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PsychoLogical

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  1. I'll have to see if I can find the reference, but I do recall reading that many times therapists will be under the false impression that their clients are being open and honest with them, and that when they leave or discontinue therapy, it's because they've been healed or have recovered, when in many instances, it's actually that the client didn't want to hurt the therapist's feelings so they went along with whatever they were told to do, and because they didn't want to disappoint them, they wouldn't tell the therapist when things weren't helping or if they felt any other negative or unhelpful thoughts/feelings about the therapy. I know in my experience, that I didn't want to hurt a therapist's feelings, so I wouldn't tell them directly that they weren't helping me, or the methods didn't seem to do much, or that they weren't doing anything or telling me anything I didn't already know or couldn't find in a book or online myself. I would leave therapy feeling it was mostly a waste of time without actually ever explicitly telling the therapist that. While I'd mostly agree that therapists try and project the "Male or female, therapists do not judge you. They want you to feel free to be yourself and say what’s on your mind without mincing words", attitude, there are many factors that would prevent this. In most any relationship, it takes time to build up a rapport and a trust with someone to be comfortable enough to tell them personal problems/thoughts/feelings/struggles. I think most people, especially people who would be in therapy, are probably sensitive and empathetic to others, so they would be unlikely to be direct and assertive with a therapist, letting them know they didn't like them, or weren't being helped, or challenging the therapists claims or behaviors. I'd add too, that there's so much to slog through that most clients wouldn't have the time or knowledge to be able to fact-check every claim. As I also mentioned above, most clients will be in deference to the almighty therapist, because they're the ones with the supposed knowledge, experience, wisdom, insight and training to be able to help you through any and all problems you're facing. Given that clients are coming to therapists for help and relief of mental/emotion anguish, they're probably just wanting to do what they're told as quickly as possible to help ease the struggling and suffering, or at least feel happy to have someone to talk to or unburden themselves with. Apart from all that, I think that, to be frank, it's complete bullshit that therapists "don't judge you". I don't think it's possible to never judge anything. We're constantly assessing, evaluating and judging everything all the time. It's part of how we function as humans. Sure, therapists are probably trained and taught how to project an appearance of "unconditional positive regard" towards their clients, and how to "listen without judgment", but does that mean they never, ever, have any kind of opinion of their clients? Or that they never judge them whatsoever? No way. For as many methods or schools of psychological thought that propound this whole non-judgmental, empathetic, loving, accepting attitude, there are probably a whole host of methods and therapists who believe that it's unnecessary for that, or even detrimental. I know there are some therapies that involve being confrontational and possibly antagonistic toward clients. It seems to me that there are innumerable branches of supposed therapeutic methods and psychological thought, that anyone (and this isn't really an opinion, it's what they've done) can make up a therapy, name it, brand it, trademark it, then start their own institute or school and charge money to be trained in it. What they need to do first and foremost, before allowing anyone to start practicing anything, is to understand mental illnesses, the etiology of them, and how to objectively diagnose them without fuzzy and mostly subjective questionnaires. Instead, we have scores of medications, therapies, beliefs, etc., all claiming to be able to treat these problems, and not really doing a better job than chance, or leaving things alone, or taking up a hobby, or talking to a friend.
  2. And, not very precise or specific. Which lends itself to being open to interpretation, so that any therapist can change it to fit what they want it to, or don't.
  3. This looks interesting. I started reading the beginning. A good part of the technical jargon and therapy lingo is confusing, so I need to look up terms to try and be able to understand what's being talked about.
  4. Welcome. You're definitely in the right place. Feel free to talk about anything you're comfortable sharing.
  5. That's a likely cause. It also raises the point of how exactly therapists are able to make the claims that therapy IS effective enough to be used to treat any patient, especially if it doesn't work for many, or is actively harmful for others.
  6. Precisely. And sadly, vulnerable, suffering people are the ones who are being exploited for their gains. And being on the bottom of these imbalanced, unequal relationships, the victims rarely ever have any kind of recourse to bring them to justice.
