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Comments for Psychology, Philosophy and Real Life

Looking at life through the prism of psychology, philosophy, mental health and more. Originally created by counsellor, psychotherapist and philosopher Dr Greg Mulhauser, this blog is now the work of an international team of contributors.

Last Build Date: Fri, 19 Jan 2018 22:17:20 +0000


Comment on Neurosis vs. Character Disorder: Responses to Adverse Consequences by Sera

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 22:17:20 +0000

I imagine a character disordered person can also be neurotic making an assessment far more difficult to make. I dated someone who ocscillated between very deflated self imagery and grandiosity, admitted remorselessness and deep guilt, and what appeared to circumstantial extremes of conscientiousness. It's this typical even of an abusive personality? Egregious offensive acts against others followed by extraordinary remorse, sometimes devastating remorse that may even inspire suicidal behaviors or ideation. What's the difference?

Comment on Sociopath Survival Skills: When Your Boss Has No Conscience by Colleen

Wed, 03 Jan 2018 09:53:38 +0000

I was married to a sociopath, so I know it is impossible to "win" when playing with one. My boss is a sociopath, so before I find a new job, I decided to talk to the DM. I plan on warning her what she's dealing with only because it bothers me that sociopaths get away with so much. As long as I try to educate others, I feel I did what any decent person would do. There is always the chance someone might just listen and learn something new....

Comment on Healing the Fractured Self by Gypsy Lake

Sat, 23 Dec 2017 19:18:02 +0000

It would be so awesome if there were greater intervention in all walks of life. This junking of humanity, having it's roots in church and state, that has gone on for thousands of years, has now become common place and is the common factor of every crisis presently known and misunderstood. It is a society that is pulling apart that will disappear for it's failure and neglect. All these expressions of pulling people apart is ignorance, irresponsibility, cruel, and lack of leadership and love of humanity. It is a pitiful tragedy all the unnecessary deaths, all the fractured and broken lives that are spent in the millions and all the waste and ruin of the environment, which is a part of human health, sacrificed to extoll a false security in the use of violence as a means of gaining the upper hand in conflict, however the conflict has been introduced or maintained. Little is said about the Indigenous cultures that were came upon by the military invasions. Important diary writings by the soldiers themselves give testament to a true, healthy and vigorous society that was functioning until they set about to destroy it completely till all that remains are the ruins that archeologists and anthropologists visit regularly and haven't an educated guess as to how on earth this great human society came about. The solder's noted how happy the people were. No one had anylocks on their doors. There was no crime, jails or executions. There were no rich or poor. There was no overpopulation. There existed no unemployment, slavery or neglected. There were happy healthy people which were done away with by the sword. There has been a continuous lack of imagination of building a true human society after smashing to pieces and putting to death the few real blueprints that are known to have existed. There has been no corrective course of action in all these centuries. It is a scientific fact that evolution is this earth and all the natural life that has lived upon her, only human beings deny it so they don't have to change. How painful it is the millions of lives that have been sacrificed and military commanders who've given a number of a billion and a half lives they can sacrifice for a war senario. It's shameful. There are not enough therapists with a tea cup of water to put out the burning inferno fanning accross the planet. A healthy society does not make broken and fractured selves. they were guided by wisdom and a love for the people, something this one has been missing for thousands of years.

