I have been reflecting on this of late. It is a truism that “the Therapist” (in the sense Alasdair MacIntyre is using the term and also in the actual, clinical sense) is the locus for all sorts of projections – not just from clients/patients/”service users” but from other professions and society at large.
This is writ large in psychiatry, but is no doubt the case not only in the helping professions but across the board in life. We all encounter each other running the risk of mistaking the social role with the person.
Of course, this is somewhat inevitable in day to day life, especially in briefer encounters focused on a specific practical transaction. Indeed, entering absolutely into a deeply personal encounter with everyone you meet runs the risk of a certain paralysis.
However, I wonder how much organisational demoralisation is due to the dehumanising effect of this in encounter after encounter, especially in work – which is where a very high proportion of our working life is spent?