  7. Absolutely. It makes me think of the whole corporate culture of "improving productivity", where they send their employees off to psychotherapy seminars or workshops, or pay for individual sessions. Of course, the bigwigs of the corporations or huge companies don't care about their employee's well-being per se, but only insofar as their employees are functioning at the top of their A-game all the time. If by sending them away to get therapy and to learn therapeutic techniques that purportedly help them to "function" more optimally in perpetuity, then they'll foot the bill for that, and require their employees to undergo therapy. It's nothing to do with making sure people are healthy in all areas of life in a generally altruistic sense, it's that they want employees putting out as much energy and effort to further advance the objectives of the corporate tycoons. Same with society. When I read statistics on how many people are afflicted with depression and "the economic cost" of it being in the billions of dollars, and how there's so much "lost productivity" and job-related expenses lost to mental illnesses, it makes sense that they would ship people off to therapists or psychiatrists, oftentimes in conjunction, because both of those fields claim to be able to effectively treat mental afflictions. They want to get people back to work as quickly as possible. Once again, not because they genuinely care about improving people's lives, but because of the profit motive. Problem is, what if part, or even all of the cause of so much mental anguish and suffering is due to our very society itself? Well, since most people in power would rather die than willingly give up their money and their control, they would never want to fix the problems in society. Better to "fix" the millions of people who are depressed because of society's corruption. Of course, it's never a fix, but more like acclimating a slave to his cell and making him comfortable there and teaching him how to accept his lowly conditions and never hope for anything better, so that after a while he will believe that's the best life will ever get, and eventually he'll forget to even imagine breaking free and changing things, so that the masters can leave the cage door open and he will never think of leaving it, or if he does leave it, he'll be too scared to go far, or to run away at all. So what we have are so many suffering individuals, who are rightly hurting, who are not truly being helped by anyone, and the entire system continues chugging along, seemingly improving people's lives, while not transforming anything for the better. Why is it that now more than ever, we have access to a multitude of different therapists, and therapeutic techniques and methods, yet rates of depression and other mental illnesses are skyrocketing, not declining? If all the medications and therapists out there were really helping people as they claim, wouldn't we be seeing rates going down? I'd suppose therapists would advocate for more access to therapy, and for more people to become therapists. But then wouldn't that cut into their business, if they had more people competing in the market for their potential clients? It's like some sort of sick irony, in that therapists are like lions stalking their prey, except instead of seeking to inflict some harm upon them, they're searching for damaged people who have already been harmed, in order to "heal" them.
  8. I stumbled upon a therapist offering their services: "Health Care Provider Debrief: In this thirty minute appointment, first responders, and care providers overwhelmed with COVID-19 can narrate or story tell their problematic, or concerning experience. Through this discussion resources and next steps may be identified, however the primary purpose of this resource is to get concerning experiences, "off your chest", so that you can feel more at ease or 'free' to resume your important work while managing difficult experiences. Thursdays, 9-5, 30 mins, $50.00." It was rather gratifying to see people in the comments saying that it should be less or even for free. This was the therapist's response as to why their services weren't inexpensive or free: "I am earnestly trying to do something to help out. As an independantly owned and operated business, it is difficult to do what you are requesting. Most healthcare professionals have benefits, and the government has asked people to offer and design services to help out." Paying a complete stranger 50$ to discuss your personal experiences seems like a raw deal. But notice how the therapist has framed it as a beneficial service they're offering to people, as if a client is being allowed the privilege to pay them just to talk.
  9. I stumbled upon a therapist offering their services: "Health Care Provider Debrief: In this thirty minute appointment, first responders, and care providers overwhelmed with COVID-19 can narrate or story tell their problematic, or concerning experience. Through this discussion resources and next steps may be identified, however the primary purpose of this resource is to get concerning experiences, "off your chest", so that you can feel more at ease or 'free' to resume your important work while managing difficult experiences. Thursdays, 9-5, 30 mins, $50.00." It was rather gratifying to see people in the comments saying that it should be less or even for free.
  10. https://www.politico.com/news/2020/04/09/mental-health-online-coronavirus-177499 https://abcnews.go.com/Health/unemployment-isolation-covid-19s-mental-health-impact/story?id=69939700 These are just two random articles I stumbled upon yesterday. There are a bevy of such articles I've been seeing the past month or so from psychologists and psychiatrists eagerly doling out diagnoses, essentially labeling all Americans as suffering some form of mental disorder, and claiming that we're all going to have some type of trauma or PTSD from the pandemic. How convenient for them, as most of their businesses were shuttered and they're unable to see their clients in person. Enter tele-medicine, where now they can just Skype or video chat with clients via a laptop or cell phone. With so many people isolating at home, this creates an easy avenue for them to market to and write articles informing people of their supposed diagnoses, turning everyone into prospective clients (along with current ones). I may add that this isn't necessarily much different than the way they operated before, but now they're easily able to reach many more people because most of us are online in our technologically over-connected world while self-isolating at home, and since many people may be online a good proportion of the time, they're now exposed to their propaganda. This pandemic is causing distress to so many people, and I'd assume most people are feeling some form of anxiety/depression/fear/uncertainty, etc. But