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Therapy Rant
September 20, 2002
10:05 am
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Cici
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Wheeee - myriad responses! I'm feeling less in-your-face today. Some days my husband looks at me and is like, what bug crawled up your butt? And I say, "It's the bug of impatience!!!!!! ARGH!"

I understand the objective value of therapy - it's the pracitioners I have a big problem with. In my undergrad program my roomie and I (she graduated a semester after me from the psych program here) used to joke around in the back of the classroom ("I feel sorry for whoever is unlucky enough to get so-and-so as a therapist" - catty like the pre-med programs, I tell ya).

I don't buy what you said, Ben. One methodology or approach to healing cannot and will not work on different individuals. Why? Because no noe has the exact same genetic and environmental background. We all are different. That's why the only realy protocols you'll see in psychology regard the severely mentally ill - as in, you get a schizophrenic who has active negative or positive symptoms (negative and positive refer to the type of schizophrenia, not "good or bad") and you need to calm down the symptoms in order to treat the individual properly.

Otherwise - every therapeutic approach is (or should be) tailor made to each individual patient.

But really, your point of view is restricted to the Western approach to therapy. There have been many folks who are attuned to themselves enough to heal themselves. I've been to 5 different therapists and psychotherapists and psychiatrists. Nothing.

I actually did sit down and journal through things and I devoured psych literature. Viktor Frankl's "Man's Search for Meaning" and Abraham Maslow's "Toward a Psychology of Being" changed my life. Humanistic, existential, positivisitic psychology? A wonderful thing.

I will use my journaling to analyze my own behavior. I'll read over what was written and take notes of responses to different stressors. My coping mechanisms. I try to idnetify what triggers what response and how those triggers are processed in my own mind.

But I wouldn't claim that this is effective for everyone - it worked for me in my spefcific situation.

I just think that with time and the energy devoted to healing yourself, with the process of maturation (if it's not stalled) - you grow, you make mistakes, you learn from them - that's the behavioristic model right there.

Mental illness is a different story. Having worked at a mental hospital with violent male criminals with severe mental illness - I mean, that's what really changed my point of view. I realized, I'm not crazy. No way in hell. I challenge anyone to go volunteer at a mental hospital and say that you have serious mental problems. I mean really.

September 20, 2002
10:33 am
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gypsygirl
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I am for therapy. It took five different therapists for me to find one I clicked with. I, at times felt as if it was going no where. overall, I am pleased. Therapy gave me a chance to externalize my issues, and see them in a different light.

It is not the therapists job to cure you, only to guide. It is kinda like the Army, they break you down and rebuild you. Except you are already broken down, to some extent. The rebuilding is all done at your own pace. It is a learning process. The drugs are there to minamise your symptoms so you have the strength to develop skills.

My life has been unbalanced for quite some time. I am slowly learning how to keep it balanced. A year ago I was literaterly living three different lives. I am now down to one life. it is hard, i still want the others, but it is unhealthy for me and my son. There are many days that I cannot function. The world beyond my bedroom dissapears and I am unable to deal with anything.

I want a healthy life more than I want my old "skills" back. I have access to healthy skills now. i am becoming stronger. All because of therapy.

September 20, 2002
10:47 am
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Cici
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I'm not saying therapy is BAD!!!! I'm just saying that I don't think everyone in the world needs therapy and what set me off intitially was a conversation I overheard about how "everyone should be in therapy, really..." which I think is a load of BS.

I was thinking about something else. How on earth did normal people function for the last 9000+ years without modern psychotherapy? I mean, the whole thing was pioneered by Freud, who liked his patients to lie down on a couch because he had a whole inferiority/superiority/power play issue. He catered to the wealthy elite suffering from "ennui" - the boredom that comes from not having anything productive you need to do. Ever.

I realize, of course, from my psych history classes and my internship, that mental illness has always existed. What I'm talking about is the whole therapy for everyone thing. How did people function before therapy, might I ask?

I get pissed at the mental health industry, just like I get pissed at the healthcare industry. It's in their best interest for unethical therapists to keep you in therapy. There are no national licensure examinations, and anyone can rent an office space and say they are a counselor. That really burns me.

September 20, 2002
10:49 am
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gypsygirl
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They didn't function. they were all locked away in a loony bin and written off.

September 20, 2002
11:08 am
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Cici
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I just said that.

September 20, 2002
11:15 am
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gypsygirl
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oh.

