The Two Faces of Los Angeles Rear Their Ugly Heads


After arriving half an hour early to the seminar via metro, today at school in Los Angeles, I busied myself with dinner, studying the ever-present SAFMEDS, and read up on the speakers of the seminar. Without trying, I happened to over hear a few ladies talking about the logistics of starting and having their own practice in clinical psychology. Punctuating that topic, two of the three ladies started debating on the topic of offering services to homosexuals and those of other orientations other than heterosexuality. The older lady was solid in her stance on not really offering her services to those other than straight people, while the younger lady lobbed question after question trying to debunk the older lady’s belief. I found myself highly annoyed at the older lady, not just because of her discriminatory stance, but because to her clients, she represented someone who is cognitively settled and educated.

In what world can a person be highly educated and still so discriminatory? And how does discrimination affect the validity of therapy?
   As a young cohort member, and as a member of the behavioral belief, I am firmly rooted in the belief that everyone has the capacity to behave in similar ways, regardless of orientation. This then also Prevents discrimination in clinical behavior settings. If I am to provide unbiased intervention to an individual, I may take into account his or her sexual orientation, but it will never overestimate the person as a whole. As a future BCBA, I vow to never base treatment solely on one aspect of a client. My interventions will not reflect my own personal beliefs, tastes, opinions, or biases. The psychology of behavior is a science, and in science, there is only what is and what isn’t.
After the seminar was over, I met Angela. She (along with everyone else in that room) is studying their part of cognitive psychology, the antithesis of what I’m studying. She approached me initially, “So you’re in the ABA program?” She was referring to how I outed myself during the Q&A portion of the talks. As soon as I began to respond, a wave of “I don’t really give two shits, just thought I’d scoff at your choice in studies” look washed across her smirking face.
   Bitch. If you have a child with behavior problems, you’ll be thanking us one day.
   I love what I do. I really don’t care if we are sometimes the black sheep of the psych world. At least we don’t label and judge based on labels.
   Thug life. That is all.
-the Socalette

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