Because of political correctness and democratic absolutism, we are afflicted with a ridiculous conviction that because somebody has experienced something, they somehow are fully qualified to be an expert. This is particularly rampant in the Social Work and self-help industries. The theory goes that the best therapy is administered by somebody who has suffered the same disease, problem, etc.
It is a lazy assumption that I sum up as “Having Bad Teeth Doesn’t Make You Qualified to be a Dentist”. Would you consider a dentist to be qualified to do his job if he had bad teeth? No? Yet that is exactly what some people advocate when they believe that experiencing life’s difficulties gives them authority.
Would a person who is having a mental health problem be qualified to help other sufferers by the virtue of their shared illness? No. There is something more to it. Experiencing something does not mean that it has been correctly understood.
What is even more twisted is when the sense of victimization becomes a badge of pride and exclusivity. I remember being told by at least three different women that because of their terrible experience at the hand of male spouses, their suffering made them uniquely qualified to comment on women’s issues.
Just like I won’t perform self-dentistry, I also will not choose a dentist because he has bad teeth.