September 20, 2002
11:52 am
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Cici
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BAH. This is a stupid thread. I should never have brought this issue up. I'm sorry. Please let the thread die a horrible death.

September 20, 2002
3:10 pm
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Kalliope
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This is really funny, Cici.....

Therapy does have its limits, too, though. You sound young. Therapy is idealistic, as are often the young. Realizing that it can't fix everything is a shock...like finding out that your parents have sex.

It is great to hang on to the ideals...but don't count on anyone to bring them to you. Know that it is your fantasy of perfection...and keep striving toward it, if you like, but know that this is your choice.

I would really like to see some of those idealists put their money where their mouths are and form a coalition with warring nations...to bring peace.

The grieving process: it's not just for the affluent.

Unresolved grief begets pathos...which begets more pathos. (All of the studies show this, right?!) Soon people get reduced to becoming merely moving targets of a deadly game. Dehumanization. Desolation. Destitution. Instead of bombing the middle east with missiles, lets bomb them with love. Bring medical supplies, therapy, food they like, plans for better infrastructure in THEIR style of living, create a better world government with them, etc. Instead of just talking and ranting.

I know it is EXPENSIVE...but isn't WAR even MORE expensive? Think what we will leave our kids and grandkids...and I mean this in a global human-race sense. It takes a village to raise a child.

We are one big fighting village. We need to cut it out!

Therapy is merely a small reflection of our culture. See who it serves and why. It is a business. It won't deal with anything that won't make it money. Things like resilience and inner strength have only RECENTLY begun to trickle into the literature. What about a person's STRENGTHS? Isn't it possible to use these on which to build...?

Wars get started over commerce and business...someone tells someone else how it is going to be/supposed to be without consulting them.

Sounds a lot like therapy, hummmm?

September 20, 2002
3:33 pm
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Cici
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Ughn. I'm having a hard time understanding you.

What am I talking about? Second verse same as the first. Therapy, like communism, looks great on paper. In practice, suddenly you get communist dictatorships and abusive therapists. Did you know there has never been a "communist" nation that was truely, in Marx's definitive sense of the word, communist?

I wrote a paper on this in high school. I propose that this is true in therapy as well. I'm sick of people saying, go to therapy. Because the therapeutic process happens within the individual.

SO - faith in therapy rather than the therapists?

See these links:

http://ipnosis.postle.net/page.....ontext.htm
http://www.therapy-abuse.net/i....._hurts.htm

I am uncomfortable with the attitude that therapists are magicians, or priests.

Don't mean to be snarky, but I am far from idealistic. I've had nasty experiences with therapy. Maybe I never found the right fit. But I am so pathologically resistant to therapy that it simply wouldn't work on my anymore.

September 20, 2002
6:28 pm
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Molly
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Cici, you ever read Viscot, I think that is how you spell his name. Great stuff, especially I think the one the making of a Psych ? I love the Viscot method, somewhat what you said you are going to do, the other thing you can do is tape record your self.

September 25, 2002
3:55 pm
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benthere
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Was away and wow things got crazy.

I wonder CICI, where you would be in you're life without therapy? I believe you wrote somewhere about being in a drug dazed state with your husband, or maybe he was a boyfriend at the time. The point you were making was that even though you were in the drug dazed state, you were who you were.

Maybe its me, but if you sit back and think about that, it doesn't make much sense.

In that I mean, first, I don't know of one person that gets strung out on drugs that didn't have a poor childhood in some fashion. Not one. I know there are MANY people that do get strung out, but from a happy home? Don't think so. As you know better than anyone, getting stoned is a SYMPTOM of the actual problem, as with any addiction. My best friend growing up got involved with drugs in a big way. Divorced family, small town, nothing to do but get into trouble, etc. He was depressed, lonely, confused, miserable. When he was just a small child, up to 7 or 8, his dad was always gone on business, and his mom was a housewife to involved with her soap operas to parent effectively. It all starts somewhere is my contention. Most pareents did a crappy job of raising us, and in turn we repeat over and over....the sins of the father are carreied onto the sins of the son concept. I see it in EVERYONE I meet or have known. Millions of bad soap operas playing out ever day.

