Open Letter To The American Psychological Association

January 21, 2019

*Originally Written On Medium.Com

 

"Dear Fredric Rabinowitz, Matt Englar-Carlson, et al.:

 

I am a husband and father of two small children. My wife was diagnosed with very aggressive, early-onset stage four colon cancer in late 2017. As of December of 2018, our FDA approved chemotherapy treatment options have been exhausted and we are moving into experimental clinical trials. I will not air the personal and family trauma we have experienced from this in a public forum, but I would characterize it as likely unimaginable for anyone who has never been through a similar situation. I am caring for my sick and dying wife of two decades, caring for my two children, running my business, and making the mental, physical, and economic preparations necessary for being a single parent.

 

The trait which has most helped me during this ordeal is my stoicism. I had considered reaching out to a properly credentialed and licensed therapist, in order to have one to fall back upon if necessary, which is why I find it unfortunate that the APA has designated stoicism to be “on the whole harmful.” I will admit that part of me wants to react angrily to your characterization, but I will refrain from such, because to do so would not be very stoic.

 

Funny how that works.

 

Further, I find your guidelines themselves to be inappropriate. Guideline three in particular turns therapy sessions into a culture war battleground waged against vulnerable men in what is supposed to be a “safe space.” Weaponizing therapy sessions in the culture war is tremendously unprofessional. Given the volatility of my current family situation, I cannot reasonably risk putting myself in a position for my stoicism to be attacked by a hired therapy consultant following your guidelines. On my dime no less. To do so would be irresponsible to myself and my family.

 

If you have a database of state licensed therapists in Georgia who are not members of the APA, and are therefore less likely to follow these guidelines, it would be of great benefit to me, and possibly other men who are avoiding treatment because they value their stoicism.

 

Thank you for your time."

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