Comment on The Inner Abuser by Gypsy Lake

Sat, 23 Dec 2017 17:37:03 +0000

We become our inner abuser because we are filled with longing and pain. We feel unloved and often we are conditioned by an abuser to believe we are unworthy of love. When this abuse happens to us in childhood usually by someome bigger than us, they overpower us by their strength and size or by their lies. We are essentially vulnerable and our important lesson at an early age is to know ourselves as love and form our understanding and relationship to all that is outside ourselves. This is the healthy basis and necessity of forming honest and nurturing relationships. Ongoing abuse damages this crucial stage in human growth, which is natural and essential, causing internal crisis which effects the whole being. The prolonged suffering and dispair that is unresolved because of purposely being isolated or neglected or being overwhelmed by the abusers size causes not only sorrow and pain but anger and rage at the betrayal to ones human nature. One can weep to oneself and one must also handle the rage and anger one feels about the abuse being inflicted. Sometimes an abused individual will find a vulnerable being like themselves to take their rage out on thereby being a link in the domino effect of abuse, but more likely the one they end up abusing is the one they spend the most time with who never brings them joy and who is always filled with pain, the self. The self has been betrayed by the abuser in their game and trap with 'I gottcha'. Realizing there is no way out and seems logical to attack the self, there is no one else when all is said and done and one is all alone, there is just the pain and sorrow, the rage and anger and lots of humiliation. It's all toxic company, the self is in a bad place, without intervention there's going to be a whole lot more pain and suffering the self is going to endure.

Comment on Tips for Living the Fully Conscious Life by Diana

Sat, 23 Dec 2017 02:09:29 +0000

Dr. Simon, Your articles in the last months have had such an impact on me. Holidays had come to be a time of exquisite grief and worry. This year is different. My inner world is coming back to life, I am so grateful to be embracing truth, peace and healing as we celebrate our Savior's birth. I'm studying "How Did We End Up Here?", such a terrific guide for understanding and communicating in the face of character disturbance. You've been very generous with your work, it has touched many people's lives. You have my deepest thanks. I hope you and all those you love have the Merriest Christmas and Happiest New Year. Please take good care of you! "Hope Smiles from the threshold of the year to come, Whispering 'it will be happier' " "Ring out the false, ring in the true." Alfred Lord Tennyson

Comment on The Inner Abuser by ensnaturae

Tue, 05 Dec 2017 07:00:26 +0000

Yes, to so much of the 'inner abuser' article. I had some *key* counselling, years ago, from Greg Mullhauser, founder of this site, I think, who first helped me to locate the buried/forgotten stress of childhood abuse. To see clearly, everything that added up to the mind muddle, that resulted in depression and almost suicide, when I was young, has taken decades. I know that good counselling can be life saving, not just as in "not killing" oneself, but in preventing ever more years of living under strict control of established inner laws that may be constructed out of abuse, and seem to be unbreakable. ...and the conflict in the abuse having been carried out by someone who has the position of carer, and for whom respect, possibly love, seems to be due, in other perspectives. My abuser/carer was an older sibling, who was required to take care of me, by my frail parents. I felt guilt, sadness, shame, at my secret delight, when she was leaving home for the first time, to go to college. That's 60 years ago. I have a recent letter from her, that only NOW, a lifetime later, illustrates life as I knew it, as a child. She has no idea how shocking and cruel her ideas were, and remain. She is very religious, the "punitive/rewards to come for being a true follower", kind of religious. I can't be threatened now, I moved to a different country, I can't be called insane and locked away, the laws would not permit her to carry out the controls she feels are necessary. Her recent letter, requiring me to reform... is to remind me that she kept a diary, 60 years ago, and that in her diary she describes the *real* person that she "knows" me to be. She knows who my real friends are! (I had none!) ..She has no interest at all, in my life as I live it (I don't mind), and firmly believes I should have lived quite a different life, one that she approves! Of course, I do not accept her ancient diary as the true story of my life, so..she is beginning to list more of my faults and failings ...(and when I was a child those faults were just the same, all my life ..built into my mind) Plus others now...she has written that e.g. .. as I am getting old now (6 years her junior) my memory must be getting weaker, and that my understanding was always weak. I will go to hell, while Jesus is going to gather her up in his arms, etc.. Along with a list of faults. Obviously, now, I lam beyond her control, there is no way at all for her to influence me. It seems hard for her to believe that, but she has to. She can do nothing at all to affect my life. I don't need her support in any way. She will make sure, if she can, that her son and daughter and all their families, view me and my faults in the same light. (That is a bit sad for me as I quite liked her daughter and found her friendly, if fearful, and nice to exchange thoughts with. She may have experienced something of that horribly destructive control, and seems lost into it).? 6

Comment on Therapy-Induced Trauma: What It Is and How It Can Happen by Peace Penguin

