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Manufacturing Victims: What the Psychology Industry is Doing to People

This provocative expose of the psychology, and in particular the psychotherapy industry was first published in 1996 and was written by Tara Dineen, who has been referred to as a “dissident psychologist” with 30 years of experience.  In Manufacturing Victims: What the Psychology Industry is Doing to People, a wildly popular book which has been cited in both Time magazine and The New York Times, Dineen makes solid, well-founded arguments that focus in on the rise of “victim culture” in the world of professional psychotherapy.

“Victim culture” is basically the idea that these psychotherapists prey on people who may not even need counselling, by convincing them they are a victim of some person, situation or affliction from their past.  Then they position themselves to be right there to heal the victim.

By 1995, 46% of the U.S. population had seen a mental health professional – this is one of the interesting statistics which Dineen gives to readers to show the sharp increase in the amount of people influenced by psychotherapy.  And there is a glaring lack of scientific evidence to support many of these theories that create these so-called “victims.”

Some of the topics covered throughout the book include Victim-Making, Fabricated Victims, Selling Psychology as a Science, The Business of Psychology, The Technology of Victim-Making, The Rise to Power of the Psychology Industry, and Living in the Shadow of the Psychology Industry.   The book shines light on the question of who should be able to determine if a person has suffered enough to require psychological counselling, and when it should be necessary to intervene.

About the Author

Dr. Tana Dineen is a former practicing psychologist who graduated in 1969 with her Honours Bachelor of Science degree from McGill University, and received her Masters (1971) and Doctoral degree (1975) from the University of Saskatchewan.  She also worked as a Treatment Director of a large psychiatric hospital for four years, where she established specialized programs that won her an American Psychiatric Association prize for Innovative Programming.  Dineen is a Full Member of the American Psychological Association and the Canadian Psychological Association.

Dr. Dineen began to notice that psychology, which was originally a science dedicated to the curing of serious pathology, had been watered-down into a broad range of pseudo-science and pseudo-therapy.  After a period of time, she could no longer stomach the profession, and believed that psychology could no longer reform itself from the inside, which led her to leave her clinical practice.  Now she runs a B&B in Victoria, British Columbia.  She also writes several monthly columns for Canadian newspapers on various topics.

Reviews

Mark Sauer, San Diego Union-Tribune:

“Renegade psychologist dukes it out with feelings folks.”

LA Daily Journal:

“This gun is not for hire! Clinician slams the expert-witness racket.”

Lynn McAuley, Ottawa Citizen:

“Tana Dineen…the woman who put psychology on the couch.”

Michael Roberts, Denver Westword:

“Tana Dineen…arguably the planet’s preeminent psychotherapy critic.”

The Mail on Sunday (London):

“…argues that psychology has changed from a respectable academic discipline into an industry eager to sell its products…”