In Search and Proof of Human Beings, Not Machines

  • Joseph F. Rychlak
Part of the Path in Psychology book series (PATH)


What was to become a career challenge fell on me “like a ton of bricks” one morning in November of 1957. I had taken the doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology at The Ohio State University that spring and was having a marvelous time in my first job as an Assistant Professor at Florida State University. The incident to which I am referring nicely captures the core of my life’s work, and therefore I would like to present it before moving on to other matters. It occurred while I was teaching an applied course in family and child therapy. There were four male graduate students enrolled, and I had scheduled a case-review session in which other clinical staff and a consulting psychiatrist were present. I was infuriated to find my students sitting through the review of their cases without saying one word regarding the dynamic aspects of their clients, mentioning only statistical data like social class level or number of appointments met. No hypothetical interpretations were proffered, such as possible motivations of the child or suggestive dynamics of the parents. I tried repeatedly to bring them out with hints and questions but, much to my embarrassment, my students did not cooperate. The shame was so great that I could not make eye contact with my colleagues or the psychiatrist.


Human Image Efficient Causation Formal Causation Mechanical Robot Male Graduate Student 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joseph F. Rychlak
    • 1
  1. 1.12974 Abraham Run, CarmelUSA

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