Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 781757

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Major crisis of faith with my therapist

Posted by widget on September 9, 2007, at 8:12:46

I posted regarding TM about a week ago. Thanks to all who responded, especially to Jake who directed me to two websites dealing with TM and the bad side of TM. Frankly, the information scared me.

This is the crisis. My beloved therapist of over 4 years simply recommended TM as a way for me to feel more peace, feel better. He has meditated daily since 1972 and believes it has definitely helped him. My first doubt came when I learned the fee for learning was $2500!! I was sure when I would tell him he would find it "out-of-line)." But, he simply said the price had gone up. That it was entirely up to me but yes, this was the only way to learn TM the right way and without an experienced teacher, I could get off to the wrong start and be doing it all wrong. He said just not to do it since I seemed uncomfortable with it. But, here is the problem. I believe in him totally. Yes, I would trust him with my life. And, it took a lot to get to this point. I have made real progress, he knows what he is doing, my trust has been complete (rare thing). So, how do I balance my total trust in him (he would never suggest anything that would hurt me), and the negative, "brainwashing" information that I have read on these two websites about TM? It has created serious cognitive dissonance for me between the belief in my therapist vs. doubt about TM? Please help!!

Any ideas, feedback, suggestions? I am so befuddled.

 

Re: Major crisis of faith with my therapist widget

Posted by annierose on September 9, 2007, at 8:45:03

In reply to Major crisis of faith with my therapist, posted by widget on September 9, 2007, at 8:12:46

I don't know what to say except to tell you a story.

Last summer my t (of 3 years at that time) loaned me two books to read prior to my summer vacation. I was having a difficult time with my daughter (then 12). One book was for me, the other for my daughter.

The book for me was a Wayne Dwyer book about spiritually. I liked the book. It made me think and I enjoyed the parts my t had underlined when she read it. The book for my daughter FLIPPED me OUT. It was a small book about meditation (not TM). It talked about parallel universes, 4th deminisons, most people having bad karma, etc. etc. This was for my daughter??? It was weird and I thought to myself, "who is my therapist?" "who is this person?". On vacation I was so distaught, I e-mailed my babble friends for advice and comfort.

Back at home I told my t my feelings on the weird book. I pretty much ripped it (in a gentle way). She explained that she liked that it gave step by step directions on how to meditate and explained why meditation "saved her (the author's) life". So I tried to take from that session the "normal" parts -- my t believes that meditation is extremely beneficial to good mental help. And I am comfortable with that.

Widget - if you are not comfortable with learning about TM then don't. I don't think your t should be nudging you (however gently) to take a $2,500 course. You need to find your own way. I also hear you saying, "I'm afraid my t won't like me if I don't do this." And I don't think that is true. You mentioned you read on-line about TM and brainwashing --- have you also read about the positive aspects of TM? Ultimately you are your own captain. Trust your instincts.

 

Re: Major crisis of faith with my therapist annierose

Posted by widget on September 9, 2007, at 10:02:18

In reply to Re: Major crisis of faith with my therapist widget, posted by annierose on September 9, 2007, at 8:45:03

Thanks, Annierose, I definitely was afraid he wouldn't like me if I didn't do this. Within that very session, I started crying that this would, indeed, happen. And, the feeling was so strong that I would do anything to keep that from happening. He is the first person to accept me unconditionally and that is so different and wonderful that I would not want to risk losing it.
He assured me over and over that he didn't care, it was my decision, just a suggestion on his part, etc. and I know he meant it. But, that was very insightful of you to see that. I know it is a big part of HIS life and that does influence me. Thanks for the balancing words. And, yes, I was actually ready to do the TM when the cost stopped me. I mean I have heard the really good, almost too good, things about TM and was ready to go. Thanks again.

 

Re: Major crisis of faith with my therapist widget

Posted by arora on September 9, 2007, at 10:38:11

In reply to Major crisis of faith with my therapist, posted by widget on September 9, 2007, at 8:12:46

Widget-
I've had a look to see if I could find any useful sites for you.

This one gives brief descriptions of the most commonly used meditations, (TM, Zen, Buddhist, etc.)

http://www.project-meditation.org/a_mt4/meditation_types.html

and this meditation site highlights some of the criticisms of TM... down the left of the page it also explains about other ways of meditating as well:

http://meditationforce.com/transcendental.html

Basically, the primary focus of TM is on chanting a mantra for 20 minutes every day, which acts to calm and de-stress you. (the two main ways of meditating are either to chant a mantra, or focus on your breath... saying the rosary could be seen as a Christian-type meditation, in fact).

TM courses make their money by convincing people that a mantra must be 'given' to the student by the teacher, and must be kept secret... so: to get your personalised mantra, you have to take their (often very expensive!) course.

I find TM doesn't work for me- the idea of chanting a phrase over and over is just boring. When I meditate, I do visualisations- either of energy flowing into me from the earth and the universe, or sending healing to the chakras- something like that.

I don't believe TM is a harmful way of meditating- it's just that because it has become trendy it gives self-styled gurus or organisations the opportunity to exploit and control others for profit. There is NO WAY it should cost that much to meditate... if I was you I'd have a look around on notice boards or in holistic shops for other classes that are available... the shops usually have leaflets for that kind of thing.