Fri, 01 Dec 2017 14:34:58 +0000

Thank you so much for this post! After years of dealing with actual unethical therapists, but also some really awesome therapists who helped me in accordance with their orientation, I've come to realize that maybe the therapy itself was retraumatizing me. There's the power dynamic of the client putting in all of his/her trust into someone, like a physician, who is supposed to know how to treat the presenting problems. But instead of treating them, the therapeutic relationship becomes toxic and damaging. You can have the best of relationships outside of therapy, but sometimes the therapeutic relationship becomes so isolating and painful. The therapist doesn't believe what you're saying, and when you say that sometimes a cigar is just a cigar - so to speak - they believe it is a phallic symbol that you're projecting onto them. You experience gaslighting and crazy-making in such toxic therapeutic relationships, and you wonder now if you have every diagnosis in the book that they've tried to label you with, or that they've tried to hint at when they ask you certain questions. After the last therapist, who attempted to have a dual relationship with me, I decided (against their will) to return to college. The therapist said that I'd do poorly, and I wound up graduating at the top of my class (summa cum laude) in psychology with a minor in criminology. I enjoyed research on psychology and won an award for trauma-focused research as an undergrad. I decided to return to therapy to prepare for grad school, and as a veteran, thought that maybe things might have changed about five years later. That wasn't the case here. The therapist again had put me down when she said that I'm too old to become a therapist or to go to grad school in this profession, until I told her my age (which she should have know per my chart), which she then said, "Oh, I thought you looked much older." Now this wasn't as bad as the one therapist I had who tried to have a dual relationship with me, but it was still unethical of her to (1) tell me what to do, and (2) put me down with words and the way she said those words. I requested a transfer, and I'm still hoping to find a good therapist who supports me and my goals without pathologizing every negative thing about me. I'm open to working on my shortcomings, but I'm not open to toxic therapeutic relationships. I knew, in my minimal studies as an undergrad who paid attention to research and the many ethics I've learned in APA-hosted webinars and websites that I have rights as a client, that I am to be believed and supported, that I should not accept anything that is repeatedly unethical. I spent a year with the last therapist I had before I finally told myself that my life was suffering because of it and therefore didn't need to stay in that relationship. With all of the resilience, grit, and strength I had, I voiced what I said to her and her boss. Of course, they're defensive, but I'm not responsible for their feelings or job.

Comment on Vilifying the Victim by Teresa

Thu, 30 Nov 2017 15:08:40 +0000

It was 2 decades before my husbands mask began to slip. When I started finding out about his secret life and his pathological lying he tried to make everyone think I was crazy so they wouldn't believe anything I said about him. It worked. Even my own children thought I was the villian and he was the victim. The gas lighting was so bad I thought I was in the beginning stages of Alzheimers. You cannot win against these people. They are to evil and we do not think like they do. I ended up spending 9 days in a mental health facility. He convinved all my family that I was crazy. And I probably looked crazy trying to convince everyone what he was doing. Stealing from me, having affairs with women and men, the lying even when I had proof. I was very emotional and he was always very calm and cool. He was pure evil. I'm still repairing my relationships with my children after 4 years of learning the truth. My life as I had believed it to be was over. It had all been a lie. I was his victim but one day soon I hope to be a survivor.

Comment on The Sudden Desire to End Therapy: Resistance or Wisdom? by Stephen Taylor

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 07:10:13 +0000

In my Practice, a post-therapy questionnaire is issued to every client. I know why my clients end therapy, because they tell me. They end therapy because they got what they came for.

Comment on The Sudden Desire to End Therapy: Resistance or Wisdom? by Jane

Mon, 20 Nov 2017 22:59:03 +0000

This is interesting to think about. I've been helping my 17 year old daughter get help for anxiety and she has had a couple of counselors that were not a good fit for her. I have no idea what she is looking for and she does not have enough experience to articulate clearly exactly what is not working. And intake appointments are more expensive than the continuing therapy appointments. My first thought was that she is hearing something from the counselor that she does not want to hear or act on OR that she has not been able to adequately explain to these counselors exactly how anxiety is limiting her life. Once she decides it's not a good fit, that's it and she will not return.