I often get books on psychology sent to me by publishers, and the other day I received Jeffrey Kottler’s On Being a Therapist. The book is now in its fourth edition, and this latest edition “puts the spotlight on the therapist’s role and responsibility to promote issues of diversity, social justice, human rights, and systemic changes within the community and the world at large.”
Whoa: I thought the therapist’s role was to increase the client’s well-being and treat mental illness.
It used to be that therapists just saw clients and sent them a bill. Now — perhaps because the “sending them a bill” part has gotten more difficult in these days of managed care and public skepticism about the profession — they are transforming themselves into superhuman beings who think they can save the entire world. Therapists may have been narcissistic before, but it takes a special kind of narcissism to see one’s own self as a world-saver.