Therapists for Social Responsibility:
Proclamation of Principles and Values
We are social workers, psychiatrists, psychologists, family therapists, pastoral counselors, chemical dependency counselors, psychiatric nurses, and other mental health professionals with core principles and values we are committed to uphold.
As in our practices we encourage people to speak out about their convictions, in the urgency of the moment we are choosing as a group to voice our convictions to the Congress, the news media, and the public.
We believe that the physical and psychological environment that is shaped by government policies, legislation, programs and leaders markedly affects the well-being of those who are governed or impacted by these policies.
And as holders of the public trust, committed to do no harm and to treatment toward health and wellness, we believe we have a moral imperative to support and endorse only policies, legislation, programs and leaders that accord with those principles and values; and to oppose those that do not.
1. We believe in peaceful negotiation as a constructive alternative to violence and war, which harm the psyche and often lead to post traumatic stress disorder, psychosis, anxiety and depression, a vicious cycle that can be perpetuated for generations.
2. We believe that we have within us the capacity for empathy, compassion and generosity as well as for dehumanization, detachment, and self-centeredness and that we are at our highest levels of health and well-being when we are guided by and engaged in the former. We believe we are best served bt sharing our resources globally with those who are suffering through preventable poverty, disease, homelessness, and neglect.
3. We believe that the proliferation and use of weapons of mass destruction is unsustainable and imperils the existence of all human and most other life forms. We believe that and in the steps leading to that devastation the physical and psychological anguish of humankind will increase exponentially.
4. We believe that a safe and nontoxic environment is critical to our physical and psychological health and that we must safeguard the ecosystems on which we all depend, including those resources known as the commons which constitute the basic necessities of life. We believe that a healthy environment includes protection of and access to natural settings which are places of psychological and spiritual healing.
5. We believe that a society connected to core principles and values will create and implement social programs that promote the health and well-being of its citizens, leading to a humanistic civil society with decreased amounts of stress, guilt, fear and pain. We believe that while basic material goods necessary for survival should be available to all people, excessive inessential goods at the real cost of other people’s poverty is toxic for the human psyche.
6. We believe that the discriminating or scapegoating of others based on race, skin color, religion, ethnicity, economic status, gender, sexual preference, or political belief for any purpose is antithetical to human integrity and compromise the psychological health of all parties concerned.
7. We believe that privacy and confidentiality are critical to our ability to trust and feel safe and that the invasion of privacy or confidentiality for political purposes or to censor debate is detrimental to our sense of well being and creates an unhealthy state of anxiety and fearfulness.
8. We believe that we are best served in a model of integrity, transparency, and justice, whether in relationship to the self, family, community or to the larger global community.
We therefore support and endorse legislation, policies, programs, and leaders whose efforts are toward peaceful negotiation; sharing our resources; reducing our military establishment; protecting our environment; providing funding for adequate social services; prohibit discrimination; maintain privacy and confidentiality; and further the honest, open and just treatment of every individual.
We encourage other mental health professionals and other like-minded persons to support and endorse only legislation, policies, programs and leaders that reflect the principles and values herein stated.
---Therapists for Social Responsibility Steering Committee