Wow, I think I am ranting. Bottom line is that if people could just all by themselves fix their lives they would. There would be a book on Opera that has sold 50 zillion copies because EVERYONE that had read it fixed their lives and relatinships/marriages, etc. But there isn't. Because there is no ONE magical cure. Therapy alone wont' do it, but I gurantee you it is ESSENTIAL to the process of fixing you're life. Sure, you can pick up a book and the bookstore and read it and now that you know more about Mars and Venus you're life is changed forever. Bullshit. Doensn't work that way. Now, I will agree that MANY thereapists should be shot. But there are also many bad homebuilders, mechanics, and doctors. By your line of reasoning, we should be able to self reflect, or jouranl about any one of these items and fix the problem ourselves. Trial an error, right? Car is running shitty, so instead of taking it to the shop, you take it home, open the hood, and just start "trying" things till something works. Right? I am trying not to sound like a smartass here, but I don't care what anyone says, AIN'T NO way anyone can sit down and self diagnois themselves and from there, takes steps to fix the issues at hand. Just like you can't self diagnois a pendicitis, or tumor, or whatever. I guess we (cici and I) just share the same passion here, only from opposite ends. Again, if it were that easy, divorce would be extinct, depression gone, etc.

Ben-

September 25, 2002
4:24 pm
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gingerleigh
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No one said it was easy.

But... you make this point as though it is the therapist that makes the diagnosis. Not true. The therapist may say "You are exhibiting tendencies towards XYZ" but until you see something that fits, you ain't gonna wear it. And when you recognize it and put it on, that, my friend, is indeed self-diagnosis.

I used to believe that no one could get better without therapy. But I've seen people make positive changes in their lives who have never been to a counselor's office. And I've seen people struggle through weekly appointments for years who never get anywhere. So my views of therapy being a requirement to self-healing has been altered significantly by my observations in the daily world.

If therapy is your thing, and works for you, then go with it. That's great, you found a key that unlocks the doorway to your solutions. But... that key does not fit for everyone.

September 25, 2002
5:14 pm
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Ladeska
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You know what's funny....I've been to a therapist about 4 times in my whole life. The first time I told him my whole life story and he said - well, I don't need to see you again because you're doing really well and so off you go.....that was in 1981. Then I went to a rape crisis place for some problems of my own at the time regarding my abuse and they ended up picking my brain for what I knew on the subject instead of "helping" me. Another time I went to weekend workshop for the Inner Child and went to another weekend workshop for Relationships. I think I stopped in and saw this guy who led these workshops a couple more times, but nothing significant. I just couldn't respect what I was seeing happening with other people though... They would and still do - get immediately medicated and then it's so often alot of crap that ensues with therapists. Don't get me wrong though because - there are GREAT ones! Like anything else - the people who are good at what they do are few and far between. No new news here. I just never got into the therapy scene though. People always looked sideways at me anyways and I'm not an easy person to lead anywhere so my desire to question authority is quite the joke sometimes! I don't mind following but don't shoot me a line of crap a mile long and expect me to go uh-huh and here's my check for $50.

I did my own reading and asking questions of people/myself and did my healing that way. And I had ALOT to work through...still working through it actually. But, all that to say - the door can swing both ways and sometimes it's just cafeteria style - you get a bit of this, of that and hodge podge it.

September 25, 2002
5:42 pm
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Cici
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HAH! Exhibit A - Ladeska.

Just kidding, mama. I know you're secretly an exhibitionist anyway. 🙂

I don't think therapy is a requirement for everyone. As Forest Gump would say, "That's all I gots to say about that."

My sisters and I were physically abused as children. Neither of my sisters got into drugs nor did they go to therapy. THey weren't raped, but that's not my point. Point is, they don't hit their kids. According to your theory, they would, benthere.

I think as parents what haunts you most is what your parents did wrong with you and many people strive with all their might to be the opposite of what their parents were.

I don't get your point, benthrough, about my statement. I think I said, even when I was totally f*cked up, I was still me. I don't know if you've ever done speed or acid, but lots of people get into altered states where they don't even remember their own identity. I never lost hold of reality, no matter how long I stayed awake, no matter how much I took. One weekend I had like half a vial of acid (about 25 drops - one drop will usually do the trick). I stayed up for 72 hours alternately taking acid, speed, etc etc - still knew who I was, where I was, what day it was, what homework I had due the next week, I saw the sky drip down on the roof and dribble into a puddle next to me, but knew that I was hallucinating.

I was still me. I don't understand why this is nonsensical?

I'm totally with you that there isn't one magial cure. Which is why there couldn't be ONE book on Oprah and selling 50 million copies. It could only realistically help a statistically insignificant portion of the population. That's the whole point. If life is a journey, only you can walk that path. A therapist can cheer you on from the sidelines, and give you a shove, but that's about it - you've still got to do the walking by yourself.

