Mary S Posted June 9, 2017 Report Share Posted June 9, 2017 (edited) I have read about gaslighting, and how it can lead to harmful therapy when a therapist uses it. What I have read presents it as something that is done deliberately to cause the recipient to doubt their sense of reality. For some reason, today I decided to search on "unintentional gaslighting," and came up with http://counsellingresource.com/features/2015/08/31/new-form-gaslighting/ , which does indeed describe unintentional gaslighting. The author calls this Quote “inadvertent” or unintentional gaslighting. This can occur when the victim experiences the “gaslighting effect” even though the individual creating the effect is not specifically intending to gaslight for manipulative purposes. Most often this type of gaslighting occurs when the emotionally stronger and/or more highly convicted (whether or not there’s justification for the solidity of their conviction) person argues their point of view so ardently or convincingly that the other party begins to doubt the validity of their own perspective, if not their very sanity. The grandiose, character impaired narcissists are among the types who can produce this gaslighting effect without even half trying. These are the folks who (according to them) are never wrong even in the face of abundant contradictory facts and who never admit to being wrong even when they know they are. Their outright defiance of the reality of things can be so strong at times that they can have you doubting your own grip on reality. I think this is (more or less) what I encountered often in therapy, but with a couple of departures from the strict description. First, I didn't so much doubt my reality as I felt "disabled" -- confused by the conflict between the therapists' adamant stance and the reality I perceived around me. Second, I tended to react to the "gaslighting" by a sense of seeing myself as "born to be a second-class citizen" -- which was a big part of what I went to therapy for -- I wanted to learn to have the courage of my convictions, not "submit" to a stronger-willed person. But therapy was mainly encounters with a stronger-willed person. I "submitted" in some sense. i recall once encountering the term "ego distonic," referring to behaving in a way that goes against one's values. I think my sense of worth deteriorated because I so often gave in to the therapists, even though what they said went against what I believed was right. Edited June 9, 2017 by Mary S correct typos Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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