I found a really good book on meditation, called
"Teach Yourself to Meditate; 20 simple exercises for Peace, Health and Clarity of Mind" by Eric Harrison, if you want to give it a go on your own so you can decide which method works best for you.

arora

 

Link to book :-) arora

Posted by 10derheart on September 9, 2007, at 11:27:17

In reply to Re: Major crisis of faith with my therapist widget, posted by arora on September 9, 2007, at 10:38:11

"Teach Yourself to Meditate"

 

Re: Major crisis of faith with my therapist widget

Posted by RealMe on September 9, 2007, at 11:38:13

In reply to Major crisis of faith with my therapist, posted by widget on September 9, 2007, at 8:12:46

Widget

I am so sorry you think your therapist might be made at you if you don't sign up for TM. Have you been able to tell your therapist this?

Though not exactly the same, this reminds me of my previous therapist saying he thought I should do ECT, and after resisting, him saying maybe I should find someone else to see, and me trying to do things his way (which is just not me to be this way, but when depressed, well....), I then went and did the ECT.

My current therapist of 4 months said to me early on that it sounded like I did the ECT as a gift to my previous therapist. I almost freaked as I think he is right. Obviously I had not thought of it that way at the time, but I know I really did not want to do ECT and am very sorry I did. Still have some problems from it.

RealMe
(OzLand)

 

Re: Major crisis of faith with my therapist RealMe

Posted by widget on September 9, 2007, at 12:03:57

In reply to Re: Major crisis of faith with my therapist widget, posted by RealMe on September 9, 2007, at 11:38:13

To Real Me, Yes, I did tell him because I was suddenly gripped with fear and it just came out. He totally understood and repeatedly said that it was not true and he really didn't care personally. He has just suggested it because he thought it might make life easier for me. No, he is not coercing me but I know he believes in it strongly and that influences me. Yes, this is an area to be talked about more. And, it knew it at the time. I kept redirecting him back to the revelation I was having of how important it was to me to keep him in approval of me. He was very much trying to tell me he didn't care. But, the point I got him to see was my great need to keep this relationship as it was so different and important to me. He said that was unconditional love that parents ideally give to their children (but I missed out on). I actually reveals to me how easily I COULD be misled by someone less ethical. His is the soul of ethical. In fact, when I told my husband that my psychiatrist wasn't bothered by the price of the TM and showed continued belief in it's good effects, my husband said we should just do it! And, he knows of this man only through me and HE respects him that highly. Thanks for the advice. I think this is all me.

 

Re: Major crisis of faith with my therapist widget

Posted by Honore on September 9, 2007, at 12:14:37

In reply to Re: Major crisis of faith with my therapist RealMe, posted by widget on September 9, 2007, at 12:03:57

Widget, I'm sure your T is being completely honest about not taking offense or thinking badly of you for not doing TM. I'm glad you're feeling that more now.

You're wise, though, to stay clear of anything that might influence you so much. Some people are more susceptible to pressure (conscious or unconscious) from others-- and if you do have a teacher who wants you very much to become more involved with TM than you want-- perhaps it would feel that you had to, to keep his or her good opinion. Not all teachers are as accepting or open-minded as your T. So caution makes perfect sense, with the brainwashing potentials.

Also, there are other paths to proper meditation. Maybe your T has found TM the best-- but despite your trusting him with your life, what's best for one person isn't always best for another. You must always finally go with your gut-- no matter how much you trust or believe in someone else. It's hard to know what you want sometimes-- but no matter how much your T cares, he can't know what's right for you.

I'd read that book that was recommended, if you're interested in meditation-- become more knowledgeable about the alternatives (there are many). Then perhaps you can take lessons from someone-- either in TM, or in another branch of serious meditation. There are many roads to a place. Your T may simply not know others.

best, Honore

 

Re: Major crisis of faith with my therapist widget

Posted by Poet on September 9, 2007, at 12:23:03

In reply to Major crisis of faith with my therapist, posted by widget on September 9, 2007, at 8:12:46

Hi Widget,

My therapist meditates, not TM, more zen meditation. My husband meditates daily,too. I just think that I can't shut my brain off long enough to do it, so I've honestly never tried.

I think you should tell your T that you are not comfortable with TM, but you'll think about some other forms of meditation.

Trust is so hard to develop, I can see how this is really getting to you, but I don't think your T would want you to do something that you're not comfortable with even if he believes in it.

Poet

 

Re: Major crisis of faith with my therapist widget

Posted by RealMe on September 9, 2007, at 12:50:09

In reply to Major crisis of faith with my therapist, posted by widget on September 9, 2007, at 8:12:46

It just occured to me that my therapist has recommended I see his dietician and told me to consider things like Yoga and/or massages and even told me about some exercises I could do daily, twice per day. HUM; so far I have ignored him. It did not cross my mind with him as with my previous therpist that I just had to do what he wanted me to do or recommended I do. I don't see him rejecting me for something like that, but already he has brought up the dietician three times. HUM. This is because of past history of eating disorder which I was starting to get into again and because I hate being overweight and can't seem to lose any weight. Of course starving myself for four days did not work, and I know/knew I guess it would not, but old habits die hard.

