Saturday, April 27, 2013

"Brainwashed" People

A few week ago when Sam Lamda spoke in class, he spoke about intellectual development, the idea that people have the freedom to choose their actions (even if they don't realize it), and some of the different scenarios that we might face in the counseling setting.

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.


  1. Hey Rusty,
    I completely agree with your blog and article. Today the media has so much influence on society. Television and other people can take something so bad and advertise it as being the best thing in the world. This leads to curiosity and many people actually get wrapped up in whatever they are influenced to do. I do not have any children, but this is one issue that I am concerned about because of television and outside influences. Great post.

  2. As I was reading this I thought of a song called brainwashed by Da T.R.U.T.H. It talks about not allowing the sins of this world to brainwash us. He did not touch on politics but basically has the same concept. I personally had to come to a point in my life when I had to really check myself because I did not know whether or not I was believing things due to my up bringing or if it was real for me and thats in regards to everything, not just religion. I guess I found it easier not to question things and that was probably the product of laziness. Good job on your blog. I enjoyed reading it.


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