...every upbringing is partisan; that it strives to fit the child into the prevailing social order without considering how valuable or stable this order may be in itself...

Sigmund Freud, An Outline of Psychoanalysis

Freud suggested that children should perhaps have contact with an analyst even if relatively well-adjusted, and that this could have a profound effect on education as well as society. He suggested that educators should be trained analysts, and have undergone analysis themselves. Educators would ideally take into account each child's individuality when working out the necessary balance of encouragement and discipline/authority.

Should parents themselves train as analysts/undergo analysis before having children?

If the prevailing social order needs to be questioned, then it would seem that employing analysis to help children fit in is not a goal that makes sense.

At present, children are under a lot of pressure from a young age to think of the future. How well do schools help them to identify their own individual interests and abilities? If children are under pressure early on to get grades that will help them get into certain schools (or to get grades that will make their schools 'look good', maintain prestige or funding), at what point do they have time to seek out what truly interests them, to learn for the love of learning?

...It takes a great deal of courage and independence to decide to design your own image instead of the one society rewards, but it gets easier as you go along...

Germaine Greer, The Female Eunuch

I have also come to this conclusion.

...The houses all being identical added to this impression of an institution where all variations in the human personality would be treated like eccentricities and symptoms of disintegration...

Anaïs Nin, A Spy in the House of Love

Many personality traits may not currently be 'in fashion', yet may serve or have served evolutionary purposes. We now make judgments regarding adaptations that may not fit a narrow selection of what is currently deemed acceptable or normal.

The need for personal autonomy and to resist submitting to others can account not only for the many different branches of psychology, but also for difficulties with therapy or analysis itself. Even within therapy, there may exist subtle, or not so-subtle, conscious or unconscious struggles toward self-assertion.

...the unsuspecting creature seeks aid because she feels unhappy, anxious and confused, and psychology persuades her to seek the cause in herself. The person is easier to change than the status quo which represents a higher value in the psychologists' optimistic philosophy...

Germaine Greer, The Female Eunuch

If the therapist represents mainstream aims, and getting a person back into her 'proper' role, it may do more harm than good to seek such help.

If women are conditioned to seek guidance rather than do their own problem-solving, are stereotypes of female dependence reinforced? But, we don't live our lives completely isolated - it may be necessary to seek help from time to time, and to be able to figure out what the best forms of help for us are. It is rational to seek help for a problem that you do not know how to solve on your own.

In my own case, I sought help and was not helped, possibly because the system itself was sick or not sufficiently advanced, or because I was not articulate or assertive enough. At present, the idea of therapy would represent mainly a chance to converse with another person in a situation in which someone will listen and offer feedback. I find it difficult to find others who want to discuss in detail my complications as well as theirs. I would not be seeking a therapist in order to bow to their expertise, but because it would offer a chance to go further into particular areas, offer my own ideas in response, and possibly increase my own knowledge or insight through practical discussion.

...desire can take as many shapes as there are containers. Yet what one pours into those containers is always the same inchoate passion, entirely lacking in definition until what holds it shapes it. So let us break the world's pots, and allow the stuff of desire to flow and intermingle in one great viscous sea...

Gore Vidal, Myra Breckenridge

The model of the nuclear family still exerts a great deal of pressure, as do the myths of monogamous lifelong marriage and ideal romance. The myths tie people to houses, cars, possessions. We need more than one model. The model that exists is not a realistic model of happiness for everyone.

Mainstream ideas about sex and love are restrictive, and don't represent the range and creativity that are possible in human sexuality and relationships. Many people don't realize that it is possible to pursue alternative relationships or families.

I am not advocating that GLBT couples adopt the old heterosexual values and myths for themselves, but I admit that I am embarrassed to be living in a country (Australia) that will not at least grant such individuals the same rights and possibilities.

...The years pass and one has only one life. If one has a thing at all one must do it and keep on and on and on trying to do it better.. I do not believe that I would improve if I wrote less. The only result of that would be that there would be less of whatever there is. And less of me...

Iris Murdoch, The Black Prince

Content on the internet is pretty much impossible to erase once it's out there. I realize that I do not have a chance to come across as 'normal'. It's not that I don't care what others think, but it has become essential to me to try to express as many layers as I am able to perceive regarding my circumstances, experiences, thoughts and feelings. represents the most comprehensive expression of my individuality.

...I would ask you to write all kinds of books, hesitating at no subject however trivial or however vast. By hook or by crook, I hope that you will possess yourselves of enough money to travel and to idle, to contemplate the future or the past of the world, to dream over books and loiter at street corners and let the line of thought dip deep into the stream...

Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own















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