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

 



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.



Comment on 5 Myths Around Bullying by Ellen

Mon, 20 Nov 2017 18:12:16 +0000

Thank you for bringing up the five myths of bullying. I was bullied my whole life, and have had no (real) help in dealing with it. I was always told to handle it on my own. Even my own therapist told me that. I have. The first two myths I have heard over and over, but never bought it. The truth from my experience is I could not just walk away from it. Ignoring it did not help at all because the interrogations got physical and worse later. Standing up to a bully has always resulted in a double-standard. Anytime I tried to stand up to a bully, I was always the one who got into trouble, NEVER the bully. Reporting the bully has never helped. When I was in school, the bullies often bullied in front of everyone, including the teachers. If the teachers don't step up or do a damn thing, what makes anyone think that reporting it would help? There were always excuses. I read these five myths and I can say "I told you so" to everyone I have tried to talk to. Administrators need to stop turning it around by saying that the bully might have problems at home, he likes or is envious of you. That is all false. If teachers and administrators don't get the proper education and training on addressing bulling, our schools will suffer more and continue with more decline in enrollment. I know people who have home schooled their children because of bullying.



Comment on Psychology Gets No Respect by Mike

Mon, 06 Nov 2017 16:36:04 +0000

Explain your enlightened view of behavioral and social sciences to Nobel Laurerate, Daniel Kahneman. But try to get a private audience for that important task because if you attempt it in a public forum you'll only embarrass yourself.



Comment on Connection: At the Heart of any Good Relationship by tonya M

Mon, 06 Nov 2017 02:59:48 +0000

This is a graciously readable article. Part of me is vigorously nodding, thinking, "We all know this, right??" But obvioulsy, the fact that I am even looking up this article indicates that it is NOT natural for many, and it really has to be spelled out so that everyone can have a beginning common ground. I think this is a great starting point.



Comment on A New Form of Gaslighting? by Jeffles

Sun, 05 Nov 2017 03:01:35 +0000

So if you share an opinion and it makes someone doubt themselves, how exactly is that bad? The point of an argument is to make people unerstand your side, and maybe even question their beleifs.



Comment on Two Types of Narcissism and How to Tell the Difference by Gigi

Sat, 04 Nov 2017 23:58:48 +0000

Please tell me which type of narcissist is Mr. Donald Trump?