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Myths of Childhood by Joel Paris

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13

CHAPTER

Parenting

image  Why Therapists Are Not Experts on Life

Mental health professionals are treated with ambivalent respect. When I tell other people what I do for a living, it is not unusual to get responses such as, Oh, you’re a psychiatrist—well what do you think about—?, with the blank being filled in with a recent and celebrated crime story or the sexual practices of the rich and famous. In a less benign vein, if I challenge some conventional wisdom, I may get the comment. How can you possibly say a thing like that—after all, you’re a psychiatrist.

As I get older, I gain knowledge but become increasingly cautious about pontificating. Professionals ...

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