Pathology in psychology. What does it mean?

As Feminist theorist Gilligan (1993) has argued compellingly, implicit in this model of male development is an understanding of psychological health as being synonymous with autonomy and separateness. Conversely pathology and moral weakness within psychoanalytic theory have traditionally been seen as resulting from a failure to define oneself as separate from the other. (13)

Ah. I have had this problem with therapists. R and I went as newlyweds to get help in being better husband and wife. The therapists did not know what to do to help us since we had no pathology. They gave us a test that showed that we were too “intertwined” with each other and not separate enough. (What did they expect of newlyweds?) Then they said they guessed it was okay if we both wanted to be pathological. At least we were in agreement on our dysfunction.

I have always been annoyed by that. It happened in 1989 or 1990. I have read Gilligan, but I didn’t realize that she was talking about our experience. Very useful. We were non-patriarchical, non-pyramidic, and thus did not fit their Western/American expectations of individualism outside of a group.

Quote from: Liebman, Samuel J. and Steven C. Abell. “Reconstructing the Sacred: Evolving Conceptualizations of Religious Faith in Psychoanalytic Theory and Practice.” Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy 30.1 (2000): 7-25. ProQuest.