Here in South Africa, we have just been through a week of high protest against the attempt by the South African Psychological Board, a section of the Health Professions Council, to attempt an increase in the monopoly and control of the human mind and it’s care. Their attempt was resoundingly defeated by the voice and actions of thousands of people who provide better care in the form of natural and spiritual treatment. It is remarkable to see the actions of many utilising their democratic right to protest to an apartheid era monopoly not until this time exposed.

Some inquiry showed that the Psychological Board’s  overconfidence in getting the new regulation through, Regulation 969, was so high that they are currently reeling from the adverse reaction received to this attempt at stifling democracy in South Africa. With a volume of objection letters, petitions and protests in the past week, the Health Department had no other choice than to withdraw the regulation with the PR line that it is being ‘reconsidered’, that it had ‘clumsy wording.’ One should also realise that the Pyschological Board are the culprits here, not the Health Department. After all, who set up this idea of the increase in the ‘scope’ of psychology? The Board, not the Department. So Manto, the Health Minister, is not the target here.

In reality, South Africa has woken up to the fact that psychology is a dinasour in the mental health world and although it’s derivation comes from the word ‘psyche’, it has long since separated itself from handling of the human spirit to the far more lucrative industry of the brain. It is also not an unknown fact that psychology is working hard to be permitted to use psychiatric drugs. That can only lead to one thing, more drug addicts caught up in the mailstrom of a world of toxic chemicals. If psychology worked, why the need to drug patients? Why follow the ‘draconian’ practice of psychiatry – well documented to be a destructive force on this planet.

 One need only research back a few years and you will find many documents, both on the Internet and through freedom of Information requests that show the continuous efforts by this industry to exert control over the personnel evaluation profession, alternative medicine, counseling and religious counseling.  Simply read section 37 of the Health Professions Act and the extended Regulation 969, attempted to be promoted as ‘only affecting psychologists,’ to understand the extent to which these people go to to control every aspect of behaviour.

Democracy? I think not. Especially if you regard the statistical evidence that until this time, psychology cannot define mental illness, nor has it cures for any of the ailments, or diseases as they call them (without any scientific/empirical evidence). Much of psychology is STILL in research. Isn’t it time they got the answer? Unless of course, they are the wrong path entirely – which is becoming more and more apparent.

South Africa has a magnificent Constitution. All South Africans have the right to use it and to choose their own counsel, treatments and interventions. Psychology has no right to dictate who is right and who is wrong. We have a Bill of Rights that protects every one of us. We as South Africans have now sent the message loudly and clearly to psychology. As a minority followed industry with few answers, they can no longer dictate terms.

It is time that Section 37 of the Health Professions Act be scrapped and a more acceptable and democratic system replace it. A dedicated group of individuals and organisations is setting about to do this, Deep Empowerment Collective, and they should be helped and supported.

Contributed to by: Citizens Commission on Human Rights Africa