Women's Intellectual Contributions to the Study of Mind and Society

Students, as part of an advanced seminar, examined and wrote about the lives of these women, their intellectual contributions, and the unique impact and special problems that being female had on their careers.

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Patricia Bricklin

Patricia Bricklin grew up Irish-Catholic living with her mother Agnes Crompton McIntosh, who was a caseworker for the Red Cross. She also lived with her Grandmother Mary Ellen Treanor who told her stories about Irish royalty. Her father had been killed in action during World War I. She grew up surrounded by music and even sang Brahms Lullaby on a local radio station when she was 4 years old (Bricklin, 2001).

Bricklin attended high school at St. Ursula Academy in Toledo, Ohio. She said that the nuns provided intellectual challenges and encouraged questioning. Bricklin said that this environment sent mixed messages that women could be whatever they wanted, but at the same time they were told to be what women are expected to be. This was also during World War II when the country was pulling together for the war effort (Bricklin, 2001).

Despite her quality education, Bricklin had trouble getting into graduate school to earn her doctorate. She had taken classes for masters degree from Johns Hopkins University; she was told her grades were fine, her test scores were acceptable, and her letters of recommendation were excellent. She was not accepted into the program because she was a woman. The professor who interviewed her said that if she was ugly and would not marry he would let her in the program. Otherwise it would be a waste to give it to her instead of a man who would do something with a degree (Bricklin, 2001).

Eventually she was accepted at Temple University in Pennsylvania where she found what she was looking for. The best child-oriented program at the time was at the Reading Clinic, which was part of the Department of Psychology. She was able to integrate clinical work and remedial education (Bricklin, 2001).

It was while she was at Temple that she met her husband Barry Bricklin. They were married while she finished her work, and had two sons. After she graduated they had two daughters. They raised their children during the women's movement, the civil rights movement, and the Vietnam War (Bricklin, 2001).

For a good part of her career Bricklin had a call-in radio show with her husband. She said that working on the radio show taught her many things that helped her later in her career. She had to learn to really listen to people and the tone of voice they use. On the air she could not see the face of the person she was counseling. She had to use other clues to tell how they were feeling. There were also a lot of ethical concerns to deal with as well. These led her to be a lobbyist and research the ethics of Psychological evaluation (Bricklin, 2001).

In an article on the topic of ethics Bricklin says that it is important for the assessor to explore his or her own personal ethics. She believes that a psychologist who is clear about personal ethics is better able to listen, evaluate, and respond to a client without confusing personal ethical issues with those of the client. Bricklin also says that personal ethics can influence both the content and course of assessment and intervention. "A psychologist's clarity about personal ethics removes one area of confusion from the psychological process or procedure and is especially helpful when ethical dilemmas arise (Bricklin, 2001)."

There are several overarching sets of principles that are necessary for any process of effective ethical decision making according to Bricklin. They are autonomy (the client's right to self-direction), beneficence (doing good for others), nonmaleficence (not doing harm), and fidelity and justice (the responsibilities accruing from a special relation of trust and fairness where the welfare of the client comes first). Philosophers have stated that these principles are binding and need to be considered in all decision making, and if they are to be overturned, there needs to be compelling reasons (Bricklin, 2001).

Bricklin says that this process involves a series of steps that the psychologist should use to decide on a course of action. The first step involves identifying whether the problem faced by the psychologist is truly an ethical dilemma. In this step, the psychologist tries to identify the basic issues creating the dilemma and makes the decision as to whether or not it truly is an ethical question rather than a business or technical problem. The second step involves identifying the persons who have a legitimate stake in the resolution of the dilemma. These may include only the psychologist and the client but also may include an institution, a family, or other relevant groups. The third step involves identifying any relevant ethical standards or principles. Here, the basic codes of ethics of the psychologist are reviewed and considered (Bricklin, 2001).

Bricklin also became an advocate and worked to eliminate many problems in Psychology, especially in education. She says that psychologists' participation in the delivery of health care services in schools is determined partly by legal, professional, and financial constraints. According to Bricklin, legal parameters include both current and proposed federal and state legislation related to education and health care as well as licensing and credentialing issues. Recognition of psychologists as health care providers in schools is also likely to be affected by credentials and standards for practice issued by various government agencies or professional associations and by the funding mechanisms established to support a reformed American Health Care system (Bricklin, 1995).

Patricia Bricklin spent much of her career on the radio, which taught her a lot. She learned how to actually listen to what patients are saying. She also learned about ethics because she had to especially be aware on the radio. Many people thought that it was not ethical to counsel people on the radio. This is true even today. There are many rules about endorsing products as well as referring patients. This led her to be a lobbyist for better care for patients and counselors. Her main goal is to better the mental health care system.

Works Cited

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