Saturday, April 21, 2018

Comments by disequilibrium1

Showing 14 of 14 comments.

  • Thank you, Philip, and for your overall work. I left Fisher’s performance reeling, feeling that the audience and I were her therapists that day. She was on stage hammering that her rewardless Hollywood life was weightiest of human burdens. Her story seemed shaped by her victimhood (shades of Dineen) and psych treatment rather than her talent and success.

    And yeah, she reminded me of me, so I don’t want to disparage, but rather question what proportion of her tumult was the “patient” and how much was the “cure.” The condensed version of the two and a half to three-hour New York performance I saw currently is on Youtube.

    My layperson exploration centers around the harm potential in the non-medicalized side of treatment. If I may, I’d like to link to the long client discussion on my one-entry blog:

  • I left Fisher’s New York performance of Wishful Drinking in dismayed agitation. Fisher’s show had wit and talent, of course. But it felt like the emotional habits of the long-time psych victim, her medications, her electroshock and her 12 “shrinks.” As an audience member I felt like one of them. Though perhaps my projections, I felt in this show the psych patient’s labors to please and gratify the provider by having the most miserable, neediest stories. It was the “I’m so screwed up” bake-off.

    The show I saw –at 1/2 hour over promised running time– wasn’t as tight as the HBO version, and maybe she was off her game that day. But I was very disturbed by, not her life itself, but by her apparent addiction to the mental health industry.

    I certainly respect her intellect, talent, and understand she was loyal and lovely to family and friends. But I had a disturbing response to her presence that stays with me years later. Maybe it felt like witnessing someone drown.

  • As an unaccredited human being I have the exactly the same facility to observe Trump’s behavior and draw my own conclusions about his suitability for office. I don’t need the “mental health professionals’ ” bogus labeling system. And as appalled as I am by Trump, I find weaponizing psych labels a manipulative precedent.

  • Re Discussant’s blog post:

    The blog makes the point “The structure of therapy is antithetical to and models the opposite of goals one would hope to achieve in real life/relationships.”

    Please explain how ANY therapy relationship can circumvent
    1) The asymmetry and lack of reciprocity.
    2 Formulas and strictures.
    3) Self-focus/self-absorption
    4) Paternalism, didacticism
    5) An artificial, jargonized world
    6) A removed, abstracted view of life
    7) An emphasis on victimization, wounds and defects
    8) A surrender of privacy and adult privilege
    9) Inaccurate “material” based on distorted memories and recounting
    10) Role playing by both practitioner and client
    11) A paid artificial relationship substituting for real ones
    12) An often performed empathy and understanding. (How well can the therapist REALLY understand the client’s only-described world?)
    13) Simulated friendship or even love masquerading as the real thing

    The “classroom” of psychotherapy seems to remove its students from real life rather than helping them cope in it. It often activates clients most infantile aspects, leaving them regressed rather than empowered. It creates a relationship where clients fixate on their largest incompetences which therapists rewards with catering and coddling.

    And it creates the stage illusion of a mythic transformation, a mysterious rite that submerges into its own reality system.

    I don’t understand how any aspect of therapy leaves the client better able to relate to the real people or her life. Perhaps someone can explain, concretely, how that’s supposed to work.

  • An easy six-step formula (September 13, 2013) above illustrates precisely why I have so little respect for the therapy industrial complex.

    So many therapy proponents seem to claim the omniscience that:
    1) They KNOW with absolute certainty how the complex human mind works.
    2) They KNOW more about another person knows himself merely from a few paragraphs of writing.
    3)They absolute KNOW that rejecting therapy indicates the certain need for –more therapy.
    4) They KNOW that finding improvement without subjugation to a therapist is invalid.

    The scornfully-delivered six-step formula never explains its own payoff. But it’s delivered with scornful certainty that author Mackler never previously followed it.

    This six-point prescription for (something?) completely overlooks the principle plaint of the blog post, that so much of psychotherapy training an education in condescension and arrogance, that the therapist so often fakes it, that “difficult” clients are shuttled off to hospitals and on medication after the nostrum of talk therapy clearly has failed them.

    That therapy proponents must defend it with such bile and sanctimony is a living demonstration of its questionable validity.

  • I’m intrigued by this attitude that psychotherapy is some sort of decreed servitude, a required initiation that un-therapized shirkers must undergo to be fit for society. It equates psychotherapy to a mythical trek to Olympian summits.

    The charm of Daniel’s essay is that he removes the Wizard’s curtain, to hop metaphors. A therapist has no mythic or divine powers, no more Life Wisdom than anyone else. He’s some tee-shirted Joe who went to school, got his degree and hopes he has something to offer the distressed.

    That therapy’s proselytizers mandate it with such fuming rectitude is an ironic indication that no emotional transcendence indeed has occurred here.

  • Daniel, thank you for your frank exploration of the arrogance that being a therapist often fosters. That idea leans toward psychotherapy’s ultimate contradiction– the shamanistic authority figure hawking wisdom, by eyedropper, by the hour, to the idolizing supplicant in service of “empowerment. ”

    The undertone is the inevitability of the client as the hopeless inferior. I’ve yet to see a therapist confess that he’s essentially an actor role-playing, that the relationship is contrived, stern distance masquerading as intimacy. Dependence and regression are sold as the path toward autonomy. Its obsession with wounds, defects, anger, sorrow and helplessness might even habituate chronic depression and self-absorption.

