Writing is a form of therapy; sometimes I wonder how all those who do not write, compose, or paint can manage to escape the madness, melancholia, the panic and fear which is inherent in a human situation.
The toxic behaviors were there before you decided to enter into relationships with them. The signs were there. You may have chosen to look the other way, but the signs were there.—Psychotherapist from Type 1 Sociopath
Talking to a therapist, I thought, was like taking your clothes off and then taking your skin off, and then having the other person say, Would you mind opening up your rib cage so that we can start?
You can’t selectively numb your anger, any more than you can turn off all lights in a room, and still expect to see the light.
My job as a therapist is to help victims of trauma understand that they are not to blame. They are not responsible for the bad things that happened to them as children, nor are they responsible for the personal problems that developed as a result. What they are responsible for is fixing those problems. This can only be done by bravely facing the past, identifying the effects that the past has on the present, and working through all the painful emotional baggage.- Scared Selfless
A fundamental approach to life transformation is using social media for therapy; it forces you to have an opinion, provides intellectual stimulation, increases awareness, boosts self-confidence, and offers the possibility of hope.
[Children] just cannot be sad too long, it is not in them, as children mourn in little bits here and there like patchwork in their lives.
Writing started out as a kind of therapy for me. I was bullied mercilessly in high school, and I lived vicariously through Kitty. She was everything I wanted to be; strong, smart, witty, and above all else, she didn't care what other people thought about her. But after a while, she started to take on a personality of her own, and I was suddenly more interested in her story than I was in mine.
It is fear that makes you believe that you are living and that you will be dead.What we do not want is the fear to come to an end. That is why we have invented all these new minds, new sciences,new talks, therapies, choiceless awareness and various other gimmicks.
Catholic education and law schools provide me with a lot of miserable people as psychotherapy clients. I should be grateful. These people are looking for rescue from their education.
If the sound of happy children is grating on your ears, I don't think it's the children who need to be adjusted.
What she meant was that I let my emotions control me. I was letting myself be helpless to them, and when we think we are our emotions, instead of our emotions being something we experience, or can let go of, or survive… they’re in control.
All the repressed emotions and subconscious desires in time lead to some kind of psychological or physiological breakdown, if kept unchecked.
I don’t have any regrets,” a famous movie actor said in an interview I recently witnessed. “I’d live everything over exactly the same way.” “That’s really pathetic,” the talk show host said. “Are you seeking help?” “Yeah. My shrink says we’re making progress. Before, I wouldn’t even admit that I would live it all over,” the actor said, starting to choke up. “I thought one life was satisfying enough.” “My God,” the host said, cupping his hand to his mouth. “The first breakthrough was when I said I would live it over, but only in my dreams. Nocturnal recurrence.” “You’re like the character in that one movie of yours. What’s it called? You know, the one where you eat yourself.”“The Silence of Sam.”“That’s it. Can you do the scene?”The actor lifts up his foot to stick it in his mouth. I reach over from my seat and help him to fit it into his bulging cheeks. The audience goes wild.
I work backwards with the ending in mind as I create art, stories, poems and books. Always in a process of becoming.
All children should be taught to unconditionally accept, approve, admire, appreciate, forgive, trust, and ultimately, love their own person.
Poor women suffer terrible sexual violence that goes unreported. Because of their social class, these women do not have access to therapy or other methods of healing. Their repeated abuse ultimately eats away at their self-esteem, driving them to drugs, prostitution, AIDS, and in many cases, death.
The moment you have to recruit people to put another person down, in order to convince someone of your value is the day you dishonor your children, your parents and your God. If someone doesn't see your worth the problem is them, not people outside your relationship.
Growth is a slow process and so is change in behaviour. The therapist must be patient with the process.
I am well aware that certain exercises, tasks setup by the facilitator, can practically force the group to more of a here-and-now communication or more of a feeling level. There are leaders who do these very skillfully, and with good effect at the time. However, I am enough of a scientist-clinician to make many casual follow-up inquiries, and I know that frequently the lasting result of such procedures is not nearly as satisfying as the immediate effect. At it's best it may lead to discipleship (which I happen not to like): What a marvelous leader he is to have made me open up when I had no intention of doing it! It can also lead to a rejection of the whole experience. Why did I do those silly things he asked me to? At worst, it can make the person feel that his private self has been in some way violated, and he will be careful never to expose himself to a group again. From my experience I know that if I attempt to push a group to a deeper level it is not, in the long run, going to work.
