Training for psychologists has always been politically correct and it always hampered the services we delivered. We are in a world where values are not to be taught and religion should not be practiced. If there are no longer any role models allowed, what will a Godless state be like?
I was trained to not offend clients by talking about values and religion unless they brought it up. Also I was not to critique their beliefs or offer other alternatives unless they did. If I said anything counter to this and offended someone, I was called on the carpet and once lost my job.
Values are to be challenged and religious beliefs ought to be discussed. We are so politically correct sometimes that we can not say something a person needs to hear! Who would you like to live next to? A person with no values and possibly no conscience or a person who has and practices good values?
People do acquire values anyway and if we prevent them from being discussed in school or counseling, what is left? “Bad Guys” don’t feel bad about promoting their values and acting them out. Young people find role models somewhere if they don’t have them at home, school, or church, or in a mentoring situation either individual or group.
With what is going on in Europe now with boundary problems, it is getting more and more clear that having little or no boundaries makes them vulnerable to people who will take advantage of that.
You think you are a good person and that others are good people too. Not setting appropriate boundaries leaves you wide open to people who don’t think like you do. It also leaves you wide open when you should be setting boundaries like with children and people who work under your supervision. Are you the kind of parent or boss who often winds up picking up after their children and/or doing someone else’s work along with your own?
How long can you do this type of thing without feeling angry? “Read my lips” no more “nice” guy or girl. You also lose people’s respect too. I have grandchildren and I can tell who does and who does not set boundaries with the grandchildren by the children’s behavior. You are courting chaos when you don’t do this.
Righteous anger? Is that possible? Is it polite? When we continue to let people take advantage of us (and we know it) aren’t we lying? Isn’t this a “sin?” of omission? So this person or child takes advantage of us figuring we don’t really say what we mean.
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Progress in my life has often been scary and painful and I often did not work on solving problems because I didn’t want to face the pain involved. This is especially true in interpersonal situations. Do you think that the most progress is made when something is easy to do? Be honest with yourself….
Progress can not always be assured even when we face something painful and that is potentially painful too. Could we learn something? This is something that could realistically happen. Learning can be painful too especially when you have to give up all or part of a long-held belief system.
When confronted with new conflicting information about a belief that a person has long held, people can either reject the new information in some way or change it so it fits their paradigm. The other option is to change their belief system to fit the new information. This is what learning is all about.
Some people are not really looking for conflicting information as it makes them uncomfortable so they back away from confrontations. They think there always has to be a winner or a loser in a disagreement and they are programmed not to lose because it hurts too. Compromise is sometimes a new thing to some people because of this.
When people come to new understandings about things, they can both be winners. They understand each other better and can anticipate making better decisions without out so much potential “flack” from the other partner.
Freudian psychotherapists have raised the subject of transference in the relationship between a therapist and a client. Transference can go both ways. Something about the client makes them see the therapist in a certain way. Sometimes something about the therapist makes them see the client in a certain way.
Education in a profession such as psychotherapy can lead the practitioner to believe they must present themselves as experts in the field and as not vulnerable to the types of things that bring ordinary clients into therapy. This can lead to rationalization and denial on the therapists part.
Rationalization means that the therapst can create a good explanation as to why he or she is not vulnerable to the types of problems his or her patients have. Denial can also result from the taking of this position and it can cause therapy to not move forward for the client.
Personal growth is one way possibly to help stop this from happening. Does the development of one’s self-concept and concept of life stop with attaining one’s maturity whether at 18, 21, or 35? No, it does not. Our perspective on life constantly changes with new experiences.
Honestly does a psychotherapist think that they can understand exactly how they learned to be who they think they are and stop growing. Wouldn’t personal growth experiences for psychotherapists help with this?
Is there only one answer? Hasn’t science found this out. What things did scientists believe were true when your parents were children and what have you or your children learned in the present that scientists’ did not know or believe then?
Remember the old saying, “Do as I say!” not “Do as I do!”
Also the more defensive barbed wire a therapist puts between him or herself and what he or she is asking their patient to do, the more “phony” and indefensible they become as therapists.
New learning and new growth leads to enthusiasm to carry this over into the psychotherapist’s work. Insights developed this way can help a therapist be more responsive in therapy. I now hear and see more things than I used to see or hear in everyday interpersonal interaction.
For example I can still learn from a four year old that grandma is not always smiling and looking happy when she thinks she is especially when I am feeling that I am working at something and forgeting to enjoy doing it.
Have you ever played pretend and created exactly what you wanted in every detail? You probably did so as a child when you were only limited by your imagination. I used to think that the president and his or her family had access to every thing a person could want and many things that ordinary people, even rich people, didn’t have yet. They had color TVs in my child’s mind before they were even invented.
For example, my best friend and I created beautiful ballgowns in our heads that we could really see. Daydreaming, you say just daydreaming…. Did the candy taste just as sweet if only in our imaginations and everything starts with an idea before it becomes a reality.
Your frame of mind can influence your outcome. How do you act if you know you will get something? How do you act if you are sure you won’t get something as things are unfair and no matter how good you are you don’t have a chance!
If you smile with your eyes, you are not telling lies. What do you think? We have been trained to give a false smile if we want to be polite or to not offend somebody or to not be seen as unfriendly. Most people smile just with their mouths when they do this. Do you smile with your whole face? Do you just “beam” when you do this?
Many of us practice denial most of the time and say we are happy or not mad when we really aren’t. How do we get trained to do this? I see many people with unhappy, sad, or “down in the mouth” looks on their faces and when i “call them on it” they deny it. Who are they fooling? or do they really think that they are not showing their real feelings?
