• csalisbury
    1.7k
    @unenlightened
    Addendum: It's important to undo the simplifying narratives because "grooming" of the already traumatized works exactly by making use of distorted narratives. Your therapist may think you're confusing things, and may even gently offer gentle 'challenges' without outright saying that you're confused, but you know what he really thinks and meanwhile this other guy (at the moment) is totally sure you're right and no one actually gets you, and why are you even doing therapy when theyre all a bunch of expert idiots?

    If you only trust people who validate invalid stories, you're only going to trust people you shouldn't.

    This (with the last post) is distressing to me, because I don't know how you progress from there. It seems like a double bind.
  • creativesoul
    5.2k
    Well whatever gets you through the night. But that's more or less what Herman said about resilience - maintaining a social scene through difficulties, taking an active but collaborative stance... and maybe those 3 years were crucial.unenlightened

    Yes. I read through the resilience part, and those descriptions are pretty accurate, although in my case at least there were several other factors I think that got me through the night(as a youth). To be clear though, while nearly all the boxes were checked, some more often than others, not all of those things happened continually and/or throughout my youth.

    I consider myself lucky. You can consider me however you like...
  • creativesoul
    5.2k
    To those who think/believe in self-therapy???

    Can't be done. Cannot see your own shortcomings/flaws/mistakes in thought/belief. Takes an other. As csal just skirted around... it takes another who can be trusted and will not reinforce unhealthy habits of thought/belief.
  • Wallows
    8.1k
    To those who think/believe in self-therapy???creativesoul

    Can't be done.creativesoul

    Strange to think that some authority on the matter of one's distorted thoughts and/or beliefs cannot be assessed through self-therapy. I mean, check out the efficacy of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy just as an example.
  • creativesoul
    5.2k


    It always takes an other. That's all I'm saying my friend. Always. In isolation there is no possibility of recognizing one's own mistakes in thought/belief, and/or unhealthy habits of mind, whatever they may amount to.
  • Wallows
    8.1k
    It always takes an other. That's all I'm saying my friend. Always.creativesoul

    In isolation there is no possibility of recognizing one's own mistakes in thought/belief, and/or unhealthy habits of mind, whatever they may amount to.creativesoul

    I'm not quite sure about that. I have read studies of the effectiveness of CBT in treating depression, anxiety, and other ailments individually. Have you seen them?
  • creativesoul
    5.2k
    It's all about coming to better(more acceptable) terms about the same things(memories, traumas, events).

    Check out the efficacy of thought/belief!

    :wink:
  • creativesoul
    5.2k
    Read a little closer... more carefully perhaps.

    Do you see the similarity between what CBT is doing and the position that I've been arguing for as long as you've been aware of me?
  • Wallows
    8.1k
    Do you see the similarity between what CBT is doing and the position that I've been arguing for as long as you've been aware of me?creativesoul

    How so?
  • creativesoul
    5.2k
    Read about CBT... Closely and carefully. Pay attention to what they focus upon changing regarding the patient... Thought and/or belief... That's the only way to change who one is.
  • creativesoul
    5.2k
    So...

    Pretty important to know what thought/belief consists in and/or of. Changing terms changes meaning. Changing the terms one uses to recollect events can make recollecting the events a bit healthier, a bit less stressful. Anyway...

    I've got philosophy to do...

    :smile:

    Laterz!
  • unenlightened
    3.6k
    . it takes another who can be trusted and will not reinforce unhealthy habits of thought/belief.creativesoul

    Absolutely!

    In terms of childhood trauma, we are dealing with a dysfunctional primary relationship.

    This (with the last post) is distressing to me, because I don't know how you progress from there. It seems like a double bind.csalisbury

    Right. How can you trust anyone, when you cannot trust your own trust? This is exactly the devastating global stress that results from an uncaring, or unreliable carer. It goes to the extreme that being abused feels like a place of safety, and a caring relationship is untrustworthy, because the abuse is always anticipated.