RealMe
(OzLand)

 

Re: Major crisis of faith with my therapist widget

Posted by DAisym on September 9, 2007, at 16:02:18

In reply to Major crisis of faith with my therapist, posted by widget on September 9, 2007, at 8:12:46

As uncomfortable as this is, it is also one of those darn "therapeutic opportunities." (Don't you hate those?)

Here is a way to concretely not do what someone you really, really care about suggested - and to find out they will not stop caring about you. Or to do it a different way than they have. The point being that you make your own choice, different from their's perhaps, and the relationship survives. Wow - scary stuff.

Six months ago, my therapist got really, really angry during a session. Not at me, at my father - and at the story I'd told him. His response scared me - so much I drove home and then called and quit therapy. My message was, "I can't do what you want me to so I guess we are done." He apologized for not containing his own stuff, as well as mine, but he really pushed for us to explore why I couldn't say no to something but keep the relationship. Why did I assume if I didn't do this, he'd stop wanting to be my therapist? (And he spent a lot of time telling me how great it was that I'd stood up for myself, even if was extreme.) It was a really hard thing for me - risking this hugely important relationship by saying "this isn't right for me" - but I learned something and it deepened our connection. One more time I learned that being perfect is an impossible job.

I know how difficult this is. But trust the relationship and your therapist. He just wants what is best for you, whatever you decide.

 

Re: Major crisis of faith with my therapist widget

Posted by Dory on September 9, 2007, at 18:07:28

In reply to Major crisis of faith with my therapist, posted by widget on September 9, 2007, at 8:12:46

well, there are many styles of meditation..and maybe somebody has already said this... but meditation doesn't have to be done in one "right" way. Yoga classes practice more of a relaxation style, Buddhists use it as a religious one. i follow a Shambhala style which is nonreligious but still addresses the issues found in the Buddhist practice.

The thing is, most meditation temples and centers are free or very inexpensive. Shambhala centers offer training weekends which base their fee on what someone can afford.

i don't understand his rigidity around this at all. It's ironic really. Talk to him about trying other styles. IMO learning to meditate is more important than the style or method. i do think having a good instructor is important.

i didn;t check out the info regarding "brainwashing"... oh my. i can't fathom that. It's no more like brainwashing than psychoanalysis is. i learned to sit quietly with myself and to try to allow thoughts to rise and pass without engaging them.. without judging them. i learned about trying to love one's self and to have compassion for others.

i'll leave that alone though, it would trash your thread.

i'll also tell you that i found myself shaken by meditation at some points. That looking into my own mind frightened me. It's hard. i did a weekend retreat which meant 8 hrs a day for two days. Intense. Felt afraid, mad, sad, happy, and at one point i was sure they were all a cult. In the talk afterwards i discovered other people felt some of the same things and some different things... some people felt sexual. Like i said very much like psychoanalysis... things float up in a silent free association.

i'm sorry. i've ranted on.

Talk to your T. If he meditates then he is probably more open about the styles than he appeared to you. And, in the end, if you feel uncomfortable then don't do it. i doubt he'll be upset or disappointed. And as another idea, maybe try hatha yoga which concentrates on breathing. There is usually a very brief meditation or guided visualization at the end.

sorry for being so long winded.

 

Re: Major crisis of faith with my therapist widget

Posted by muffled on September 10, 2007, at 11:44:16

In reply to Re: Major crisis of faith with my therapist RealMe, posted by widget on September 9, 2007, at 12:03:57

Sorry Widget, I don't have time to read this thread, so I hope I am not repeating anything. But the thing I thot of...is that I am a Christian, but because a friend is atheist, or Jewish, or Wiccan etc DOESN'T make me think less of them. They choose to beleive what they will and I honor that. They are themselves, not an extension of me, or I am not an extension of them. We need not beleive in just the same things, NOONE does agree completely on everything.
My T (who is Christian) went to a wiccan ceremony of a friend, she never put down her friend as being bad or wrong or anything else, in fact she said some of the words used in the ceremony were wonderful. My T is a strong Christian, but she is accepting of others. Who is she/or I, really to say what is right or wrong? We can only beleive in what we feel is right for ourownselves.
So if you feel leery of TM, then stay away. In future you can always change your mind, or you may never go there. You need to do what is most comfortable for you.
So, respect for T in his decisions, and T respects you in yours. Thats good.
Guess the only other thing i wondered at was the wording of your T saying repetatively 'I don't care....', maybe thats just in your wording,and just me and my 'stuff', but that in of itself would kinda bother me, the choice of words. I would rather hearsomething like, "we make our own descions, I don't want to influence you to do what I do just cuz I do it, I care that you do what you feel is comfortable for YOU, what FITS you, cuz we all different.' or something like that...Or "what is right for me, is not necc right for you by ANY means, I just care that you find what fits for you...
Or mebbe I just fulla sh*t. I feel fulla sh*t today, so excuse me if I am way off.
Take care,
M


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