“Mainstream Psychology Can Go Fuck Itself” by Holly Truhlar

I want to share this amazing article by lawyer, grief therapist, ritualist, and community builder (wow, what a resume!), Holly Truhlar, about the complicity of mainstream psychology in the systems which are destroying our society and our planet. You can read the whole article on Holly’s website. And here’s a link to an interview of her on Last Born in the Wilderness.

Here’s some of the highlights from the article:


“In therapy, most people are taught to care for themselves. To speak their needs. Perhaps to communicate more clearly. And, we’re taught to look at our ‘unhealthy’ patterns and change them. Mostly, this is a form of responsibilism and narcissism that hardly addresses the larger issues we’re dealing with as a species, as a planet. It puts the onus on the individual and takes the focus off of the violent and divisive systems we’re in.

It distracts us from the bigger predicaments: near-term social collapse IS imminent due to the global climate crisis and ecocide resulting from capitalism, imperialism, racism, and patriarchy (the kyriarchy).”


As with all things capitalist, patriarchal, and committed to the growth of civilization, psychology is used mostly as a tool of the oppressor to keep us divided into individual causes rather than working in solidarity with our class structure.

“It’s created a false narrative where what’s healthy and desirable is the self-regulated individual who can meet their own needs and state their boundaries clearly. If the individual isn’t being emphasized (see attachment-based therapies), then the romantic partnership or nuclear family is given a hyper-focus, often to the exclusion or detriment of community.”


“I want to continually question the way traditional psychology plays into the cult of individualism and privatization. …

Instead of continuing to perpetuate these sociopathic narratives, I want to explore the communal processes we can support and create to encourage collective processing and nervous system regulation—ritual, spoken word and music, group somatics. I want to drop the insane idea that we must love ourselves first, and process all our shit before, we can step into relationship. Let’s question the widespread use of bourgeois practices that require one-on-one work and significant investment. Let’s put the same amount of resources, time, and effort into building communities of practice and care.”


“Because the truth is, we don’t have time for this shit. We have a small window in which we MAY be able to learn the skills needed to co-regulate with each other and organize for the needed revolution (or end-of-life care for our species). Skills we desperately need as things continue to fray and fall apart.”

Published by John Halstead

John Halstead is the author of Another End of the World is Possible, in which he explores what it would really mean for our relationship with the natural world if we were to admit that we are doomed. John is a native of the southern Laurentian bioregion and lives in Northwest Indiana, near Chicago. He is a co-founder of 350 Indiana-Calumet, which (until recently) worked to organize resistance to the fossil fuel industry in the Region. John was the principal facilitator of “A Pagan Community Statement on the Environment.” He strives to live up to the challenge posed by the Statement through his writing and activism. John has written for numerous online platforms, including Patheos, Huffington Post, PrayWithYourFeet.org, and Gods & Radicals. He is Editor-at-Large of HumanisticPaganism.com. John also edited the anthology, Godless Paganism: Voices of Non-Theistic Pagans and authored Neo-Paganism: Historical Inspiration & Contemporary Creativity. He is also a Shaper of the Earthseed community, more about which can be found at GodisChange.org.

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