    "The first principle of recovery is the empowerment of the survivor." But this is also, I'd say, the last principle. Look for someone who with open eyes will say that they trust your trust and your lack of trust. Someone who will help you fix yourself when you are ready. You are bound to be distrustful, you ought and need to be distrustful; It is no random madness. So the first step, if you will, is to trust your distrust. And that means not settling for the first person with a gift for psychobabble you come across.
  • unenlightened
    3.6k
    The alliance of therapy cannot be taken for granted; it must be painstakingly built by the effort of both patient and therapist. Therapy requires a collaborative working relationship in which both partners act on the basis of their implicit confidence in the value and efficacy of persuasion rather than coercion, ideas rather force, mutuality rather than authoritarian control. These are precisely the beliefs that have been shattered by the traumatic experience. Trauma damages the patient’s ability to enter into a trusting relationship; it also has an indirect but powerful impact on the therapist. As a result, both patient and therapist will have predictable difficulties coming to a working alliance. These difficulties must be understood and anticipated from the outset. — Herman

    In one successful case both patient and therapist came to understand the terror at the source of the patient’s demand for rescue: “The therapist remarked, ‘It’s frightening to need someone so much and not be able to control them.’ The patient was moved and continued this thought: ‘It’s frightening because you can kill me with what you say . . . or by not caring or [by] leaving.’ The therapist then added, ‘We can see why you need me to be perfect.’”
    When the therapist fails to live up to these idealized expectations—as she inevitably will fail—the patient is often overcome with fury. Because the patient feels as though her life depends upon her rescuer, she cannot afford to be tolerant; there is no room for human error.

    After gradually disclosing his involvement in a pedophilic sex ring, Paul suddenly announced that he had fabricated the entire story. He threatened to quit therapy immediately unless the therapist professed to believe that he had been lying all along. Up until this moment, of course, he had wanted the therapist to believe he was telling the truth. The therapist admitted that she was puzzled by this turn of events. She added: “I wasn’t there when you were a child, so I can’t pretend to know what happened. I do know that it is important to understand your story fully, and we don’t understand it yet. I think we should keep an open mind until we do.” Paul grudgingly accepted this premise. In the course of the next year of therapy, it became clear that his recantation was a last- ditch attempt to maintain his loyalty to his abusers.

    What I am seeing here is how a science based theory becomes an artful, creative, unique and individual relationship. Perhaps other passages resonate with you more, but this last case, Paul, shows the delicacy required to negotiate the maintenance of the patient's autonomy and "not reinforce unhealthy habits of thought/belief."

    Christ you know it ain't easy.
  • Wallows
    8.1k
    "The first principle of recovery is the empowerment of the survivor." But this is also, I'd say, the last principle. Look for someone who with open eyes will say that they trust your trust and your lack of trust. Someone who will help you fix yourself when you are ready. You are bound to be distrustful, you ought and need to be distrustful; It is no random madness. So the first step, if you will, is to trust your distrust. And that means not settling for the first person with a gift for psychobabble you come across.unenlightened

    I'm not sure it's a matter of trust with trauma. More like self-acceptance and self-love, which can only be instilled through a complex psychological transference mechanism between the career and cared for. Is this another way of stating empowerment?
  • unenlightened
    3.6k
    More like self-acceptance and self-loveWallows

    Well yes, I'm trying to say that they amount to the same thing.

    Everyone begins helpless and dependent. So if those you depend on are not dependable, you have to accept what their actions declare, that you are not worth caring for. And once you have accepted that, anyone who seems to care for you must be either playing a trick on you or just stupid. Either way, you cannot trust them.
  • Wallows
    8.1k
    And once you have accepted that, anyone who seems to care for you must be either playing a trick on you or just stupid. Either way, you cannot trust them.unenlightened

    Has that been your professional experience? I'm assuming this more applies to those with personalitiy disorders along with schizophrenia moreso than a depressive or anxious type

    Because it seems to me that people come to your office seeking hard and concrete solutions and not qualitative results that are immesurable such as developing trust. Perhaps some convincing and Rogerian agreement is needed for both parties to reach some mutual understanding?
  • unenlightened
    3.6k
    Has that been your professional experience?Wallows

    My professional experience is that this is the best vacuum cleaner. It has a friendly smile and a long wire.

    I speak without authority, the best understanding I have, and I am talking about anyone who has suffered childhood trauma that has damaged their development in terms of self-esteem. People do want quick and easy solutions, and they are not available. If you read the section on the stages of recovery, you will see many examples of people wanting, and needing the therapist to be a miracle worker. That too must be negotiated.
  • Wallows
    8.1k
    development in terms of self-esteemunenlightened

    *grows worried*
  • Wallows
    8.1k
    At least with trauma, the event is isolated, recognized, and in some way or another compartmentalized even if it can't be assimilated. However, with a lack of self-esteem and the resulting depression, anxiety, or some other obsessive tendency it sort of pervades one's entire being.

