Ethan Watters is an author and journalist who has spent the last two decades writing about psychiatry and social psychology. Most recently, he is the author of Crazy Like Us: The Globalization of the American Psyche. Prior to that, he wrote Urban Tribes: Are Friends the New Family, an examination of the growing population of the “never marrieds.” He began his career writing about daycare abuse scar es, satanic cult conspiracies, and other urban hysterias of the early 1990s. He was the first national magazine writer to expose the excesses and mistakes of therapists who lead their patients to uncover “recovered memories” of early childhood abuse. That work culminated in a co-authorship (with UC Berkeley social psychologist Richard Ofshe) of Making Monsters: False Memories, Psychotherapy and Sexual Hysteria, a groundbreaking indictment of the recovered memory movement. Watters is a frequent contributor to The New York Times Magazine, Discover, Men’s Journal, Details, Wired, and This American Life. Watters is co-founder (along with Ethan Canin and Po Bronson) of the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto, a workspace for journalists, novelists, poets and filmmakers. He lives in San Francisco with his wife and children.
“Crazy Like Us”
The most devastating consequence of the spread of American culture across the globe has not been our golden arches or our bomb craters, but our bulldozing of the human psyche itself. American-style depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and anorexia have begun to spread around the world like contagions, and the virus is us. Traveling from Hong Kong to Sri Lanka to Zanzibar to Japan, acclaimed journalist Ethan Watters witnesses firsthand how Western healers often steamroll indigenous expressions of mental health and madness and replace them with our own. In teaching the rest of the world to think like us, we have been homogenizing the way the world goes mad.
Copies of the book will be for sale at the lecture.
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SU Graduate Student Organization
Counseling and Human Services Department