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psychotherapy

Could Putdowns Be A Form Of Putting A Curse On Someone?

The witches (at least the bad ones) have gone and people don’t worry about curses being put upon them anymore or do they?  When people put you down to make themselves feel better or to raise themselves above you, are they really putting a curse on you especially if you or those around you tend to believe them?  The power in a curse is usually the strength that of the belief that the victim has in them.

rp_300px-Bullying_Irfe.jpgAlso, can putdowns be a form of domestic abuse?  Yes, a person can be emotionally as well as physically abused leaving them browbeaten and powerless.  Have you ever known a person who doesn’t ever seem to have something good to say about a family member and worse yet, other family members start to do it too.

A Perplexed Child

A Perplexed Child

Doing it to children is a heinous offense.  They often do not have a way of knowing that it is not true and they believe it.  Other family members, especially other children, will start to do it too.  “Monkey see; monkey do”  Also siblings seeing it done to a fellow sibling might think that they might be next so they keep the spotlight on their sibling’s faults and deficiencies.

rp_363561405_150_150.jpgIt is not a good joke if the person who is the object of the joke doesn’t laugh at it too.  When this happens to children, they are often reduced to tears.  The perpetrators say they don’t know why the object of the joke doesn’t think it is funny and they label him or her a “bad sport.”

Before There Was Political Correctness For All Of America. There Was Political Correctness For Psychologists

debate_defined_shirts-rd63506e86f7c40c8a576c9480034df60_va6lr_512                                          Not Allowed Here!

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.

rp_319628280_150_150.jpg                                        Giving A Helping Hand

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.

 

Continuing Growth Is Necessary For A Psychotherapist

loud-noisesNo, once chosen the profession of a psychotherapist or counselor requires continuing growth.  Sometimes in surprising ways.

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.

 

 

Does Therapy Come Too Late?

rp_228552603_150_150.jpgWhy didn’t we learn to help ourselves in school?  Where were the role models of good adjustment at home?  Parents are often as clueless as their children and are afraid to admit it when they didn’t also get the instruction at home or school.

There are self-help books for adults.  Where are they for children?  Do parents feel that it is to their advantage to have children who don’t know anymore than than they did when they were children?

rp_300px-TV_highquality.jpgDo children learn how to deal with life from video games, violent programs, or from the drama they see and/or experience at home.  Values, ideals, and spirituality are close to being forbidden in schools or anywhere in the public eye.  Wholesome shows have been replaced by shows with lots of drama providing bad examples of how to behave in relationships or deal with problems.

Practicing therapy can be a frustrating business especially when it comes after a person’s beliefs and problem-solving behaviors have become crystallized and so much a part of a person’s identity that they feel threatened when challenged to change.  It has a lot to do with how a person’s self-esteem is developed and the practices that they are taught to maintain it.  Lying, deceiving, and avoiding responsibility are often used by someone when a person is afraid of being criticized and ultimately rejected.rp_Anxiety.gif

What results is a fear of change and a learned helplessness instead of developing helpful problem-solving skills and a desire to change for the sake of doing better.  We are evolving individuals and making mistakes and changing what we do or think is part of the process.  I once wrote a story or a poem about “Old King Never Ever Wrong”.

Stories are to teach and not just to amuse or vent rage.  Before most people could read or write stories were a way of teaching things and were passed down orally from generation to generation in order to do this.  What about the parables Jesus told in the Bible?  What about the Bible stories that are still taught in Sunday school or church?

People With Equal Problems Attract

Getting Back Together With Your Ex

Getting Back Together With Your Ex

I have always said that people with equal problems attract and I admit that was true in my case in a past marriage.  I know you have (like I have) heard recently separated or divorced friends talk about all the problems their soon-to-be ex or ex spouse had.  To hear the story told, your friend is or was a blameless or a helpless victim  in the situation.  Actually a person with fewer problems than the ex- had would not have gotten into a permanent, or ,should I say, semi- permanent, relationship with such a person as he or she described often using not-so nice names like “lazy,” “useless,” “slut,” womanizer, “boozer,” or worse.