    Humdrum conundrum.
  • Hanover
    4.5k
    I scored a 0, which is typically a bad score, but here it's good, sort of like a negative cancer screening is a positive result.

    The test is interesting regarding the questions it doesn't ask which seem like they'd trigger the same sort of negative consequences, like whether one was bullied excessively by non-adults, lived in a very unstable environment due to extreme poverty, experienced deaths of family members, and so on.

    I often hear how resilient children are described, and how they adapt very well to changing circumstances. It offers comfort for the adults who have not provided the proper stability I think, but I'm not sure it's very true. I think most kids remember, consciously or subconsciously, every blow, both figurative and literal, ever laid upon them.
  • Wallows
    8.1k
    Yeah, it would be interesting to get a comparative analysis between say somewhere like Sweden and the US where laws are diametrically opposed wrt. to child welfare.
  • csalisbury
    1.7k
    I have a reflexive way of approaching posts where I try to turn arguments and ideas inside-out in order to make them self defeating, or performatively inconsistent. I do have that impulse here. But then there's that technique common to both mediation and behavioral therapies (both cognitive and dialectical CBT/DBT) where you don't repress the ideas, but examine them disinterestedly. You still hear their tune, so to speak, you just don't hum along to it. I guess the philosophical analogue is Husserl's 'epoche' where you take things as they present themselves with committing to anything about their reality.

    I'd like to still present where my mind immediately goes, when reading the quotes you've posted. But presented in that more reflective, disinterested spirit - not identifying as the speaker of the argument, but looking neutrally at the argument as it arises.

    So : One of the roadblocks to the childhood trauma victim in therapy is 'splitting', the desire, mentioned in the quote, that the therapist be an ideal rescuer, free from any flaws. Fury if he's not.

    Now when this writer is talking about these artful, subtle, negotiations that characterize successful therapy, I immediately have the thought:

    'this is another idealization. We have theoretical pictures of what therapy should be, plus examples which are probably polished and reworked to fit as examples of that therapy. Next thought : If a patient were to work with a therapist fed on these ideas, they would be trying to fit the therapy in that mould, and be blind to anything that doesn't fit into it. They would be constantly translating the therapy, in progress, into examples of the idea. Final thought : I can't help but see all these therapeutic insights and connections, as things captured at the moment, 'bagged' in the field, in service of the germinating book. A therapist of a cetain tier gets prestige through publishing original therapy insights, and knows, having read other books, that they need examples. What we really have is a Nice Idea with real life examples in service of the Nice Idea."

    Now, something seems half-complete about these idea, but this is what comes up immediately. If I were't trying to bracket the idea, I'd probably try to polish it and make it seem stronger than it is, as a sheer argument. But I'm presenting it here as it arises.
  • unenlightened
    3.6k
    Now, something seems half-complete about these idea, but this is what comes up immediately. If I were't trying to bracket the idea, I'd probably try to polish it and make it seem stronger than it is, as a sheer argument. But I'm presenting it here as it arises.csalisbury

    I think I roughly understand, and I think you are potentially right. Shall I compare therapy to a Turing Test? It is more lovely. The more you specify what will happen in a Turing Test, and what will decide it, the easier it is for a programmer to design an appropriate response. It is in the uniqueness of the encounter that the test occurs. And the same goes, I think for therapy. The reality and therefore the trustworthiness (and completeness) of the relationship is only established by the unique responses to the individual in each case, and everything that is theoretical and exemplary is mere mechanics. Here, we are reading the score, not playing the music. I wonder, does something like this idea enter every encounter, or is it a particular psychobabble alarm? Certainly, there is little prospect online of ever escaping the tyranny of the endless string, and that is both its safety and its futility.

    If you see a recording of therapy going well, you see something indescribable - which I will now describe. There is a moment in what seems a normal dull conversation when something, a word, a gesture, a long silence, connects and penetrates; you can see someone change, something awaken, something release. the technical term for this is "Juju".
  • csalisbury
    1.7k
    I wonder, does something like this idea enter every encounter, or is it a particular psychobabble alarm? Certainly, there is little prospect online of ever escaping the tyranny of the endless string, and that is both its safety and its futility.

