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Therapy Rant
September 19, 2002
10:28 am
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Cici
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Disclaimer: This is not about people who have severe mental illness, or need medication for mental illness. You see a psychiatrist anyway, and I'm not talking about psychiatrists.

I am sick and tired of the attitude in the psychological community in this country. Everything is pathologized, everything is a disorder, a disease, a dysfunction, a co- this and a dys- that. The paradigm that most therapy students are taught to approach an individual's common everyday difficulties - it's a disease, a dysfunction, how can you fix it?

The healthcare industry does the same thing as the mental healthcare industry. Maybe it's HMOs and managed care. Pregnancy, for example, is treated like a disease. IT'S PERFECTLY NATURAL. You don't treat my pregnancy for 9 months and it goes away, you morons.

In the same token, no one gives any healthy respect to the friggin existential crisis. It's a reality. I'd say most people experience one, or more than one, multiple times in their life. But it's like a person looking at their arm and saying, what the hell is this thing growing out of my side? CUT IT OFF!!! AUGH!!!!

It's your arm, duh. It's supposed to be there. So, existential crisises are supposed to happen - they are supposed to be there. You work through it, identify the meaning of life as it is for you, you grow, change, become a better individual - this is the process. Growth spurts happen psychologically just like they do physically. But we continue to grow throughout our lives, even unto a return to infantilism as an elderly person stricken with dementia. It's cyclical. It's acceptible. It's OK to feel uncomfortable in your own mind sometimes. That's growing pains. It's OK to not be happy all the time. It's OK to feel stress when it's warranted.

That's another thing - people get stressed out and they're like, give me a drug!! Well, maybe your body is trying to tell you something like your job sucks, get a new one, or our society's attitudes about work suck, maybe we should approach it differently. Do you know we work more than any other western country? WAY more? We dont' have holidays or siesta.

My company has an OEM in Singapore. They go on holiday for a month every summer, a company mandated, paid friggin holiday. What do we get? A grudging thanksgiving and christmas off. blah.

So why is everything a disease or a dysfunction? What would happen if you walked into a therapist's office and they said, "Get out, you have no problems. Jeez Louise!"

September 19, 2002
10:34 am
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Cici
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Oops, pressed the button to fast.

I don't want to blame everything wrong with my on someone else. 90% of how I got to where I am is me, my choice. There are things that are out of your control, but at what point an you stop laying blame that the doorstep of forces beyond human control? When can I say, my life is my choice. Every decision I make has consequences, and they can't be fixed if I say, I didn't know! It's like every day is a pop quiz in life.

And why does my mood always have to be affected by someone else? Why can't I wake up and be pissed off because I have to get out of bed and go to work? I'm allowed to be pissed off occassionally. I'm sick of being responsible for making everyone else feel comfortable. I'm allowed to have emotions. It's ok to have negative emotions. It's not a disease, you don't need to put me on depakote because I get pissed off or upset. I take responsibilty for myself.

And what about how I meditate and seek enlightenment - a cheap alternative to therapy? A cheap substitute? Or perhaps the best and most thoroughly tested method of self-improvement and a cultivation or self-awareness in the history of man.

Therapy. BLAH. BLAH, I say!

September 19, 2002
11:00 am
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Anonymous
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I think for me "theraphy saved me" I accept my problems in life as my own, but i know that my parents are responsible for some of it, lets just say they had a hand in it and it was not all me. However, as a adult, i am 100 percent accountable for what i do and what i do not do, my mistakes are my own at this point in my life.

September 19, 2002
11:12 am
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Ladeska
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What the heck happened, Cici? Talk to me. Something set you off here. I mean - I understand - I do, concur here, but what happened in your world lately?

September 19, 2002
11:14 am
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eve
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Thanks, Cici (((hug)))

September 19, 2002
12:42 pm
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Cici
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I dunno, Ladeska. I'm in a pretty good mood but I was just thinking about a lot of things. Well, exploring the philosophies of different graduate schools (lo and behold the psych grad programs I like are all on the west coast, hrmmmmm....)

Like at the university I went to here, there is a big emphasis on cogitive and behavioral therapies. Behavioral therapies - I am a big proponent. OCD, phobias, behavioral disorders - behavioral therapy is great for it.

But I'm thinking about the progress I've made on my own, through meditation, self-reflection, my own research. I know not everyone has the resources I do. But I overheard a conversation (you shouldn't do that, I know) about how everyone should be in therapy and I was incensed. I think people need to be more accepting of the fact that humans are humans. We make mistakes and learn from them. Not everything is a disease.