Not Her Taste

Not Her Taste

I am sure most people have had a narrow escape where they met a person and got involved with them and escaped before any damage was done.  I once went out with a person whose sex seeking line was, “You wanna?”   He said this at the end of the first date.  He drug me from one college party to another where he would consume “doubles” and “triples”.  I was glad to get out of that relationship as he was the one doing the driving that day and also he had ignored me all day and even stopped on the way home to wait while his buddy had a quickie with the girl he was with.

Anyone who knows me knows I am a cat person like some people are dog persons.  I went out with this guy also for the first time and he told me he liked to go out into the woods and shoot feral cats for fun.  Needless to say, I never went out with him again.  I surely got the wrong number in both cases.

Some people think that they got lucky and escaped into the arms of someone else before their partner could dump them.  No matter what if you left them or they left you, you both could be making the same mistake if you do this.   That is going from one person to another with the same problems.  I did, but I got lucky.    When the first guy I was dating seriously after my divorce dumped me, he revealed his passive-aggressive side which had hurt me before.

It takes at least two years and/or some exploration on your part of what the problems were in your past relationship, both the other person’s and your own, before you can enter into another relationship without making the same mistake as you did before.  Haven’t you heard of women who kept getting involved with alcoholics time after time?

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Who Are You? Does anybody Know?

It's Still Like a Secret

It’s Still Like a Secret (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The secret, sacred self is highly guarded.  There are lots of things about yourself that even you don’t know.  Life is a process of discovery.  When you let someone into your secret, sacred self (even yourself), you are very vulnerable.  It could be deadly.  People have committed suicide over feeling rejected, not only by others, but also by themselves.  What is so unacceptable about you.  What can’t you admit about yourself (even to yourself) that is so dangerous?

There used to be encounter groups of all kinds, often not run by qualified group therapists.  Confrontation was often the style of group process.  People got hurt mentally and physically when they had to admit the worse about themselves and some terrible deep dark secret was revealed.  Sometimes the person was released from the session to grin and bare it alone.  Reliable, reputable groups did not do this but were there when the sessions ended to handle the fall out.  They were there to catch the recent participants before they fell to far.

What is so unacceptable about us?  Who led us when we were little children to accept the fact that we were unacceptable for some reason and to keep it a secret.  Unconditional love handles the whole problem.  Is there any sin that can’t be forgiven?   We often build walls around ourselves which prevent people from getting too close and discovering our unacceptable secret sins.  Confession is good for the soul.  It might even be that what you did did not hurt anyone in spite of what you thought at the time.

There are astonishing stories about victims’ families that forgave the person who took their child or family member from them and even took the perpetrator into their own family circles.  If they can do that, what is holding you back?  What kind of conceit is it that says that you (among all the evil people in the world) do not qualify for forgiveness and for unconditional love?  Unconditional love is just that, unconditional love.

If you are religious, who are you to tell God that he can’t forgive you and accept you (and your shortcomings) among all people in creation?  Nuff said!  Move over; there has got to be somebody in worse shape than you.  If you don’t believe me, read something on satanic ritual abuse.  Second thought, don’t.  It can creep you out.

Psychotherapy‘s ultimate goal is to forge a relationship between the patient and the therapist that is strong enough to withstand any revelation to the therapist by the patient.  If the therapist has been in business of psychotherapy long enough, he or she has heard it all.  Nothing surprises him or her anymore let alone what you have to tell him or her!  This confession is often the real beginning of the therapeutic relationship, not the end.

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Alcohol Problem? Why Not Try Hypnosis?

alcohol-addictionWith the twelve step programs and all the addiction services out there, I have never heard mentioned that someone tried hypnosis.  How about you?  Maybe it should not be the only thing an addict tries but it could be an adjunct part of his or her therapy.  People with addictions need all the help they can get.  Hypnosis with a qualified hypnotist who has worked with weight problems and other addiction problems couldn’t hurt.  It would be cost effective if done in groups and that might encourage someone to try it when they wouldn’t do it on their own.  At the very least it would teach a person how to relax without seeking their drug or addictive behavior of choice.