    A psychobable alarm, i think.

    What's weird, looking back, is that my 'idea' depends on a total misconstrual of the therapy. Herman states very explicitly that the point is to collaborate and build trust, to meet on an equal footing. My 'idea' ultimately amounts to this: it is possible for exploitation to take place by masquerading as the opposite of exploitation. In short, it's as simple as - 'yeah, that sounds nice, but they're probably lying, or at least self-deluding'

    But that's not what the idea feels like as it arises. It roars to life as some iron philosophical point about the 'truth' of what's being said. The possibility of lying somehow becomes the impossibility of not lying, and it happens immediately and is accompanied by anger.


    If you see a recording of therapy going well, you see something indescribable - which I will now describe. There is a moment in what seems a normal dull conversation when something, a word, a gesture, a long silence, connects and penetrates; you can see someone change, something awaken, something release. the technical term for this is "Juju".unenlightened

    Yes, I think I know just what you mean. This is a little self-indulgent, but if you don't mind, I'd like to link to a very short 'story' i wrote a few months ago that I think is very close to what we've been talking about. (the 'voice' in the story isn't mine, though most of the ideas are.)

    Streaming
  • fdrake
    2.2k


    Story's really self demonstrating. The part about people not showing themselves despite telling their story really resonates with me. Some of that seems like intellectualisation; systematising a person over their impressions to find their hidden essence. But, fortunately and unfortunately, we show ourselves in ways we won't ever understand with every step, lip movement, or word. In that regard, other people are more in touch with your essence than you can ever be, as the intellect's attempt to synthesise experiences does it from, however temporary, the vantage point of a self narrative; a PR man.

    I guess the question comes down to which stories /self narratives do you promote, which show truth and raise autonomy, and which do you fight on all fronts to rid yourself of. Of course, fighting the good fight doesn't mean winning, hence grace (as you've nicely characterised it).

    Larger thread: got a 4 on the scale. I grew up in the dying days of a cult of personality, there were cruelties that don't fit so well on scales. I learned them, tried the least and most obvious of them out like a costume. As I've gotten more perspective on it, I found it's easy to hurt people in ways they'll never understand, and easy to live out the patterns you flowed in forever.
  • Wallows
    8.1k
    Shall I compare therapy to a Turing Test?unenlightened

    Compare it to Santa giving coal to naughty kids on Christmas I think. After my limited experience with dealing with some people who have gone through rather troubling experiences, they tend to (if the desire to do so at all exists) to cope with these adverse experiences by some derivative of the Stockholm syndrome. What do you make of that sort of phenomenon?
  • Janus
    7.3k
    It always takes an other. That's all I'm saying my friend. Always. In isolation there is no possibility of recognizing one's own mistakes in thought/belief, and/or unhealthy habits of mind, whatever they may amount to.creativesoul

    If you just mean that it is only through interactions and specifically talking with others that one's traumas mys be dealt with, then I would say that may be right. If you are suggesting that it must be through some expert other, then I would consider that a baseless assertion.

    One of the intractable problems I see with trust when it comes to professional therapists is that they charge you for their services, and just as you would not expect a prostitute to love you or know you, why should you expect that the therapist really knows you or cares about you? How can you trust someone if you do not feel that they genuinely know you and care about you?

    What had been traditionally the therapeutic effect of talking about one's issues with trusted friends has been appropriated, and turned into a paid service, it has been monetized and turned into a kind of prostitution. Therapy is also very expensive and not affordable to those on low incomes.
  • creativesoul
    5.2k
    It always takes an other. That's all I'm saying my friend. Always. In isolation there is no possibility of recognizing one's own mistakes in thought/belief, and/or unhealthy habits of mind, whatever they may amount to.
    — creativesoul

    If you just mean that it is only through interactions and specifically talking with others that one's traumas mys be dealt with, then I would say that may be right. If you are suggesting that it must be through some expert other, then I would consider that a baseless assertion.
    Janus

    I meant that it always take's another worldview to take on another way to look at the same things. Another worldview always takes another person. That person need not be an expert on the mental ongoings of humans. A healthier worldview can be acquired accidentally through purely coincidental interactions(being in the same place at the same time with another whose view invokes less stress, resonates well, is true, and/or is based upon trustworthy foundations). Loosely speaking here, of course...
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