to blanket the entire country or world as having depression or anxiety or PTSD disorders seems to me egregiously crass and dangerous. In situations like this it's NORMAL to feel those emotions, and to have thoughts of fear and uncertainty and concern. Trying to turn it into an abnormality, or to try and use this pandemic as some kind of leverage to diagnose and then purport to treat everyone is outrageous. Over the past year or so I've also been seeing many articles popping up warning about and discussing a "loneliness epidemic". Now, in our atomized, isolated world pre-pandemic, this was probably a large enough issue affecting many people, but during the pandemic it's affecting most everyone. What about the people who were essentially quarantined before the pandemic? The senior citizens in nursing homes. The elderly living alone at home. People with disabilities or illnesses on their own. People with mental illnesses on their own. Homeless people on their own. I count myself among them, because I've ultimately lived a quarantined life for the past 16 years. People like us are the ones who are the cast-offs, the undesirables, the forgotten, the ones who are left abandoned or ignored to fend for ourselves. To me it just exposes the venality of these therapists or psychologists who are coming out in droves and ramping up their services in full force, but not to this extent when there was already a supposed loneliness epidemic occurring before our current pandemic. Although, I know that so many of them already see most people as potential clients in need of their help, but using the pandemic to turn everyone into a target and then exploit them is really sick. We don't need manufactured caring and concern. We don't need purchased empathy or friends that come with a price tag. Maybe feeling depression and anxiety are symptoms of the loneliness, of seeing how easy it is for the world to step over you and leave you there to rot. But the thing is, maybe we don't have mental disorders (or most of us don't) maybe we don't need more therapists offering up their "services" to help us "cope" with life in our current society. Maybe the affliction IS our society and the way our world operates. Maybe the glaring inequality, systemic socioeconomic asymmetry, the discrimination, the corruption, the suffering, the isolation from one another and a sense of supportive community and caring for each other are the causes. We don't need more psychologists giving us "therapy" in order to better manage our anxiety/depression/uncertainty/fears/worries/concern/anger over all of these atrocities that we're constantly facing. Maybe what we need is to live in a world that doesn't cater to the few individuals with almost 99% of the entire world's wealth, while the rest of the 7.9 billion people starve and suffer and struggle every day to get by. If you aren't anxious/depressed/enraged/helpless/hopeless I'd venture to say you aren't paying attention and/or are one of the few with most of the power and money. It seems to me that therapists are helping people to put band-aids on wounds (if even that), akin to helping a slave accustom themselves to being shackled and behind steel bars more comfortably. It's asinine and insulting. We wouldn't need so many psychologists claiming to be able to help heal our problems and listen to us if we had more people who cared about one another and listened and were supportive to one another. That's basically what therapists claim to do, except they're paid for it. To me that's one of the saddest parts about it, that not only do we have to pay someone to pretend to care for us and help us, but that there are people who turn doing it into a career. I just thought that part of being a civilized, compassionate, caring human being meant treating other people with decency and empathy, not buying it or charging to provide it. Is a therapist going to be there to celebrate my birthday? Or when I'm home alone and feeling helpless and without support? Or to go for a walk? Or will they help all the people who lost their jobs or businesses or homes or are in severe debt or are immunocompromised and are at great risk of dying from Covid? Oh, sure, they'll be there, during a scheduled "hour" (45 minutes) in which they charge upwards of 200$ to listen to you and feign concern. Once you leave, you're back where you've always been, in the same world, with the same problems that have always been there. Except now you can just think positively about everything and breeze through life, thanks to the handy therapist's "treatments".
  11. It was my assumption also that someone with a more extensive education, i.e. degrees/titles, would therefore be more qualified and knowledgeable in treating clients. Clearly it doesn't matter what their title is, or the extent of education/degrees. They all have the capability of harming equally, and if the studies show that people achieve similar results irrespective of title/degree of the therapist, that doesn't bode well for therapy, because it's essentially showing that there's no degree of effectiveness over chance/placebo effect when receiving therapy.
  12. Also, as Zygomaticus mentioned, we're indoctrinated to believe that the therapy industry is benevolent, and near-infallible. If your therapist harmed you, if the self-help book you read didn't work, if a specific treatment method didn't have the effects claimed for it, then the fault is never with those people or methods. It's always blame-the-victim. You didn't put in the necessary work. You didn't try hard enough. You didn't commit to the process for long enough. You resisted. You don't truly want to change. It's never that these therapists or methods of healing are faulty, defective, useless, harmful, or wishful thinking. Ironically, it seems a good portion of the profession is unable to be self-reflective and look at their faults and shortcomings. They're all about turning the magnifying glass onto others, the clients, society, but never themselves or their profession. So, when we're suffering, and having been inculcated to believe that therapy, self-help books, pills, (insert treatment modality here) work, we set off on a wild goose chase. Once something fails or harms you, you disregard it and go off seeking the next cure. That therapist didn't help me, but the next one will. CBT was useless, but ABCDEFG is touted as the ultimate panacea, so it will work for me! This turns into a cyclical self-fulfilling prophecy, whereby you're on a never-ending hamster wheel chasing after something to heal/cure you. And that's how the industry creates a guaranteed customer for life. Once we remove any skepticism or doubt towards the authorities and their methods, no one will question their validity or efficacy, and instead question themselves. It's almost like a reverse gaslighting effect.
