And so we have arrived to the juicy stuff- Evil Psychologists!
You'd be surprised, but there have been a LOT of those in real life. It's the reason that the ethics code and penalization if that code is broken is so severe for professionals in the mental health sector. An evil psychologist is basically an unethical one: one that uses the skills he/she has acquired without regard or, even worse, with direct malice for his/her client's emotional, mental and physical welfare.
Therefore I think the best way to talk about evil shrinks is to illustrate with three real life examples which are notorious enough, either in pop culture or in the psychology circles (both, really), and the archetypes for your realistically evil therapist types.
The first is the infamous Milgram experiments on obedience.
Though an important set of experiments in their insights into human nature, the disregard for the wellbeing of the participants in this experiment is unconscionable, even with the supposed feedback of many participants that they were glad to have participated.
The reason for this is that the nature of the experiment (to find out to which extent, even to the point of killing a person, would the participant continue to obey authority's orders) is such that forces the participants to come to terms with a part of themselves they may not be ready for or, even worse, not know how to handle. Suddenly realising that you might be capable of murder if the man in the right uniform or labcoat orders you is a shocking thing, and a high stress risk. This can lead to a lot of emotional and mental disruptions in a person, either immediately or further down the road.
And that's not even counting in the whole Holocaust perpetrator apologist element in the experiments.
Milgram is probably the inspiration for a lot of ubervillain mind controlling evil shrink underlings.
The second example of evil psychologists from real life are those (yes, plural) who are involved in the notorious Conversion Therapy treatments.
Not only the effort to change a person's sexuality is futile as it's simply not doable with what we currently know about the human mind and body, assuming we would want to do that, it is also extremely traumatic and abusively invasive. It ranges from behavioral modification treatments to lobotomies, and aside from extreme mental and physical trauma, potential PTSD and other disorders afflicted to the victim of conversion therapy, there is no permanent or even short-lived sexual orientation change.
Dr. Brodsky and Dr. Brandon from A Clockwork Orange might have been inspired from the approach to ‘curing’ clients that conversion therapy has.
Last but not least are behaviorists Watson and Rayner, and their victim Little Albert. This was one of the earliest behavioral conditioning (or behavioral modification) experiments, in which the two experimenters literally aimed and succeeded in giving a little boy a phobia. And they succeeded so well that the phobia generalized and the boy started being terrified of a lot more things than the initial goal of being afraid of a furry animal. There are some accounts that he ended up fearing even the color white in some contexts. The worst of the matter is that Little Albert left before they could perform desensitization and help him get rid of the phobia he had never initially had.
Even worse is that either the little child was the subject of the experiment without his mother being aware until it was too late, or his mother was being coerced into allowing them to do this to her baby.
Evil psychologists like the ones conducting the super secret ubermensch experiments on children in Naoki Urasawa's Monster, are very much in this category.
Evil psychologists are insidious, manipulative and unconcerned about what harm their practices might cause, if those practices serve their purpose. Which are things many villains share, but in the case of therapists they have the added bonus of being able to get under their victims' skin.
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Tantz_Aerine at 12:00AM, Jan. 25, 2020
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