The book Crazy like Us was written by Ethan Watters who has studied the trends in social psychology for the past twenty years. This book went into detail on how our ideas on psychology as a culture were pretty much forced upon the other areas of the world and as a result started a chain reaction of mental, and in some cases physical health issues. This book stressed how if we had taken the time to understand multicultural differences and there effects on psychology before we forced our cultures ideas on them we could have taken a different approach and it may have been helpful instead of being so detrimental.
The chapter that stuck out to me the most was The Rise of Anorexia in Hong Kong; this reading really disturbed me deeply. I have known quite a few anorexic patients from the treatment center I am currently working at, and from what I have seen it is a very hard a delicate disease to treat, and I never knew how much harder it was to deal with overseas. The ways that we tried to alter the methods of how these cases are dealt with did nothing positive for the women and men of Hong Kong, if anything it made it worse Dr. Sing Lee who was Hong Kong’s top researcher of eating disorders believes, western assumptions about eating disorders were not only steamrolling local variations but also potentially acting as a vector, both spreading these illnesses and shaping their expression pg 63. (Crazy like Us). I believe there is no better way to sum up this chapter, and it also shows just how dangerous not knowing about the ways to handle different illnesses in other cultures can be to their population.
In the reading I was really shocked to see just how much damage that western civilization had done to the world psychologically. I do not personally blame us as a culture for the suffering of the individuals who were affected by our ideas, and this is because in reality we were trying to help the world by sharing the psychological breakthroughs that worked for our culture. I do blame us for not having as much multicultural competence as we needed before we decided to try to share our own cultural experiences with everyone else. If we had taken the time to find out if these methods were appropriate for certain cultures it may have not only saved many lives but helped us to find knew successful ways to be more sensitive to other cultures psychological differences and needs.
The book Crazy like Us was a great asset for me in expanding my multicultural horizons. It gave me an understanding of just how serious cultural differences are in finding and performing a successful psychological treatment. Some of the things that I read in this book made me cringe, I was truly upset that we as a culture hurt so many people when in reality we were only trying to do good and help them. In the future I am going to be sure to check with all patients to make sure they are comfortable with me culturally before I start any type of treatment, because I may not be what they need for a successful therapeutic journey. This book also showed me different was to go about treating patients from other cultures and how they may be sensitive to some of our western world ideas. If I have learned anything from this book it is that as counselors we need to take the time to be aware and respectful of the different psychological aspects of other cultures, and once we can do that we can become good multicultural therapists.