  13. It's attributable to the placebo effect (expectation that doing something (going to therapy) is better than doing nothing at all, and believing that therapy is the premier method or pathway to improvement, along with the fact that just having a person to speak with seems to provide benefit to many people, no matter that talking to a friend, relative, bartender, or stranger produces the same effect), and regression to the mean (as zygomaticus said, the passage of time will often see someone's ills resolved on their own. Most people will enter therapy at a time when their symptoms or stressors are at or near their peak, and would have diminished or changed with the passage of time and not doing anything at all, returning them to their regular state of being). I think that deception, whether self-deception and/or deception on the therapists part, could absolutely play into it as well. There are many cognitive biases that our brains and senses deceive us into believing are accurate perceptions of the world. Therapists have an incentive inherent in their profession that puts them in a bind. One one hand, they claim to be able to treat and resolve your afflictions. On the other hand, this is their job and they need a steady income to survive, and where does their income come from? Suffering clients. They need to be able to juggle the promise of resolution and healing with securing a client as a steady source of income. If someone comes in and feels better after seeing them once or twice, or their purported "methods" of treatment were to heal the client in one or two sessions, how would they be able to stay in business for long? Which is probably part of the reason they want to pathologize everyone and everything, so that no one is safe from their grasp, and everyone is a potential client. Once people start believing everything is worthy of being labelled a psychological "disorder" or worthy of running to the nearest therapist, they've succeeded in duping the public into believing that going to a therapist is better than a. doing nothing at all, b. seeking out someone you trust and speaking with them, c. using your own inner resilience, d. figuring out a way to handle issues on your own. It has a way of infantilizing us, of making us believe we're not capable of handling life's vicissitudes on our own grounds. That somehow the therapist knows our history, our values, our inner struggles, our desires better than we ever could, and therefore will be able to dispense the right treatments for us. That's why so many therapists dangle a carrot in front of their clients. The client has an object to focus on (healing, the reward of promised peace/happiness) while the therapist is always in control of it. Therefore, the therapist can lure clients in with the promise of healing/resolution of their afflictions, but the "process" will take a long time, because they have so much work to do and so many hidden or repressed thoughts/memories/desires to uncover and understand, that therapy becomes an indefinite undertaking, akin to a lifelong maintenance ritual, like exercising daily. That's the propaganda they use, "take care of your mental health". It makes it sound benign, like going for a spa retreat, a vacation, getting a massage or what have you. You exercise your body, eat healthily, but don't neglect your mental health! It's a thinly veiled injunction, essentially saying that if you neglect your mental well-being that terrible things will befall you. Ironically, therapy turns out to be useless at best, and exacerbating or adding to your problems at worst. They also never seem to mention that as with exercising, you can take a walk in the park or around your block for free, instead of going out and spending hundreds on exercise equipment.
  14. You've made a wealth of dead-on, salient points. Therapy seems to be, or perhaps in many cases is, explicitly predicated upon artifice. If your friends, family members, or those closest to you began charging you payment for each hour you spent talking to them, you'd immediately feel exploited, resentful, hurt, etc. I highly doubt a therapist would unconditionally accept you if you suddenly couldn't afford to see them any more. Watch how fast that total acceptance would evaporate when money (or lack thereof) is involved. Of course, people can spend their income however they choose, and even if they go into therapy knowing they're paying for a one-sided relationship with someone who will pretend to care, it's their right to do so. The problem is that this fact is never stated outright by any therapist; in fact I'd say it's actively concealed or skewed in the therapists favor, making them appear to be a holy demigod who has all the answers, will help reveal your inner workings, clear up your confusion, make you whole, grant you peace and happiness forever thereafter, as if they were an oracle of some sort. This is especially unscrupulous considering the fact that people who are suffering, struggling, at their weakest, are coming to these people in need of succor, and what they get in turn is the commodification and exploitation of their afflictions. Capitalizing on pain is the antithesis of a truly compassionate, empathetic person. Even if their intentions were sincerely benevolent, by virtue of their profession, they cannot avoid harming people, whether by deception, outright lies, betrayal, etc., because the entire construct of therapy is built around an unequal dynamic in the relationship between therapist and client. Whether, as you said, they employ the methods of unconditional acceptance, or actively antagonizing a client, either way, they can't help but always have an unfair advantage over the client. There will always be a power play as an undercurrent in the relationship.
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