Academic journal article et Cetera

Excerpts from THE NEW SCIENCE OF AXIOLOGICAL PSYCHOLOGY

Academic journal article et Cetera

Excerpts from THE NEW SCIENCE OF AXIOLOGICAL PSYCHOLOGY

Article excerpt

A Personal Note

"VALUE" is at once the most important, the most poorly understood, and the least studied concept in the field of psychology. About this, I am in agreement with the late Milton Rokeach (Rokeach, 1973). Looking back over the history of clinical psychology, we see that few psychologists have undertaken a scientific or clinical study of values and morals in spite of their enormous clinical and societal relevance. By default, values are left to religion, humanism, and philosophy. Yet, values and morals are too important to be left in those hands alone, a view I have not always held as a clinical and research psychologist.

My career in psychology, including my initial training in psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic personality theory, began as a graduate student at the University of Texas in Austin. In those days, the city of Austin boasted 90,000 people instead of millions, and the streets were open without traffic jams! At U.T. Austin, I studied under Gardner Lindzey who presided over the psychology department and Kenneth Spence who had "psychoanalyzed" B. F. Skinner at Harvard. I was most impressed by Spence's presentation of learning theory, Karl Dallenbach's presentation of the history of psychology, Bruce Deatherage's neurophysiology, R.J. Williams's biochemical individuality, and A.J. Welch's biomedical engineering. I was privileged at the University of Texas in Austin to carry out an interdisciplinary doctoral dissertation involving many academic departments, and I benefited from generous scholarships and research assistantships. This great university encouraged and supported my growth as a young scholar. I want U.T. Austin to know that my rich educational opportunities at Texas were not squandered.

My doctoral work at Austin was followed by an academic appointment at Long Island University and a private clinical practice on Manhattan's Upper East Side. Between 1969 and 1973, my approach to clinical psychology was supported and enriched as a clinical post doctoral fellow at the ElHs Institute in Manhattan.

The clinical orientation of cognitive psychology focuses on highly internalized beliefs rather than on the Id, Ego, or Superego structures of psychoanalysis. My work with belief structures ultimately took me to the study of value structures after I discovered Robert S. Hartman (Hartman, 1967b) while a fellow at the Ellis Institute. I have since struggled to understand the relation between values and beliefs and have come to the conclusion that all beliefs involve values, but not all values involve beliefs.

In time I retired from teaching and accepted a position as Senior Staff Psychologist at a major medical center, The Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center Outpatient Clinic in Brooklyn. This move permitted me to devote my career largely to clinical practice.

During this time I was fortunate to meet a group of progressive physicians seeking to establish an International Academy of Preventive or Alternative Medicine. They approached me, knowing my interests and background as a former Research Assistant to R.J. Williams of the clayton Foundation Biochemical Institute at the University of Texas at Austin. Williams was a friend of Linus Pauling, Julian Huxley, and other notables who visited our Institute on the Texas campus from time to time. Williams is known for his publications in the fields of nutrition, alcoholism, cancer, and biochemical individuality (Williams, 1959). He is known also for having discovered more vitamins and their variants than any other scientist in the world.

These physicians asked me to invite R.J. Williams and Linus Pauling (Pauling, 2001) to an organizational meeting in St. Louis, Missouri in the early 197Os. I did, and they agreed to come. They later became active sponsors of our international alternative medicine society, composed largely of doctors dedicated to proactive biodynamic medicine as well as to pharmacodynamic crisis medicine. …

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