Thanks for the thoughts. I have an email on file from a herbalist who also belongs to HBES. She feels herself viewed suspiciously by people in mainstream psychiatry and psychology on the one hand and by other naturopaths/herbalists on the other. It seems that she's a darwinian. Bob Wright commented once that psychiatry may be particularly unappreciative of Darwinian explanations; his guess was shared by a coordinator of training for psychiatric residents. People in the workshop business sometimes feel that evolution is a yawn producer.
My clients seem interested, refreshed, and intrigued by my tales of alphas, Frank Suomi's impressions of high profile rhesus kids, the functionality of approach/avoidance behavior, and accounts of mate guarding. Depressed enablers sometimes bite into the notion of how much power they have over the longer term. Wives teased by company flirts get a script from me about the intruder's likely next moves and ask later, "How on earth did you know?" The entire Monica/Bill incident is magnificent in scale and boring in detail because of evolutionary precedents.
Lately, I've been using Stu Kauffman as a model for how reactive kid's minds work ... as phase states with a very very narrow transition zone. Such a thing reflects low cross connection between logic units,their children's bimodal response style is comparable to a standard light switch. Maturity brings a greater interconnection between competing response systems, a slowing of style, an examination of multiple options, and reasoning instead of screaming.
These poor parents are so frustrated and guilty that they have done something wrong. Newly emerging information about familial influences on personality and even on detailed behaviors lifts spirits and gives optistic direction for the future. It's also wonderful to give them a basis for their feelings of disrespect and anger when slandered by a 3 y.o. kid. Moms and Dads smile when they learn some effective, painless techniques for reestablishing a dominance hierarchy within their homes.
I do not challenge their religious beliefs directly. One of my dear friends is a Fundamentalist ... the Bible is literally true and we are not from apes (also true but not in the way she believes). However, she is exquisite for taking a Darwinian or EP mechanism and finding a basis for it in King David. Most people, regardles of persuasion, want to help their children. Information about vocal quality, dominance tactics, and children's strategies for making adults follow orders seems to help. Kalman Glantz discussed the notion of reciprocity and flawed expectations in relationships. Parents of disruptive children have exactly those issues. "I did for Susie, therefore, she should not kick me." Nonsense, kids are wired to grow at anyone's expense and parents are wired to help them do it.
Gosh,you got me going! There's probably some needy graduate student now schlepping through comparative data on therapeutic approaches and patient reactions. Not that the results will convince anyone.