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Please Listen To Me

good_listeningPlease listen to me so that you can tell me what I said.  Don’t make it a waste of my breath to talk to you.  Sometimes a conversation becomes a competition to see who can dominate  it and at the same time no one really is listening to the other.  You are trying to tell someone something and they are too busy thinking of what to say next to listen.

Why do we talk to others  Is it to learn something new or to convince someone else to accept our values or to take our point of view.  If you are not open to changing your mind or rethinking a position that you have taken then why do you think that other people would be that way?

Have you ever gotten involved in a conversation that has turned into a yelling match?  What do you think that you or the other people you are talking “at”  are accomplishing ?  Yes, it is nice to get something off your chest; but what if it doesn’t really solve anything?

Sometimes therapy is the only place where someone really listens to you; but then I (and probably you) have heard of stories where the therapist fell asleep during a session while supposedly listening to their patient.

activelistening-glych1

activelistening-glych1 (Photo credit: stallio)

Therapy involves “active listening” where the therapist repeats what the client has said in his or her own words to be sure that he or she has gotten correct what the other person has been trying to say.  Then the therapist might make an interpretation of what the client is actually probably doing or make a suggestion as to what the client might do about the problem they have just related to the therapist.

Debating is an activity that promotes active listening and the ability to see the other side of issues.  Critical thinking is encouraged and people are forced to be able to take both sides of an issue.  We are not always able to see the other person’s point of view.  In a society that promotes individual differences, we often get caught up in defending our right to have our own preferences and ignoring the right of others to have theirs.

Think for yourself, but give others that right too.

 

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Here I Am, Tomorrow

livetomorrowReady to start life over and develop my creative side.  After all being left-handed, I am in my right mind.  Is that why I need to develop my spontaneous, intuitive side?  I  find a better fit as a psychologist when I view myself  also as a crafts person, not only as a scientist.  I now know who I am; I am an artist and life is my canvas.

At this time of life most people are winding down while I am winding up.  After a hiatus of five years due to physical problems,  I’ve got time to make up.  The new me, JoyL, has changed her name and now has red hair.  If my friends could see me now.  There is no time like the present.  I have waited long enough.  I am not your usual housewife, mother, or grandma anymore (if I ever was).

There’s no time like the present.  Can’t stop now.  I’ve just begun.  Anyone else like me out there?  Could you write a post for this blog that was inspired by this?

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Blogging, The New Journaling

Blogging is the new journaling.  Writing a journal has often been recommended as a form of therapy.  I used to  never be able to get into it (I have lots of journals that I started writing in and then quit); but give me a potential audience and I am a writing fiend!  I also can marshall my thoughts better on paper than in a discussion with someone.  On the one hand, I find myself when someone is asking me for advice telling them to read my blog and on the other hand, using that person’s question as topic of a future blog.  At the same time, my blog is an account of my journey into my own psychology and the progress I have made partly because of my writing.

St. Augustine writing, revising, and re-writin...

St. Augustine writing, revising, and re-writing: Sandro Botticelli’s St. Augustine in His Cell (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am an auditory writer and I hear what I am writing in my head as I write it.  Then I reread it and make additions and revisions as I listen to them inside my head.  I add pictures and look at a preview of my blog and hopefully add visual interest to it.  When I am procrastinating and not getting anything else done, I can always write.  Anything that occurs to me during the day as well as much of the material I read adds grist for the mill.  I sometimes go back and read previous blogs and have found now and then that I have written a very satisfactory post, but don’t remember doing it.

All the reading and writing I have done has helped me in my “journaling” online.  I have spent hours dictating social histories in one pass over the telephone from my interview notes.  This may account for my auditory approach to writing.  I have always liked to learn and explore new ideas.  I have more books on self-help and mysticism than anybody really should have.  Most of my life, I have been cut off from cosmopolitian centers where people attend groups and workshops and study these sort of  things.  These many books have provided me with alot of food for thought and this knowledge has been incubated over the years and has now blossumed forth.

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