    Like many, I was once in its thrall. Now I feel like world’s biggest sucker for buying the magic elixir. I suspect even bigger suckers were the therapists deluded they had “treated” me.

  • Mitochrondrial disorder is a particularly tricky diagnosis even if the patient is an articulate adult who can track and describe his symptoms clearly. My aunt, officially diagnosed at Tuscon’s MD clinic, took decades to get her answers. I likely have the condition, something I’ve learned after my own decades long doctor-go-round and wondering myself–product of psych indoctrination–about any emotional component.

    The vulnerable Muscular Dystrophy Association “leads the search for treatments.” The mito disorder is not some little fringe concoction on a murky corner of the internet.

    Psych’s hucksterism is one thing when selling a worried well suburbanite the miraculous curing powers of bi-lateral hand-tapping. But when these vainglorious autocrats wield their authority and deluded clairvoyance to rip a family and cage a teenager, intervention of the interveners is long overdue.

  • The therapy I report was by all standards “ethical.” I lost my complaint with the state ethics board. All therapists I mention have had practices for decades.

    My blog is not to wail about unethical therapists so much as to question the asymmetrical paradigm that too often role-plays the therapist as a guru / fantasy parent and the client as the trusting submissive. Its so-called “intimacy” has no parallel in real life. It’s an unreciprocal bondage granting the therapist total power with no mutual vulnerability. The therapist controls the needy client by dangling promise of relieving distress.

    I notice a tendency by therapists for inferences based on the slimmest of evidence. The ad hominem comment “now you’ll never search for any help…this is sad” paints a rather piteous picture.

    Indeed returning to therapy was the worst mistake of my life–not because it was unethical, but because of its hollowness.

    Not pity please. That revelation was joyous. There are no tooth fairies or gurus. I don’t solve my problems sniveling to a fake expert in a room. Growth, competence are the byproducts of living a courageous life, through work and friendships, through creating, through movement.

    I wish therapists look beyond their theories to frame how they manipulate clients in normal human terms.

  • By Life Expert I meant the distorted fantasy role that so many therapists play for their clients.

    Just in real life, lower status people servilely hitch themselves to higher status friends, a similar structure often seems to occur in therapy.

    I imagine two luncheon friends, Sally and Marcia. Sally dresses more smartly and has that charismatic air of a woman in the know. She’s not really more competent. But she domineers poor Marcia holding the privilege of critiquing her appearance and projects, setting the time and duration of get-togethers. Gift giving, attending the other’s events is unequal, with Sally on always taking the brighter spotlight. Marcia is Sally’s stooge.

    The therapist creates his higher status by his certificates on the wall, but calling or withholding the game rules, through verbal and non-verbal disapproval, through remoteness and through the privilege to create the labels and the narrative for someone else’ life. The client verbally and emotionally disrobes, the therapists keeps not only his clothes, but often his cloak.

    The client complies with this submission, attributing to the therapist an often unearned wisdom and power to relieve distress.

    As a consumer,I felt completely scammed by the Authority my therapists pretended. Though most of it would be considered ethical, I ultimately felt like the stooge at luncheon.

  • As a consumer, I’m grateful for one of the rare blogs that examines some of the sacred cows of therapy.

    I experienced exactly what you discuss-that wallowing in on past miseries was the opposite of a release valve and in fact was an advanced education in how to be a depressive. Likewise was being subordinate to the Life Expert long after my childhood due date had expired.

    A swath of the mental health profession has distortedly hijacked the literary device of the catharsis. The movie does NOT peak with the hero/heroine sniveling into a facial tissue. He’s out in the world, courageously, fighting the arch interplanetary villain, solving the crime, leading the workers, finding something deep in his capability he never previously realized. This is the OPPOSITE of obsessing and wallowing in mean-things-mommy-said-30-years-ago.

    I propose a revolutionary idea: how about the mental health profession considering feedback from those harmed in therapy?

  • As a consumer I’d like to challenge the wisdom that psychotherapy ONLY is harmful when the therapist is poorly trained, unaware of his issues, etc.

    The foundation of therapy puts clients in the role of the subordinate, the supplicant. Our very human traits are now sickness or disorders to be remedied by an expert who knows only a sliver of our lives. Our relationship with the therapist is remote, contrived and structured, yet presented to us as intimacy.

    Then therapy’s frequent stoking of self-absorption, victimization and obsession, added to the client’s submission to the “expert” to can be an education in how to be depressed.

    It barely seems acknowledged by the profession that this framework–even executed by an “ethical” therapist– leaves some consumers feeling worse.

    Therapists seem so certain why therapy didn’t work. So many KNOW -with no evidence–that we must have been difficult, borderline or don’t-want-to-change. I see no one actually asking the consumer.

    In addition to the Disgruntled Ex-Psychotherapy Client blog linked below, another blogger continues the discussion in