Home > Uncategorized > You are not alone: individualism and collectivism

You are not alone: individualism and collectivism

Politics and Insights

I have often felt that western individualistic therapeutic models tend to distort therapeutic outcomes. I don’t see humans as self-contained and independent –  we don’t exist in isolation. Indeed, evidence from human and animal studies shows that isolation prompts sensitivity to social threats and usually motivates the renewal of social connections. I see humans as fundamentally interdependent, I was always more inclined towards social psychology and interpretive, interactionist sociology. And I was certainly not alone in my professional disenchantment.
Many of my colleagues also noted that the complexity of individual personality and psychological processes tended to get lost in a “one-size-fits-all” approach to improving human functioning and experience. For example, that the costs and benefits of different kinds of optimism and pessimism may vary across different individuals, situations, and cultural contexts was rarely if ever taken into consideration. Yet we know that there are times when pessimism and negative thinking are…

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