Psycho-Babble Psychology | about psychological treatments | Framed
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I think you agreed with what he said... Karen_kay

Posted by Racer on March 12, 2004, at 13:47:58

In reply to Hello Rod, Nice to see you But...., posted by Karen_kay on March 12, 2004, at 13:12:48

It might just be my reading of the post, but I took Rod's meaning to be that the therapist doesn't build the levee for you, just gives you the specs to build it yourself. It sounds as if you've done that -- and I envy you for that right now -- but it doesn't sound as if you're actually in disagreement with Rod's basic point.

Since I'm sticking my nose in here, I figure the least I can do is tell you something about how I see it, so that you can put anything I say in context. Sound fair ;-)

Everything involved in mental illness is complex, because it involves the physical and biochemical, the behavioral, and the experiencial. So, we may have a genetic predisposition to depression, for example, but it's only going to be manifested if we're exposed to triggering stresses that we can't process in an adaptive manner. So, our life circumstances, our physical/biochemical/genetic makeup, and our behavior in responding to stressors are all integral to the dis-ease we feel. (Yeah, I get into semantics. So whatcha gonna do? Sue me? Sure, you can have all my assets: sick cat, lame horse, and broken down car -- that's about the extent of it...) None of those can be addressed in a vacuum, they all have to be part of the solution. Does that make sense?

If you follow that line of thought, mental illness is a nonreductible phenomenon. All aspects need to be integrated into treatment. The therapist is there to provide a framework or structure, and advise us on specific strategies for change. The therapist is also there to provide support and reassurance while we make frightening changes for ourselves. The therapist, though, is not there to do any of it for us. The only part of a therapist's job that involves taking on responsibilities that properly belong to us is in that reassurance. Eventually, in a perfect outcome, we'll learn to reassure ourselves. But in the meantime, I want someone to be there on the sidelines, saying, "Rah rah sis boom bah! That's the stuff, baby! You're DOING it!"

Mind you, my beliefs on this are probably more complex than that sounds, but there's a nutshell view for you. Maybe I'll change professions, and become a well-medicated psychic: that sounds like I'm advocating a Happy Medium between what I understood you to be expressing and what I understood Rod to be saying.

OK, one last time: Man, today I really envy you on your progress. But I really envy that you've done so much of it for yourself, with the assistance of your therapist. Does that make sense? It's not just that I envy the progress you've made, it's envying your ability to do it for yourself with help. Does that make more sense? I hope so, and I hope you can read the sincerity with which I write this.




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