The Assumptive Worlds of Psychopathy IX: The World of Aspirations

The Assumptive Worlds of Psychopathy IX: The World of Aspirations

In providing an initial frame for this assumptive world of Aspiration, I am entering into a dialogue with other people who have addressed issues associated with psychopathy. In my previous essays, I have interacted with ancient philosophers, theologians, social observers, critics of contemporary mental health practices, and those formulating diagnostic categorizations of mental disturbances. In this essay, I enter into dialogue with David H. Rosmarin an assistant professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School and founder of the Center for Anxiety in New York. While I agree with much of what Dr. Rosmarin has written in a recent article in the Boston Globe (Rosmarin, 2021), I wish to offer a slightly difference perspective—while fully appreciating and being thankful for what Rosmarin has presented.

I will be offering many of my own thoughts and recommendations. However, I have quoted extensively from what Rosmarin has written—both because his excellent ideas are not readily accessible to those not subscribing to the Boston Globe and because my own work is engaged specifically in reaction to what he has written. To use a term from the sport of boxing, I am engaged in counterpunching with David Rosmarin, using his own strategies and perspectives to define and clarify my own strategy and perspectives. I am very thankful to David Rosmarin for his contribution to my own formulation of an assumptive world of Aspirations.

The Psychologist Will See You Now

David Rosmarin’s article is titled “The Psychologist Will See Everybody Now.” He begins his essay with the following personal reflection:

Throughout my training in clinical psychology, I was taught that psychotherapy is for the mentally ill. I learned how to diagnose and treat people suffering from psychotic, personality, mood, and anxiety disorders, and those who were grappling with self-injury and suicidal thoughts.


I still draw heavily on my training when faced with patients in crisis, but this past year has made me realize that this narrow view maybe costly and detrimental to mental health in general

I would suggest that Dr. Rosmarin is confronting the same flaws I have seen in the fourth assumptive world I identified in my previous essay (Bergquist, 2020d). This is the world of mental illness and the framing of all forms of psychopathy within a medical model. It is a world, as a result, in which all (or most) human distress is treated as a disease that can somehow be “cured.”


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About the Author

William BergquistWilliam Bergquist, Ph.D. An international coach and consultant in the fields of psychology, management and public administration, author of more than 50 books, and president of a psychology institute. Dr. Bergquist consults on and writes about personal, group, organizational and societal transitions and transformations. His published work ranges from the personal transitions of men and women in their 50s and the struggles of men and women in recovering from strokes to the experiences of freedom among the men and women of Eastern Europe following the collapse of the Soviet Union. In recent years, Bergquist has focused on the processes of organizational coaching. He is coauthor with Agnes Mura of coachbook, co-founder of the International Journal of Coaching in Organizations and co-founder of the International Consortium for Coaching in Organizations.

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