I am willing for the participant to commit or not commit himself to the group. If a person wishes to remain psychologically on the sidelines, he has my implicit permission to do so. The group itself may or may not be willing for him to remain in this stance but personally I am willing. One skeptical college administrator said that the main things he had learned was that he could withdraw from personal participation, be comfortable about it, and realize that he would not be coerced. To me, this seemed a valuable learning and one that would make it much more possible for him actually to participate at the next opportunity. Recent reports on his behavior, a full year later, suggest that he gained and changed from his seeming nonparticipation.
There is no doubt that I am selective in my listening, hence directive if people wish to accuse me of this. I am centered in the group member who is speaking, and am unquestionably much less interested in the details of his quarrel with his wife, or of his difficulties on the job, or his disagreement with what has just been said, than in the meaning these experience have for him now and the feeling they arouse in him. It is to these meanings and feelings that I try to respond.
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How odd that we spend so much time treating the darkness, and so little time seeking the light. The ego loves to glorify itself by self-analysis, yet we do not get rid of darkness by hitting it with a baseball bat. We only get rid of darkness by turning on the light.
Writing is one of the best therapies that exist. Either on paper, computer, phone or tablet, in any form it is helpful. Whenever you feel like writing, just do it. Let the words flow out of your mind and heart. It doesn’t have to make sense to anyone but you. Some people may find easier to express themselves in writing than verbally. While you will have time to choose the best words, you will also escape the fear of immediate reaction. Take your time and play with the words until you feel you got them right. One can write about anything. About a dream, a fantasy, a love story, happenings during the day, an apology or a greeting, everything is permitted in the world of writing. There it is no good or bad.
By marrying to soon, many individuals sacrifice their chance to struggle through this purgatory of solitude and search toward a greater sense of self-confidence. They glance at the world outside the family and with hardly a second thought grasp anxiously for a partner. In marriage they seek a substitute for the security of the family of origin and an escape from aloneness. What they do not realize is that moving so quickly from one family to another, they make it easy to transfer to the new marriage all their difficult experiences in the family of origin.
What makes a family is neither the absence of tragedy nor the ability to hide from misfortune, but the courage to overcome it and, from that broken past, write a new beginning.
We parents are in the process of losing parts of ourselves, of waking up each morning to find ourselves changed by our children. We may fantasize that we are not really changed, that we can go back to poring over Wittgenstein, immersing ourselves in the latest movies, being beach bums- whatever it was that we were before the child or children came into our lives. But part of what we have lost is the part of our identity that is the person-without-children. The parent we are now has a life inextricably entwined not only without our past life and our private selves but also with the lives of our children.
I think we owe it to our children to share our wisdom. If we share our wisdom for the purpose of changing our children, then that’s hitting them over the head with a hammer or shoving something down their throats. If the wisdom turns into advice, that’s selfish. But if we simply share ourselves and let our children know our hearts, then it’s a gift. And I think it’s a gift we’re responsible for giving them.
Families come into therapy with their own structure, and tone, and rules. Their organization, their pattern, has been established over years of living, and it is extremely meaningful and very painful for them. They would not be in therapy if they were happy with it. But however faulty, the family counts on the familiarity and predictability of their world. If they are going to turn loose this painful predictability and attempt to reorganize themselves, they need firm external support. The family crucible must has a shape, a form, a discipline of sorts, and the therapist has to provide it. The family has to know whether we can provide it, and so they test us.
The individual psychotherapy patient comes to the therapist with an almost automatic deference, a sense of dependence and compliance. The role pattern is old and established: the dependent child seeking guidance from a parent figure. There is no such traditional image for the family, no established pattern in which an entire family submits to the guidance of an individual. And the family structure is simply too powerful and too crucial for the members to go trustingly into an experience that threatens to change the entire matrix of their relationships. If the family therapist is to acquire that initial authority figure or parent role that is so necessary if therapy is to be more powerful than an ordinary social experience, he has to earn it.
Even though we were still waiting for Don, therapy was well begun. We were engaged in a subtle, often predictable, and very important contest with the family about who was going to be present at the meetings. Carl and I had revealed some of what our relationship had to offer: a good-humored liking for each other, an ability to cooperate, and an insistence on remaining ourselves. I was clearly not going to be the reverential assistant to the older man. And perhaps most important, Carl had intuitively modeled some of the process of therapy for the family. By sharing insight into his own personality, he was saying by demonstration, It's important to search for you own unconscious agenda.