Children are great “truth” tellers and objective observers until they learn how to be polite and lie about what they feel, see, or think. How often are you congruent? That is how often does your facial expression or body posture match the content of what you say you are feeling inside or how you feel about someone else or something else?
How often do we really look into someone one’s eyes and see what is actually there. From early on in childhood, we camouflage genuine feelings in ourselves and even punish others, especially children, for saying or acting like what they really feel.
An animated face conveys interest in someone or something and verifies what the person is saying with their voice. How often do we call people on it when they don’t do this even though they say that they really feel involved and interested?
Once you give up this pretense of being polite and telling white lies, people often think you are acting childishly and not like a grown up when you actually have grown up and are now dealing with reality.
Feelings can be overwhelming and are necessary at times. Grief for example, must be expressed sooner or later. It is very damaging especially to relationships if it can not be shared. When I am very hungry, I get so mad that I could spit nails. When I am with family or friends I warn them when I get that way. I am literally not able to fulfill others’ requests until I get something to eat. You probably could name more.
Some feelings people feel are so strong that they literally take over and people thus say that they “involuntarily” do things that they may or may not regret later. They are out of control but it is not their fault. For example, someone says, “He made me so mad…” and this justifies whatever that person does next.
Are we responsible for our feelings? Well, “Yes,” and “No”. We are frequently conditioned at a very young age to respond with negative feelings to certain things. We may be even given rational explanations for feeling that way that we accept as something that motivates us to do certain certain things and often enables us to not accept responsibility for what we do then.
How do we resist all that conditioning? It can effectively put limits on our life if we let it. It is often difficult to undo. How often have we heard someone say, “I can’t help it,” in relation to performing these type of learned behaviors. Is it a Get Out of Jail Free” card like in Monopoly?
What have you learned to feel and to respond to in certain situations. Is it you that is behind it or did you catch it from somewhere or someone else?
Do You Hear Only What You Want to Hear Or See Only What You Want To See? Do you sometimes tune things out and skip parts of the material that is given to you? or that is shown to you?I go to a place to meet my spiritual needs and I go to hear what God wants me to know. I try to go with no preconceived notions of what I will get from attending church that day. I quiet myself and pay attention to what is prayed, said, or done. It is a time to be in the moment, not about feeling bad for what has happened in the past or being anxious or worried about the future.
Something was said yesterday during the service that I caught and am presenting here. This idea not only applies to worship services, but also to doctor visits, books, lectures or workshops.We often hear what we want to hear not actually was said or intended. When we learn something new, we often make changes to other ideas we have held or if this makes us uncomfortable we decide to tweak the material that was presented so it fits our notions of how the world should be.
Ever play the game of gossip and noticed how distorted the original message became?
We may tune in and tune out adjusting what we do hear to make it more acceptable no matter what the content. We can have attacks of boredom. We can become irritated because we have to sit there and listen to the speaker drone on and on. We can day dream or even fall asleep. Pay attention there may be something useful there.
This also can apply to visual material like posters, power point presentations. Did you read the quote presented at the top of this post. Here it is again. How did it make you feel: comfortable or uncomfortable. Are you generally open and receptive? or do you not like someone else telling you what to do and/or commenting on your appearance, possessions, and family. You have your own ideas and are comfortable with them.
I realize when I jump to conclusions I don’t pay attention to what is being presented. Stereotypes of people and cultures leave much to be desired and prevent us from encompassing diversity and learning what these people and cultures are really like.
Now you may understand why that Active Listening (Carl Rogers) is so important in communication. Being able to repeat what the other person has said before giving your reply encourages people to hear everything that was said.
Are some people rude and obnoxious because they count on other people to be polite? Also do some people lie because other people won’t correct them for fear of being rude themselves? Some people say hurtful and insulting things because they don’t expect other people to call them on it. They will also tell lies because other people will often give them the benefit of the doubt or don’t want to start an argument.
What is often true is that the other person is uncouth and often cruel because they can get away with it. It is sometimes even extremely obvious that they are doing this but they think that no one will say anything and they usually don’t. Doing so often accounts for a period of stunned silence from the audience members with it being so quiet you could hear a pin drop.
For example, I once entered the room where a large family gathering was already going on and everybody looked to see who was coming in. The rude person in a loud voice asked, “Who cut your hair?” It was obvious that person was being critical of the way I looked. It had already been a long day for me and I replied, “Well, who asked you?” in front of the whole group. This was met by stunned silence not just at the initial comment that had been made but at my reply. I felt it had been very appropriate considering that this person made a game of doing such things.
Sometimes the only way you can handle such comments is by being rude, obnoxious, and impolite in return. Such cruel people love to embarrass people and often do this when they have a crowd for an audience. People who are crude this way often may unconsciously worry that they might have the same problem that they are pointing out in somebody else but we usually don’t call them on it.
(Short; but not too sweet.)
Do you ever listen to what you say to others? Did you ever try to take your own advice? What kind of advice you give can be very self-revealing. Carefully done it is like looking in a mirror and seeing yourself reflected there, not someone else.
What are the problems that you see others as having that bother you the most? Could it be very revealing to list them and see if you often have them too? Make a list of the things that bother you the most. Put them somewhere where you can look at them. Either inside a cupboard door or the bathroom cabinet door or out on a mirror where you will get a chance to look at it every day.
Ever hear someone say, “I don’t see why someone should do something or something should be done about that?, ” and it is clearly descriptive of what the person them-self needs to do or have done.
Don’t let yourself read this with a self-satisfied smirk as you apply it to someone else and forget who this is really about! “You!” Whose behavior can you really change? “Yours!”
Mine is to tell the truth, sometimes the hardest thing for me to do, as I fear and think that I can’t handle rejection. Why do we reject others, when we don’t want to be rejected ourselves?