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Mary S

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  1. Yes, I think having a focus and sense of purpose can make a big difference. Therapy was more an impediment to living a worthwhile life than a help in that direstion.
  2. I'm so glad you found a new therapist who made sense for you. I initially tried at least three therapists who were more counterproductive than helpful. Over the period of a several years, I tried some more -- I did eventually find one who I think might have helped me if he had been the first (or even second or third) I tried. But after the three bad experiences, I was pretty hard to help. Over the years, I kept trying a new therapist every year or two or three. There were a couple more who might have been able to help me if they had been the first -- but the cumulative experience of three counterproductive therapists in a row really made it hard for me to articulate things and to trust a new therapist. Fortunately, I survived, but still have the intrusive thoughts of therapists behaving intrusively. I found them very difficult to communicate with; we so often seemed off in different worlds. It's not like I'm a totally isolated person-- I worked with a lot of different types of people in my job, and with rare exceptions got along well with them (and usually the rare exceptions were people that other people had difficulty with as well). But therapists just seemed like they were from a different culture, with values that were so different from mine.
  3. I went to therapy largely because I was having intrusive thoughts of a bizarre incident with a co-worker. I found out a couple of years later that he had been having therapy, and I guessed that his comments that started the intrusive thoughts were some kind of mimicking of what his therapist had said to him. But then when I tried therapy, the therapists said such bizarre things that I started having intrusive thoughts about those bizarre therapist comments. In fact, I still often have intrusive thoughts of those therapist comments.
  4. Me, too. I sometimes describe it as "intrusive thoughts of people behaving intrusively". It all started when someone I worked with behaved weirdly intrusively one day (I don't care to go into details). I started having intrusive thoughts of the incident. I knew a couple of people who had found therapy helpful for some problem they had (not my problem), so I tried therapy in the hope that it could help with those intrusive thoughts. But the therapists' behaviors often seemed really intrusive, which fed the intrusive thoughts. (I later learned that the co-worker who started it all had been having marital therapy, so I think he may have been treating me like his therapist treated him.)
  5. This really says it!
  6. That was really weird of her to say!
  7. The first couple of therapists I tried were psychologists. Neither one seemed very good (understatement), so I tried a psychiatrist, thinking that psychiatrists would have had to have a stronger scientific background than a psychologist. Was i disappointed! She seemed as arbitrary and capricious as the psychologists had been. Some years later, I read a book on psychiatrists (I forget the title) , saying that many of the med students who go into psychiatry are at the bottom of their class, and only chose psychiatry because they weren't accepted into other specializations.
  8. One of my worst therapists once said that I needed to dress more "nicely". That certainly conflicted with the idea that I should be myself, and not conform just for the sake of conforming.
  9. I'd alter this a bit to say, "Therapists aren't creative enough to make a living as novelists, screenwriters, or artists, so instead they try to satisfy their yen to be creative by treating clients as object to "mold". (Quote from my worst therapist: : "What you need is something like a mold that a brick is made in, and when the mold is removed, the brick retains the shape of the mold". (I've probably said this before, but that sounds really pathological to me.)
  10. So much in therapy seemed disconnected from the reality I lived in. It often seemed as if therapists were using me as a point of departure (or an object?) to make up fairy tales about.
  11. This more or less fits my experience with therapy. Someone I worked with had one day come into my office and started talking in a rather aggressive manner that seemed to be sexist (in the sense of denigrating women; not anything sexual) . i was feeling pretty uncomfortable, intimidated, whatever, but trying not to show my emotions because he clearly wasn't a good person to talk about my feelings with. But then he said, "You seem reluctant to show your feelings," which seemed totally inappropriate for the work place to me. I started having nightmares and daymares about the incident. After a few months, I decided to try therapy. But the therapists seemed act very much like the coworker. (I later found out from a woman I worked with that he and his wife had been having marital therapy at the time of the incident. So I guess he was in some sense acting like a therapist.)
  12. Yes, this is a real problem. Good intentions do not guarantee that there is no harm. Therapists need much more training in how actin on their good intentions can lead to harming the client. This is just speculative, but I think that part of the problem may be that many therapists think, "This is how I would like someone to treat me, so I will treat my clients this way." But this type of thinking fails to take individual differences into account. We can't rationally assume that another person is just like us -- we are all different. I have found, in reading, that some therapists do take this into consideration -- they might phrase it as following "The Platinum Rule" ("Do unto others as they would have you do unto them") rather than "The Golden Rule" ("Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.")
  13. I hope you can post the articles - -they would be interesting to read.
  14. That one really bugs me. I went to therapy in large part because I was a woman who valued thinking, which went against social norms (or stereotypes?). To me, the emphasis on feelings that many therapists had was just another incidence of saying that women shouldn't (or couldn't) think. (BTY, it was mostly women therapists, especially ones who considered themselves feminists, who had this view.)
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