I am a psychologist, though not a clinician, but I agree with your anonymous clinical-psychologist correspondent. He is correct to criticize the politicization of clinical psychology. The politics are linked to a covert morality. Clinical “interventions” usually have a moral dimension that is neglected by most practitioners and by the official organs of the profession, such as the American Psychological Association. Which is not to say the field has no morality. It does; but it is rarely made explicit and is very often in conflict with other moral systems, particularly religious ones. Its morality is egocentric and egalitarian.
As an example of egocentrism, consider a strange phenomenon that is becoming surprisingly common among contemporary academics: a change in sexual orientation or gender in mid-life. John, a married man with young children becomes unhappy with his sexual identity. He consults his psychologist: What should he do? His course of action raises a moral issue, because it will have an impact on his wife and children. A candidate for transgendering, for example, is unlikely to get three cheers from his kids when they are asked to call him not “Daddy” but “Jane”. His wife will not be overjoyed either. Against these “bads” must be balanced the “good” of Jack’s “mental health,” which will (the therapist may be convinced) be much better if he undergoes surgery and reappears as a women (his/her tenure prospects may improve also, one suspects).
A moral dilemma ─ but not for the average clinical psychologist. His client’s “authentic self” is his only concern. If he’s convinced that Jack really wants to become Jane, that will be his recommendation ─ side effects be damned. In other words, the usual “morality” of clinical psychology is totally self-centered. The only reason your average clinician would seriously consider the unhappiness caused to others by his client’s actions is if they adversely impact the client.
Mental “health” differs from physical health in many ways, not the least of which is the reaction of others. A loving family will rejoice when daddy’s appendicitis is relieved; not so when he is “cured” of his gender or sexual orientation.
But your correspondent’s concern is with a different aspect of the ideology of clinical psychology, its devotion to egalitarianism. Egalitarianism is not specific to psychology; it is the dominant belief among academics in the humanities and social sciences. Why that should be is a story for another time. The quiet but fanatical devotion to (racial, ethnic, but not intellectual) “diversity” derives (I suspect) from egalitarianism. A belief in “diversity” is especially appealing to psychologists because it solves something that is a special problem for them, namely the manifest inequality of human beings. Individuals, and races, differ, not only in obviously biological characteristics like physiognomy and skin color, but more sensitive aspects such as IQ. The reasons for the differences in average IQ, and what they mean in terms of individual psychological processes, are far from clear. But their reality is not in doubt. “Diversity” offers an egalitarian solution to this quandary: different races have different “intelligences” and must therefore get different clinical treatments. What’s more (whew!) this means IQ rankings are meaningless.
The idea of irreconcilably different intelligences flies in the face of psychology’s claim to be a natural science; it denies the reality of a universal “human nature”; it renders forward progress in understanding the mind almost impossible, since all differences in behavior must be treated as irreducible. It is as if Galileo had accepted the unequal motions of the planets as givens, leaving Newton no work to do in unifying them. And of course there is no evidence for it ─ no evidence at all that the minds of human beings differ in ineradicable ways. Indeed, it is hard to know what form such evidence could take, since it amounts to proving a negative.
Most importantly, a belief that different groups think in irreconcilably different ways makes real discourse between different groups and different races ─ indeed, even between different human beings ─ absolutely impossible. You say the sun goes round the earth and I say the opposite. That’s it. We can proceed no further. In such a world controversial issues can be resolved only by force and intimidation, just as your correspondent reports.