Neo-Freudian magicians called psychiatrists, psychologists, and/or therapists.
Baird suggests that even with advances in pharmaceutical treatment, physical intervention, and clinical research, psychotherapy is a necessary conjunctive treatment for patient recovery. Not to deny the importance of medical follow-up on any illness, the magical elicitation/explanation of one human being interpreting what is going on in another’s mind lessens confidence in the field of psychology.
Psychotherapy seems only a step from belief in Scientology and a famous actor jumping on a couch, and later arguing that psychotherapy is bunk.
One might argue both psychotherapy and Scientology are bunk. Baird does a good job of convincing a reader/listener that there is a great deal more substance in psychotherapy than in Scientology but it is surprising to find that so much of the credibility of psychology remains dependent on Freudian speculation and psychotherapy. Freud’s Oedipus Complex, Penis Envy, Castration Fixation, and dream theory have generally been dismissed by the profession while many of his methods remain accepted practice and near laws of psychotherapy.
In any case, if a student is contemplating entering the field of psychology, Professor Baird’s Think Psychology 2010 is a must-read or listen experience.