Saturday, April 27, 2013
I'd like to focus this blog post on intellectual development and the idea of "brainwashing." This funny article gives on overview of supposed ways that parents are brainwashing their children to have certain political beliefs. We'll come back to the idea of brainwashing but first I'd want to give an overview of the stages of intellectual development we discussed in class. The first stage is dependence where people depend upon others or authority figures for their information and knowledge. This can include television, school, church, or even parents. The second stage is independence which is where individuals start thinking about what they believe and forming their own answers to questions. This is when people start to take responsibility for their answers and this stage often starts in the rebellious teenage years. The last stage is interdependence and this is when you learn to have your own beliefs and opinions but also have the ability to work with others. This includes working with others that have different beliefs and opinions from yourself.
This topic is very important as future counselors we are called to help promote the autonomy and health of our clients. It is easy to laugh at the idea of someone being "brainwashed" into believing something but we have to remember at the hundreds if not thousands of messages people receive daily. Someone that watches a lot of television is force fed hundreds of commercials, soap operas, and shows that are trying to convince our clients what to believe. As counselors we need to help clients decipher why they believe what they believe and if it truly is in line with their core beliefs. This means when a client is considering leaving their spouse because their favorite TV show makes divorce look easy or makes them believe that divorce will bring more happiness and a better looking spouse, we need to challenge that way of thinking.
The point that I am trying to make is that everyone is daily inundated with thousands of messages that ultimately have the ability to influence our beliefs. People need to realize that they are not bullet proof from these messages. Our bosses, peers, favorite TV shows, the billboards on the way to work, and even our parents are trying to convince us of something we should believed. We far too often believe something without looking at its merits and it is time that we stop.