Side note: One of the residents at the mental hospital I will always remember because he was my age. He had been diagnosed as bipolar when he was 16 and treated thereafter with lithium. 6 years later he goes berserk and throws bricks through people's cars and hold his boss up with a rusty, unloaded civil war relic. Apparently, he had had schizo-affective disorder the whole time. Misdiagnosed, wrong medication, terrible result. His life has effectively ended because his schizophrenia went untreated for so long that his brain had deteriorated. If he had been diagnosed correctly, he might have been able to live a delusion/hallucination free life.

October 1, 2002
7:36 pm
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lonnie
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this is my first time being in one of these, and i start going to a psych next week. I'm just about craving to go and then agian, i don't want to go, b/c i don't like talking to other peoploe aobut my problems. it's hard b/c i don't want to cry and i don't want to feel the pain. People always say that if you talk about it, it will go away. whoever came up with that never met me. and maybe even some of you. I'm really scared b/c i'm only a teen and i don't want to feel this way forever. Family doesn't help b/c most of it is from them. i was put on a very strong drug and yet it still doesn't help me out any. can someone give me some advice on what to look for?

lonnie

October 1, 2002
7:52 pm
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Ladeska
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You know what I see here guys? Is the difference between a male and female brain...... Men like Ben want to have an answer that is rock solid and one size fits all - which is tyical "guy" and the women here need to have more perspective and realize one size doesn't always fit all because we do the "dress" thing, and well - just look at our closets, okay? Guys? Hey - unless it's jeans we're talking about - they really don't give a rip about how it fits or looks, if it works - just throw it on and everyone should wear that!!! LOL!

The difference between the women who tend the hearth in a spiritual/emotional sense and the men who need to fix the immediate problem, use a wrench, a ballbat, ten point plan or a cave man club, or super glue - whatever works - just DO IT! I wish there was a magic cure for everything - tonic water from the local guru on the side of the street but unfortunately that's not the case.

Just have to laugh a little here because when I put on "these" glasses and looked at what was written here, just a little too funny...sorry if I offend anyone, don't mean to, just comical..

October 1, 2002
9:24 pm
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Nicely put Ledeska. You definately pointed out some thing that appears to be very true.

not every mentally ill person lacks the awareness to realize what is happening in their mind. Change comes from within, male, female, she-male, black white or green. Its just the way it is. period.

For me, Ben, therapy was basically what f*cked up my life. Excuse my language here, now I now it goes deeper than that, farther than that, but I had a parent who was so screwed up that everytime she had a mental problem she would put ME in therapy. And there I was a good little student, learning how not to be "screwed up" per say. but I wasn't quite screwed up yet. not until I realized I couldn't HEAL my problems unless I HAD the problems. And there starts the cycle.

The first time I went ot therapy was because of a bed-wetting problem at age 5 or 6. I wasn't wetting the bed beause I was mentally ill, I was wetting the bed because I had a medical condition and later needed surgery. Come on people. Check the body before you go screw up the mind of a 5 year old girl.

There is a second a third a fourth a fifth a sixth and even a seventh time I was put into therapy. It doesn't stop there. It wasn't me with the big giant issues.

I do understand Cici. I did a lot of drugs when I was younger, all of them, and all together. I've said the very same thing. That I was totally myself, that I knew where I was, what time it was, and how f*cked up I was by whichever drug, but I do have to mention that during my "dazed and confused" youth I did make a lot of choices that I might not have if I left the LSD, the speed, the weed, the shrooms, the pills, and whatever was crushed up on my dresser right htere on the dresser.

October 2, 2002
5:11 am
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Interesting themes.

Ionnie, dont worry about therapy. I am bit older than you and went for first time in June this year. Had all the concerns you have about opening up, crying whatever. It does help, and you will quickly see, feel whether the therapist is right for you..you still need to work on yourself, but this will happen naturally after the sessions. You are making a start and thats great, and like most of us who don't want to feel the same for ever, you wont.

men and women's brains, now thats a good one. I can understand why this is perpetuated, but like Ben said there ain't one magic cure and there also isn't one man brain and one women brain. I'm a bloke and I don't want a concrete answer, but I do want answers, just like most women. I do believe in the the spiritual but I am an scientist by training. May be I am worse than I thought:-).. good job I have a therapy session tomorrow!

Serious note. There are crap therapists out there, thats why you have to make your choice. But I think they do help - I have read loads of books on self help and will continue to do so, but a good therapist will help you see how to apply that learning

Take it easy

Virgo1

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