When Carl asked the Brices to bring their whole family to therapy, everyone in the family knew intuitively what that meant. Their whole world would be exposed: all its caring, its history, its anger, its anxiety. All in one place at once time, subject to the scrutiny and invasion of a stranger. And that was too much vulnerability. With its own unconscious wisdom, the family elected Don to stay home and test the therapists. Did we really mean everybody? Would we weaken and capitulate if they didn't bring Don?They had something to gain by the strategy. If we were hesitant and unconfident in our approach to their defiance, they would know that they could not trust us with the boiling cauldron of feeling which their family contained. If we were decisive and firm, they would guess that maybe we could handle the stresses which they intuitively knew had to be brought out into the open. One way or another, they had to find out how much power we had. In the meantime, they postponed facing that mysterious electricity, that critical mass, the whole family. Perhaps they thought they could be spared what Zorba called the full catastrophe.
It has been a long road for us as family therapists to reach an understanding of just this phenomenon-the sense of the whole, the family system. While we could have explained the theory of meeting with the whole family to the Brices, at that anxious moment it would not have touched them. There are situations where, in the words of Franz Alexander, the woice of the intellent is too soft. The family needed to test us. They needed the experience of our being firm. As unpleasant as it was, our response must have reassured them. They knew, and we sensed, how difficult their situation was and how tumultuous it could become. They simply has to know that we could withstand the stress if they dared open it up.
I immersed myself in my relationship with my husband, in little ways at first. Dutch would come home from his morning workout and I’d bring him coffee as he stepped out of the shower. He’d slip into a crisp white shirt and dark slacks and run a little goop through his hair, and I’d eye him in the mirror with desire and a sultry smile that he couldn’t miss. He’d head to work and I’d put a love note in his bag—just a line about how proud I was of him. How beautiful he was. How happy I was as his wife.He’d come home and cook dinner and instead of camping out in front of the TV while he fussed in the kitchen, I’d keep him company at the kitchen table and we’d talk about our days, about our future, about whatever came to mind. After dinner, he’d clear the table and I’d do the dishes, making sure to compliment him on the meal. On those weekends when he’d head outside to mow the lawn, I’d bring him an ice-cold beer. And, in those times when Dutch was in the mood and maybe I wasn’t, well, I got in the mood and we had fun.As the weeks passed and I kept discovering little ways to open myself up to him, the most amazing thing happened. I found myself falling madly, deeply, passionately, head-over-heels in love with my husband. I’d loved him as much as I thought I could love anybody before I’d married him, but in treating him like my own personal Superman, I discovered how much of a superhero he actually was. How giving he was. How generous. How kind, caring, and considerate. How passionate. How loving. How genuinely good. And whatever wounds had never fully healed from my childhood finally, at long last, formed scar tissue. It was like being able to take a full breath of air for the first time in my life. It was transformative. And it likely would save our marriage, because, at some point, all that withholding would’ve turned a loving man bitter. On some level I think I’d known that and yet I’d needed my sister to point it out to me and help me change.Sometimes it’s good to have people in your life that know you better than you know yourself.
We can't leave the past in the past because, the past is who we are. It's like saying I wish I could forget English. So, there is no leaving the past in the past. It doesn't mean the past has to define and dominate everything in the future. The fact that I had a temper in my teens doesn't mean I have to be an angry person for the rest of my life. It just means that I had allot to be angry about but, didn't have the language and the understanding to know what it was and how big it was. I thought my anger was disproportionate to the environment which is what is called having a bad temper but, it just means that I underestimated the environment and my anger was telling me how wide and deep child abuse is in society but, I didn't understand that consciously so I thought my anger was disproportionate to the environment but, it wasn't. There is almost no amount of anger that's proportionate to the degree of child abuse in the world. The fantasy that you can not be somebody that lived through what you lived through is damaging to yourself and to your capacity to relate to others. People who care about you, people who are going to grow to love you need to know who you are and that you were shaped by what you've experienced for better and for worse. There is a great deal of challenge in talking about these issues. Lots of people in this world have been hurt as children. Most people have been hurt in this world as children and when you talk honestly and openly it's very difficult for people. This is why it continues and continues.If you can get to the truth of what happened if you can understand why people made the decisions they've made even if you dont agree with the reason for those decisions knowing the reasons for those decisions is enormously important in my opinion. The more we know the truth of history the more confidently we can face the future without self blame.