7. Network dynamics amongst psychologists

 

The creation of safe policy requires a climate of open enquiry, exchange, and learning. We are aware that psychologists have been verbally attacked on psychology Facebook groups for expressing concern about the surge in adolescent trans identification. We are concerned that a cultural environment has developed that hinders the ability to learn, question and consider evidence in relation to these issues. We encourage the APS to remedy this situation by conveying to your members that diversity of opinion, respectfully conveyed, is not just acceptable but desirable for development of safe practice. We think it important that the APS develop an understanding of network dynamics in transmission of norms, feelings and behaviours, reflect on how these may impact the broader context for APS policy and practice, and consider that health professionals are not immune from cultural syndromes.

 

We ask APS to examine:

 

‘Culture-bound syndromes: satanic panic, multiple personality disorder and ROGD’ - an exploration of network phenomena relevant to the surge in adolescent transgender identity.

 

When Psychiatry Battled the Devil - a brief description of how mental health clinicians helped feed the satanic panic. Even highly trained professionals can get swept along by network influences. Is there a safe environment for the sharing of evidence and ideas amongst psychologists? Or would only the bravest APS members feel able to express concerns about gender policy?

 

Uncritical Allegiance: when linear thinking hurts gay kids addresses how ‘bubble thinking’ enables harms to accumulate. This is directly relevant to risks for LGB* youth and to reports that some APS members are self-censoring because they fear attack for voicing their concerns.