Sunday, May 15, 2011

Dr. Faye Snyder & the Empty-Headed Theory

Dr. Faye Snyder's "Causal Theory" is nothing new, and you really can't be blamed for not having heard of it --or her -- at all. Among the unlimited morass of unscientifically formulated Self Help get-well-quick schemes, Dr. Faye Snyder's 8-DVD 16-hour Miracle Child Parenting seminar series -- available for an "introductory price!" of $199.95 -- anonymously blends in the mire, unremarkable and largely unnoticed.

"Dr. Faye" (as she prefers to be called) promotes herself as "the originator of the Causal Theory", which she describes on her website as,
[...] a progressive, if controversial, theory based upon cause and effect.  It assumes that there are no genetic causes for behavior.  Rather, it assumes that personality and behavior, including and especially adult behavior, result from childhood experiences beginning from birth, and perhaps even before.  It includes attachment theory, lessons from trauma theory, family systems theory, and some behavioral and cognitive models.  I imagine it has a splash of Zen, as well.
Many people, I believe (even those unschooled in Psychology... or Zen), will recognize this "blank slate" mode of thinking as far from progressive. It is, in fact, clearly regressive... a crass and sophomoric articulation of early behaviorist thought. The idea that "experiences" from before one's birth may presumably be remembered and play some role in future behavioral adjustment reveals just how much Dr. Faye doesn't know about human development.