The Pop-Psychology of Internalized Capitalism and The Righteousness of Instagram-Worthy Psychotherapists

April 14, 2021

I was checking my social feed this morning for something to react to, and it didn’t disappoint. I once again saw this beautiful image that explains the symptoms of Internalized Capitalism.

So, what is Internalized Capitalism?

Well, it’s a psychological field of study invented by a corporate stress case turned psychotherapist, specifically ‘Approachable Therapist’ via her Instagram, which no doubt is proud of their accomplishment of getting thousands of like-minded struggling capitalists to share their praise for the concept – because, sharing something to blame brings people together.

(I mean, if I have to tell you I’m an approachable person, I’m probably not.)

This Instagram account is no doubt a blessing in my life because it’s full of like-quote boards that help you explain away every symptom you have in your life as some diagnoses that she no doubt has the answer for. And so, now we have a new pop-psychology term called Internalised Capitalism.

Why does that piss me off? That’s simple:

I’m a musician. It’s my highest value, and it’s also the place where I’m most authentic. My journey in personal development has helped me realize this, which is why I coach other people to realize the same thing – that maybe they’re honestly something they’re afraid to be, and therefore trying to be someone they’re not.

Anyway, as a musician, I seem to suffer sometimes from Internalized Musicianship. So, I’m going to create my own quote card so I can help you see how to dismantle these artificial projections by Instagram psychotherapists who have their own personal problems and try to project them onto others to make the world more like them, so they feel better.

Internalized Musicianship looks like…

  • Feeling guilty for resting (because you’re working on a fucking awesome song and just want to keep going, but you’ve been at it for 12 hours already and your body doesn’t want to keep going)
  • Your self-worth is largely based on doing well in producing your music (because, you know, when you complete an awesome song, you’re proud of it)
  • Placing music before health (because, you really love music, and you don’t have a high enough value on health to give a shit and chips and ginger-ale are the power foods of computer usage)
  • Believing that hard work = happiness (because, well, making music is hard work and at the end of it, you can’t possibly be happy with the result… that wouldn’t be healthy…… ….)
  • Feeling lazy, even when you’re experiencing pain, trauma, or adversity (because, it’s super annoying when your guitar string breaks in the middle of a recording session, or you get into an argument with your singer, and sometimes just feel like ‘fuck it!’ and watch Netflix)
  • Using busyness as a way to avoid your needs (because, well, sometimes you just love what you’re doing, and you recognize the magnitude of the song you’re producing, and you really want the end result NOW and so, therefore, maybe you go without breakfast or a shower for a few days as you’re mastering the most amazing guitar solo ever).

Ok ok, I am being a bit critical, but I really want to be, because this sort of thing is just cherry-picking symptoms to create an artificial label onto someone’s innate hierarchy of values, so a psychotherapist can prop up their own field, assume a dominance role, and brainwash you into internalizing their own covert sales tactic and cult-growing method (so ultimately they can sell more safe, secure, and significant).

Sorry, not sorry.

Be wise, people! Question everything.


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By Stephan Gardner

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