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Re: technical questions

Posted by JenStar on August 7, 2004, at 20:25:48

In reply to Re: technical questions 64bowtie, posted by Dinah on August 7, 2004, at 19:32:04

hi guys,
this post is fascinating to me. I hope you don't mind if I chime in (not with any analyses of you, or suggestions for anyone...just my own feelings.)

I like to listen to Dr. Laura because she cuts through the cr** and 'tells it like it is.'
And I like to 'tell it like it is' sometimes too. But I also know that even though I profess to like the 'tell it like it is' style, I'm also not always up for 'being told like it is', even if that is sort of hypocritical.

I was reading a book about therapy called Reality Therapy in Action by William Glasser, M.D. and I both loved it and hated it. The author posited that most (if not all) neuroses and psychological problems are self-caused and CAN be self-fixed without meds. Naturally I really found that offensive and small-minded. I also loved it, and thought that in some cases it was probably very true, for me and for others.

The doctor gave examples of how he 'cured' OCD, alcoholism, panick attacks, and a girl who was hearing voices by basically finding the relationship that was causing the issues, and helping them fix it. His belief is that ALL problems are the result of a poor relationship of some kind.

I started thinking about my own problems and if I could fix some of them by telling myself to 'shape up' or else, da**it. I determined that SOME problems could be fixed(procrastination). And maybe some COULD, but the time would need to be right. I used to be terrified of flying, and no amount of being told 'get the heck over it, it's a dumb fear' helped me, even though I knew this was true. I don't know exactly how I stopped. One day I simply told myself: "This is killing you. Your blood pressure goes up, you take too much Xanax and drink too much alcohol on planes, last time you threw up on the way home, you don't enjoy your trips -- let's get over it, mind." And for some reason, my mind was ready to make the change, so I switched from fearful flyer to normal flyer.

But I don't know if I could have done that if this doctor got in my face and told me all those things (you're hurting yourself, it's a silly fear, you don't enjoy your trips.) I also don't think the fear of flying was due to a bad relationship (unless you consider the relationship of Me + Fear of Death to be a relationship.)

I guess I like to be 'told like it is' but with compassion, humor and respect. If a doctor (or other person) acts too hoity-toity, super-intellectual, condescending, I get really turned off and want to argue with them just because their personality irritates me. If the same doctor approaches me with the humor and respect and a 'let's solve this jointly' approach, I would definitely be more open to the brutal honesty approach. (becuase it wouldn't actually be so brutal!)

On the other hand, I don't want people to completely sugar-coat things to me either. I've known people at work who are so scared to criticize a business plan that they spend 10 minutes timidly saying, "This may be stupid, and I know I'm not smart like you guys, and I know my ideas usually suck, and I apologize in advance if I hurt anyone's feeling in any way, and this might be totally off the mark and if so I'm sorry for wasting all your time and the air in the room, but maybe, is it just a teensy bit possible, that those numbers are off? I have my cyanide pill here if you tell me i'm wrong," and that irritates me too.

I guess the part of the book I liked was the reminder that I DO have control over lots of things in my life, and I AM responsible for making changes. Even if I'm depressed or anxious or fearful, I have a ton of capability to be positive and fix my own issues, at least some of them. That's a cool thing to remember. It makes me feel empowered.

Another book I was reading, Talk is Not Enough, How Psychotherapy Really Works, by Willard Gaylin, M.D., kind of went along the same lines - we have the power to change our own neuroses and problems. I liked hearing this; again it made me feel empowered.

However --when he went on to posit that anyone who is overweight is making a choice to be overweight, that really made me want to go ballistic. I know that I DO control my weight myself, but I also believe that I am genetically pre-disposed to being heavy and that my body just likes food. He would disagree, say that none of that is tru, and say that I'm being weak or choosing to be overweight as some kind of compensation for my inability to function in some capacity. That irritated me! (Or maybe it hits too close to home???)

Has anyone else read these books? (Reality Therapy in Action, by William Glasser, M.D. and Talk is Not Enough, by Willard Gayline, M.D.)

If so, what did you think of them?





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