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“Most psychiatric drugs can cause withdrawal reactions, sometimes including life-threatening emotional and physical withdrawal problems… Withdrawal from psychiatric drugs should be done carefully under experienced clinical supervision.” Dr. Peter Breggin

Mar 24, 2012

The Comprehensive Soldier Fitness Program


via Mindhacks Blog: 

Wishful resilience

a few excerpts:
"The New York Times has an extended article that uncritically dicusses a $125 million US Military programme currently designed to increase resilience against mental illness." 
"If you were going to base your program on a psychometric assessment, most importantly, you would want to know that your assessment predicted problems or coping in particular soldiers.
"For example, if a particular soldier had a low score on, let’s say, the emotional fitness part of the scale, it would be important to know that tells us about what sort of problems the soldier is likely to have in real life and during his or her service.
"You would also want to know that the assessment told us about the likelihood of the solider getting mental illness. It makes sense, right? If you’ve designed a programme intended to prevent mental illness based on an assessment, the assessment should tell us which soldiers are at higher risk for psychiatric difficulties so we can help with skills and abilities to mitigate that risk.
"In psychological jargon, this is known as predictive validity and it can be tested statistically.
"It is not known whether the Global Assessment Tool does actually predicts anything useful about US soldiers’ problems because this was never tested." (emphasis mine) read here
Reading the article in the New York Times, I was stunned to read,  "A core principle of the program is seeing an event as neutral, neither bad nor good, and focusing instead on your reaction to the event."   I have read about sociopaths who have described using very similar cognitive behavioral techniques when committing crimes.  

What is Comprehensive Soldier Fitness?

A structured, long term assessment and development program to build the resilience and enhance the performance of every Soldier, Family member and DA civilian.

Sounds good, but what does that actually mean?  Well it means the largest ever psychology research project is now underway, according to American Psychological Association.
via The Society for Humanistic Psychology 
MONDAY, JULY 11, 2011
The Dark Side of "Comprehensive Soldier Fitness"
an excerpt:
"Although its advocates prefer to describe Comprehensive Soldier Fitness as a training program, it is indisputably a research project of enormous size and scope, one in which a million soldiers are required to participate. Reivich, Seligman, and McBride write in one of the special issue articles, "We hypothesize that these skills will enhance soldiers' ability to handle adversity, prevent depression and anxiety, prevent PTSD, and enhance overall well-being and performance" (p. 26, emphasis added). This is the very core of the entire CSF program, yet it is merely a hypothesis -- a tentative explanation or prediction that can only be confirmed through further research."

"There seems to be reluctance and inconsistency among the CSF promoters in acknowledging that CSF is "research" and therefore should entail certain protections routinely granted to those who participate in research studies. Seligman explained to the APA's Monitor on Psychology, "This is the largest study -- 1.1 million soldiers -- psychology has ever been involved in" (a "study" is a common synonym for "research project"). But when asked during an NPR interview whether CSF would be "the largest-ever experiment," Brig. Gen. Cornum, who oversees the program, responded, "Well, we're not describing it as an experiment. We're describing it as training." Despite the fact that CSF is incontrovertibly a research study, standard and important questions about experimental interventions like CSF are neither asked nor answered in the special issue. This neglect is all the more troubling given that the program is so massive and expensive, and the stakes are so high." read here

NOW this puts the Champions of Change award ceremony or whatever that whole production was, into perspective for me:  It was an effort to pretty something up and sell it for something it is not; effectively make it more than what it actually is---just another massive research project being called 'training.'  NOT NICE, (or ethical) AT ALL...

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