Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 444885

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Taking Responsibility

Posted by daisym on January 20, 2005, at 20:32:55

I've been reading a collection of articles on avoidance and denial and other such defenses mechanisms. There is one in particular that talks about clients/patients "taking responsibility for avoiding the issue(s) for so long... which complicates the working through process substantially." He basically was making a case that the client needs to accept that they had avoided the issue and this was a large part of the problem and in part, core to the pathology that had developed. He included past abuse in his examples. (He talked about aging parents who change and energy draining grudges, etc. and the "fairness" of dragging out "molding memories.")

I've been turning this over and over in my mind and I've yet to really understand why the author would say this. His big thing was that therapists need to engage their clients in more truthful objective perspectives and not shy away from this.

What does this mean? It feels like a criticism to me about current trauma practices but I'm not sure. Anyone have a take on this?

 

Re: Taking Responsibility daisym

Posted by Dinah on January 20, 2005, at 20:56:03

In reply to Taking Responsibility, posted by daisym on January 20, 2005, at 20:32:55

I don't really understand. Which isn't surprising, since I'm feeling particularly dense. Do you have any URL's? Truthful perspectives, avoiding avoidance, and not bringing up moldy memories don't seem to mesh.

 

Re: Taking Responsibility daisym

Posted by littleone on January 20, 2005, at 21:04:44

In reply to Taking Responsibility, posted by daisym on January 20, 2005, at 20:32:55

Sorry daisy, could you please clarify something for me. When you wrote:

> There is one in particular that talks about clients/patients "taking responsibility for avoiding the issue(s) for so long... which complicates the working through process substantially."

did the article mean that the working through process is complicated because the client *is* taking on the responsibility, or is it complicated because the client *is not* accepting that responsbility?

I have read many times that you need to accept your avoidance/denial as a coping mechanism that you used in the past. That it may have served you quite well at the time, but now you need to recognise it as a currently maladaptive coping mechanism to be able to stop coping with stressors that way.

 

Re: Taking Responsibility

Posted by Daisym on January 20, 2005, at 22:36:43

In reply to Re: Taking Responsibility daisym, posted by littleone on January 20, 2005, at 21:04:44

I think his point was that the client needs to take responsibility for having avoided the issue for so long. That the pathology is from the avoidance, not the trauma. Rephrased: If you face a trauma immediately, there is no resulting pathology. If you didn't, what you need to work on is why you didn't, not the trauma itself.

I can see how this is partially true. But it feels like blaming the victim for being upset about the trauma. But I think I'm too close to it to make sense of it. I should let it go, I guess.

 

Re: Taking Responsibility Daisym

Posted by Dinah on January 20, 2005, at 22:44:44

In reply to Re: Taking Responsibility, posted by Daisym on January 20, 2005, at 22:36:43

Doesn't make sense to me. It would be blaming someone for what they did in the past, just at the moment when they are attempting to change what they did in the past. What's the point of that?

 

Re: Taking Responsibility Daisym

Posted by littleone on January 20, 2005, at 23:13:58

In reply to Re: Taking Responsibility, posted by Daisym on January 20, 2005, at 22:36:43

It's really interesting that you've raised this right now.

In my last session, we were talking about how I was raised and I was kind of defending my folks and shooting down my T's comments.

Now I get really fuzzy here and probably have it half wrong, but he was saying something about how I was focusing on the blame aspect. I guess like I didn't want to accept it all because I'd then have to blame my folks for how I was raised.

He then started talking about responsibility and said that they should accept responsibility for the way they raised me. And for the life of me, I can't see how accepting responsbility and accepting blame are any different.

Mind you, I think I'm very confused here because why would they accept responsbility? I have no intention of confronting them any time soon (ever?). I can't make them accept their responsbility, I can only affect my own thoughts and actions.

Anyway, I know it is a different sort of example than your article, but the confusion over responsibilty vs blame sounds similar.

I had intended to raise this at our next session. If you like, I can share what he says. If you raise it with your T, I'd be interested in hearing his take on it.

 

Re: Taking Responsibility Daisym

Posted by Poet on January 21, 2005, at 0:11:36

In reply to Re: Taking Responsibility, posted by Daisym on January 20, 2005, at 22:36:43

Hi Daisy,

I am not opening up in therapy, so I will take responsibility for not facing past trauma in the here and now.

I am not willing to accept responsibilty for what tramatized me and that it took me over 30 years to even try and face it.

Whether it would have been easier to face it when it happened, I'm sure it would have been. Put me in a time machine and I'll go back in time and face it right away. Better yet send me back to before it happened and I'll prevent it from happening. That's even easier!!

Poet


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