Years ago, I was hospitalized for attempted suicide. When I was in a group therapy session, another patient talked about, in her opinion, that she believed that society had a negative view of her because of her mental illness.. The psychologist told her that whatever society believes doesn't matter. She essentially dismissed what this person perceived because American psychologists are not interested in the ways that society influences individuals.
Actually, she dismissed what this person perceived because she intended to suggest that SHE should dismiss it as well.
It's no that American psychologists are not interested in society's influences. It's that a lot of their patients ARE, sometimes to an insane degree (pun slightly intended) and there is often a need to convince the patient to disregard their perceptions of what society thinks, especially since that perception is usually flawed.
This is because psychologists cannot influence society, nor can they influence or even understand the perceptions of society, and their patients DEFINITELY can't. One of the important lessons learned in psychology is that two people with nearly identical circumstances -- contexts, if you will -- can interpret those circumstances completely differently, with one responding negatively and the other positively. It depends on what aspect of those experiences one internalizes and discards, and THAT is a lot more important overall. So the psychologist (in America anyway) does not seek to understand how society perceives the individual or how the individual should respond, but rather, how the individual FEELS about society, and why, and then try to encourage the individual to seek an alternate interpretation that would lead to more positive feelings.
Europeans view matters very differently than Americans, so it may be difficult for you to understand just how bad our mental health system is here. Mentally ill people are treated as shabbily as the homeless. We are the undesirables in this nation.
I think you are massively overlooking the popularity of psychiatry in America: mentally ill people are not "undesirables" at all, in fact they are quite well recieved by the psychiatric community who considers them to be a valuable pharmaceutical/medical services market. It has gotten to the point where psychiatrists actually seek to diagnose whole ranges of behaviors with typified disorders, not because it's helpful to the patients, but because insurance companies are reluctant to actually cover treatment for "devastated by the loss of his mother" or "Took his wife's death unusually badly." You're more likely to get paid if you diagnose a patient with "Material Adjustment Syndrome" or "Spousal Loss Disorder," especially if you've written indications ahead of time for antidepressants.