But I think that the fact that our society makes everything pathological really reflects on our society's attitude. Like, you're supposed to work 50 hours a week, be available to your children, save your money, have a nice house and a nice car - but if you feel stressed, that's abnormal. NO. If you have that much pressure for perfection, it's normal to feel stressed. And there shouldn't BE this pressure for some unidentified ideal.

What is healthy? What is ideal? How do you get involved in a healthy relationship? I don't even know what a "healthy" relationship consists of.

September 19, 2002
12:44 pm
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Cici
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Yarg. I am sounding really ticked off and aggressive today. I woke up feeling "off" and haven't been able to shake it. Sorry folks.

September 19, 2002
1:18 pm
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eve
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I think the world in general needs this kind of *agressive* prodding sometimes. Otherwise good old world would propably just lean back, sit on the sofa and watch life go by like a dayly soap.

This kind of "oh are you sure you don't need therapy" makes me sick (even worse is: "well, I sure hope that our friend will find therapy for her problem..."). Because its interfering into a persons privacy and dignity even more than telling them that they do things wrong, or that they are a horrible person. It tells them that they are too messed up to be talken serious enough to be alowed to live a life of their own choice and right. This kind of advice often comes in combination whith a cheesy smile and a pat on the forearm - yuck! Looks like the other person cares for you, but really means - I don't think that you are *now* an entity that I'll take seriously - I'll just condecend on you a little, because I know about you much better than you do yourself.

September 19, 2002
1:30 pm
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Ladeska
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GOOD good points, Cici! Absolutely, and you're very valid with your questions, too. We're overloading here in our society, no doubt about it and alot of our problems is just an equal and opposite direct reaction to that kind of stress. Sometimes I just wish I could be about churning butter, sewing clothes by hand, milking the cows and feeding the chickens and doing the little house on the prairie thing. Yea, yea, I know - it wasn't that romantic and was hard, people died young... Okay fine, burst my bubble! But there is something to be said for what we call work.....and for the stresses in our lives. Something got real askew here. We sit on our butts alot of the day, we don't see our kids, our mates much and when we do - we're almost too tired to pay attention and most of it is mental or emotional tiredness. People are freaking rude anymore, too. And no - I don't think that we're all just a bunch of nuts because we react to all this and have a ripped seam or two!! It's just not a healthy meal...what most of do and call life and living. People live in alot of fear over uncertain times, too. Everyone in therapy, huh? Well....what I see that's wrong with that is - "let someone else do the thinking for me"... You got to where you are largely because "you sought", Cici. And I think there is a major crippling going on these days whereby people are almost hobbled by the professional people. We've become a bunch of pill-popping, follow the latest therapeutic fad kind of people and it's ridiculous. It's like we're all on this treadmill and it's going faster, faster, faster and everyone is just doing it and not knowing why? I'm actually amazed at how little we really do need or have to have. And none of the added money or things, bigger this and better that - none of it makes John or Jane happier.... In fact, it usually makes them more detached from each other from what I've observed. When times are harder and life is simpler - people tend to be happier, more content, more connected with each other. I think in a perfect world - it would just be nice to see more people walk away from the big pie in the sky and go back to the simple basics if possible. One thing about the depression is - it drew people together....they had to get along, pull out their own moxy and use it, share with each other and basically just get to know themselves and each other again or - for the very first time. Maybe..........we're just spoiled.

September 19, 2002
3:37 pm
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karoline
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CiCi,

It does seem as if we, as a society catagorize everything or pathologize everything. This is because we are logical positivists-science has replaced God. We believe that reality is objective and truth is objective. Therefore, there are straight and narrow paths to understanding reality and truth. The catagorizing and pathologizing of all things is a by-product of this type of thinking.

We all feel the pressure of having to be superwoman, supermom, superman and the like. These are the times that we live in. Thankfully, we live in a relatively free society and we can make choices, to some extent as to how much we want to participate in the old rat race.

I, too have had many days like the one your having as a result of having a brain! Take Care.

I have a few therapists who used a very ecclectic approachs in the "treatment" of clients. In fact, in Phoenix where I worked as a casemanager, I knew therapist whose focus had a very non-western foucs.

I'm a social work graduate student and I have been "indoctorated" since undergrad to be highly skeptical of logical positivism its one of its dangerous by-product, the over-pathologization of human beings. Many therapists are clinical social workers and in this day and age are moving from over pathologizing.

September 19, 2002
3:38 pm
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gingerleigh
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Most of the "dysfunctional" people I know have a really skewed picture of themselves and reality, and I think instead of therapy they need a kick in the pants and an objective person to hold up a mirror to show them what they really are, not what they think they are. Psycho moms and boyfriends and husbands and wives don't need therapy? They sure as hell need something! But maybe that's just my opinion, because I don't agree with how they act, how they treat eachother and how they treat me.

