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Re: What my therapist says about posting here.

Posted by katekite on June 28, 2002, at 12:16:11

In reply to What my therapist says about posting here., posted by beardedlady on June 28, 2002, at 6:14:07

This is a great topic beardy.

I think group therapy and internet support are two very different things.

I have asked several therapists over the years if they would recommend group therapy for me: usually during OK times where I was hoping to work on social anxiety, when I felt isolated. Of all the times I have asked, only about a month ago did my current therapist come back with a phone number. It seems that there are a lot of therapy groups out there and not very many good ones. Many of the good ones are full. Who's leading the one your therapist mentioned? Obviously not a therapist who's good at it, or it wouldn't have degenerated into such a mess. Some therapists can be great at one-on-one and terrible at group dynamics. So having not ever gone to group therapy, yet, I'd question that they get useless after 3 months -- I'm pretty sure some people find them helpful and progressive for a lot longer. Seems like if it becomes totally useless after 3 months something was wrong with it from the beginning. Either that or everyone is completely better.

Now as far as the internet goes, this forum seems really supportive. The one criticism I've heard of internet support groups that seems valid is that if people spend too much time in them they don't spend enough time in the 'real' world getting to know real people. In the real world social skills: listening skills, body language etc are important. Here it barely matters.

This isn't group therapy. There is no leader, no one helping us along and provoking thought on particular subjects. We just agonize over whatever we want to here. Once in a great while someone else will answer with a great suggestion that we find really helpful. Most of the time its just nice that others seem to care. To me it seems more like lunch with a bunch of people you barely know, but instead of small talk we talk about things we actually care about.

There are certainly people who make their illness who they are and maybe being here is not really good for them, maybe all this information etc just helps them focus more on it. Maybe they need to turn off the computer and distract themselves from thinking about it. Seems like those are a minority. (I don't have anyone in particular in mind.) Since there is no way to know who among the posters might be keeping themselves ill (or a victim) we can't assume anyone is. Since people who want to keep themselves ill really believe they are, there is no way to reach them over the internet: at least I don't think there is.

I too have seen people post the same things over and over. That just says to me they haven't heard anything that helps enough, yet (or they forgot they asked already, LOL). Or sometimes you see that someone answers everyone with the same answer (for example that jesus will help) -- to me that says they need to say those words, for themselves. If people rephrase their problem enough, or those who reply rephrase or change their answers, eventually something will click (I believe). And if it doesn't, at least we all feel we are trying to help ourselves. The drive to help ourselves, to take control over our lives, has to have an outlet. We can't just pace back and forth all day waiting.

It doesn't seem to me that this place keeps anyone a victim. I do think it solidifies a feeling of similarity to others who have psychological difficulties, because here you will be sure to find someone who is somewhat similar. But if you post here to begin with you identify yourself as someone with a psychological problem. Finding others who share the same issues is usually considered good. In realms outside of mental illness, that's the essence of making friends!

Some may continue to be more comfortable with people with psychological issues than those without. That in itself is a psychological issue and shows they are in the right place. Ooh I think I'll start a thread on this.

Why why am I so verbose, beardy? I can't just be concise! I want to be concise without drugs.

That's the end of the message.





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