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Re: Erin

Posted by Morose on December 11, 1999, at 1:01:09

In reply to Re: 20 questions for Fred, Adam, Erin, Noa, Tom, Siri, posted by Erin on December 10, 1999, at 20:35:33

> I had a hard time telling if you meant for those questions to be seriously thought about, or if you dissagreed with our opinions and were trying to prove yours through questions. It sounded to me to be more of the latter. If I'm wrong, please correct me. Also, I personally find the term "shrink" a little demeaning, due to the fact that, although today more and more people are going to therapists/psychiatrists/social workers etc. because society is starting to consider it a way of "staying" healthy, rather than solely "becoming" healthy, as i think it should be. To me, the term "shrink" is one of those derrogative terms used in the 50's when going to a therapist meant that something was wrong with you, and that you were crazy, no questions asked. I'm not trying to argue, just looking for inputs, does anybody else find the term derrogative? What do you all prefer to call a therapist...? Erin


I meant for the questions to be thought-provoking and, geez, maybe even entertaining. I assure you I don't mean to be "baiting" or "passive/aggressive," whatever that means, toward anyone (except Allison; for some reason I can't explain, I reserve the right to be a smart-ass to Allison). I have felt the need to visit various shrinks over the years, so I have a natural sympathy for anyone with the same need. However, I found the experience of consulting a shrink to be odd and unsatisfactory. The relationship between patient and shrink is important, of course, but is different from other important relationships that adults have; different from friendship, different from consulting an internist, etc. Those differences are thought about a lot by shrinks, and not much by patients (shrinks, you know, are deliberately odd). Also, for me, it was a useless means of gaining any wisdom whatsoever about myself, people in general, life, what have you, as compared to reading a book or bullshitting with a friend. Everybody I know, or at least everybody I care for, is at least a little bit screwed up; and the people I care for the most spend as much time as they can trying to figure out what it means to be stuck in a carcass on this planet, and they approach that quest (if you will) with imagination and good humor. No shrink I've met is a Seeker. My sessions with a psychiatrist were essentially sales pitches for psychotherapy. The closest comparison I can think of would be listening to a rhetorically gifted Amway salesman. My impression is that this group is predominantly critical of drug manufacturers and insurance companies, but forgiving of shrinks. I am interested in hearing how others in this group view their relationships with their shrinks (by the way, I vote for "shrink" and I vote against "pdoc"). I am interested in hearing from people like Adam.

Drugs, on the other hand, are wonderful. Drugs change everything. Drugs will chase those naughty blues away. I have been taking ad's and benzos for over a year, and I have never been so happy in my life. One of the best books I've read on this topic is "Listening to Prozac," which I consider a sunnier and less polemical companion to "Therapy's Delusions." Drugs are so effective they are putting shrinks out of business. Insurance companies know this and shrinks know this. After the drugs kick in, all that confusing and exasperating blather about your mom, and your dad, and what your uncle did to you that time, it all seems so witless and unnecessary. The mere fact that drugs work so well calls into question everything that came before the drugs: the cause of depression, the romance of the quest, the banality of the box of Kleenex in your shrink's office.

The narrower question of whether people believe in the existence of an unconscious is, I guess, less interesting. Erin, have you ever thought about the premise of an unconscious? Your unconscious, according to any psychotherapist (not only Freud) is supposed to have its own feelings, volition, and imagination, distinct from your conscious mind. It (your unconscious) supposedly fears things that "you"(your conscious mind)do not fear, decides to repress "thoughts" for its own reasons, and concocts symbols and hysteria. That's impossible for me to believe. I suggest it is impossible for most brain scientists and psychopharmacologists to believe. I suggest it is offensive and of no more than placebo effect for psychotherapists to press such nonsense on screwed-up people.

Enough said, Erin. The questions are meant to be taken seriously. Get busy on your answers.





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