So maybe I'm the one who needs therapy...

Ow, my head hurts.

September 19, 2002
4:02 pm
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karoline
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Ginger,

Sounds like your a big fan of Reality Therapy!!

September 19, 2002
4:18 pm
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karoline
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Eve,

Hey, I understand that alot of folks are leery of therapy/therapists for the reasons I have cited here. I have suggested therapy to alot of people not because I'm arrogant and enjoy condescending but because for some people therapy is likely their best chance to get to the roots of THEIR self-identified problems or suffering. There are many people who have been helped through complex problems and situations by therapy.

Life and human problems is complex. Again, there are not cookie cutter solutions. We we are overly reductionistic in our attempts to understand ourselves and others we are usually wrong. I have said it before and I'm saying it again. We are biological ( physical,genes, hormones, disease processes) psychological (cognitive, emotional) social (relationships, cultural) and spiritual (searching for meaning and purpose)beings.

Therapy is not intended to be a cure-all. It is however helpful to many people.

September 19, 2002
4:23 pm
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gingerleigh
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I'm a big fan of massage therapy... does that count? šŸ™‚

September 19, 2002
4:56 pm
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karoline
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I hear you Ginger!! Me too.

September 19, 2002
4:57 pm
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karoline
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Swedish? Reflexology? Deep tissue?

September 19, 2002
5:46 pm
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gingerleigh
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Well, I did go to physical therapy for a leg problem I had when running. The deep tissue work they did didn't do much other than leave me very sore. I did find out what was causing my issues... high heels, believe it or not.

I just like going for massages. I went for one for the first time, an hour long, I'm not sure what "kind" of massage it was, but it was full body, with an emphasis on my neck and shoulders where most of my tension sits these days. Just left me feeling warm, relaxed and good...

September 19, 2002
5:50 pm
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karoline
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I have had one massage in my life. It was a bizarre and wonderful experience. I had the oddest pain in my head about midway through. It felt like a cool thin stream of energy or something going through my skull. I told the LMT and she said that massage is energy work and what I described is pretty normal. I also notice that my breathing became slow, deep and rhytmatic. It was a trip. Gotta get another one, soon!

September 19, 2002
5:55 pm
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Anonymous
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I had one once, too expensive, wish i could afford another! they are great!

September 19, 2002
6:03 pm
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I had a physical therapist for a while....felt like she crawled up inside my leg. whoa.

My bf gives the most incredible face massage. When I'm stressing he puts his hands on my face and rubs thru my eyes and down my nose and across my forehead and scalp and he does it for a long, long time. Whoa again!

I went to a therapist for a while. I really didn't enjoy it and felt like we didn't really get anywhere. Maybe I should have tried another but she left a negative taste for therapy. I took a presciption for depression for a while too, worked for a while but then I was like "Hey, my house is burning down, cool!" I was just a little toooo happy and relaxed.

September 19, 2002
6:31 pm
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Molly
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Go to the massage therapy schools, they will give reduced rates, if not for free, they must practice on someone, and have you ever really had a BAD massage ? Especially for free ?

Cici, Cici, Cici, dear one.....
You know you are right. You know where would the financial entanglement end if everyone got better, your just not thinking things through. We need people to be sick, unhealthy, diseased, to churn. So, its ok to make a living at it, do it your way, spread the word of its ok, and normal to have a bad day, we know that because we don't gain from keeping people sick, that is personally you and I. A therapist, or counselor, or threads is a great place to end confusion, find co-signing to your solution, or blame if you want. There are just some things that they haven't created DSMIV diagnosis for yet, ok ? They need to figure out the insurance billing code first. Rant on. Love it.
Perhaps the west coast has the programs, cuz its so left wing, God forbid you figure it out on your own, ohhhhh did I say that must be possesed.

September 19, 2002
6:39 pm
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tracylyn
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Cici~

Did you see the joke posted yesterday. It's under the tread titled "funny". Check it out, I think you will like it.

September 19, 2002
6:47 pm
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Ladeska
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Hula-hooping is good.

September 19, 2002
7:24 pm
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benthere
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Boy, that was a lot! I am still pretty new to this stuff, but still have that ONE burning question in my little ol' head?

How do you get better all by yourself?

I want to meet one person who has done this. Someone that sat down and said, ok, here is a list of what I am doing to make my life miserable, (and do so accurately and honestly) and this is WHY I do it, and this is WHERE it came from and this is HOW I fix it.

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. If someone knew of a way to do it all on your own and be successful, they would be a millionaire.

I don't buy it.

Ben-

September 20, 2002
8:13 am
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BeccaUK
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šŸ™‚ love ya Cici xxxxxxxxx

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