• creativesoul
    5.2k
    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?Janus

    Good questions to ask oneself of everyone and anyone who we chose to come into contact with. Great question to ask a paid professional. All professionals, I would think, would need to answer in the affirmative.

    It does not follow from the fact that profit is gained that it is the sole motive. Some people love to help others.


    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.

    If being paid for one's services makes one a prostitute, then capitalism has made prostitutes of us all.

    I think that that's a misleading way to frame the discourse.
  • Janus
    7.3k
    It does not follow from the fact that profit is gained that it is the sole motive. Some people love to help others.creativesoul

    I'd say it's not impossible that someone might really care about people she doesn't know, but I would say it is vanishingly rare. Usually what might appear to be genuine care is another agenda masquerading; for example professional pride or self-image.

    If being paid for one's services makes one a prostitute, then capitalism has made prostitutes of us all.creativesoul

    Yes, and I think there is a very real sense in which it has; if you buy into it at least. ("Buy into it" look at the terminology there and its implications).
  • unenlightened
    3.6k
    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?Wallows

    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?Janus

    When one generalises from the patient's side on the psychology of the therapist, one's findings are bound to align with one's experiences. And indeed I am sceptical that most therapists are very effective, even though they may give good service as mental prostitutes.

    Perhaps you might relate better to a machine? You know they are effective substitutes when they start having human problems...
    With machine learning algorithms being more susceptible to biases in the form of racist and sexist remarks, key industry players need to ensure robustness in their AI system before bringing it out to the market.

    I wonder if I can or need to convince anyone that seeing in such virtual relationships (and remember that our relationship too is virtual, though hopefully not entirely mechanical) the necessary safety that is the first requirement, is actually a symptom of the widespread trauma in relationships. My phone is my only friend.

    There is absolute safety only in death. So an actual encounter with an actual other is something to which both parties must bring their fears and suspicions. And if you will allow a moment of unsolicited advice, in such an encounter, do not make your first demand that the other will always love you and never leave you. That is what a 0 year-old needs, but a 10 year-old already needs a measure of separateness.

    @Wallows All you will ever get here, or from a machine is coal; if you want to meet the real Santa, you have to find that other with whom you feel so safe as to be prepared to take a risk. And this is not a once for all affair, but a relationship that builds trust where there is not much trust, little by little. There are some who can see to the heart of another immediately, but most of us take a long time.
  • unenlightened
    3.6k
    That reads so like every thread here; a disconnected dialogue that never finishes a thought. And the cat as stern therapist/moderator/parent, does not respond to all that extravagant God-wise moralisms, but just closes the thread at an arbitrary point.

    :ok:
  • Wallows
    8.1k
    Intentionality? Jogging my memory a bit, I read somewhere that an AI that simply repeats what the patient has said in different words or phrased differently is just about as effective as a therapist.

    But, it seems to me that to boil down the issue, it's rather the humanistic touch of having someone that seemingly cares about what you have gone through, that really produces the therapeutic effects of therapy.
  • Wallows
    8.1k
    All you will ever get here, or from a machine is coal; if you want to meet the real Santa, you have to find that other with whom you feel so safe as to be prepared to take a risk.unenlightened

    Yeah, the primary goal that doesn't get mentioned enough of what I have experienced with therapy is the formation of a relationship between the patient and some third party. I must have a deficit of oxytocin because I've always been averse towards forming new relationships.
  • Janus
    7.3k
    And if you will allow a moment of unsolicited advice, in such an encounter, do not make your first demand that the other will always love you and never leave you. That is what a 0 year-old needs, but a 10 year-old already needs a measure of separateness.unenlightened

    Yes, love and care is not based upon, or generative of, ownership or slavish dependence, quite the opposite.
  • csalisbury
    1.7k
    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).fdrake

    Yeah, that's a good way to look at it. I've been feeling lately that my next step is to stop heeding the prompts and self-mystifications of the false narratives, and just be with whats left when the muck settles. What's discomfiting is there doesn't seem to be much left but a kind of somber blankness, which my mind tries feverishly to cover up. It's hard to find what to promote that isn't wrapped up with that covering. Right now all I really have to work with/on is: don't lie, honor commitments, don't make other people feel shame.
  • frank
    2.5k
    don't make other people feel shame.csalisbury

    But you're good at it! :) I don't think much is accomplished if you set yourself against yourself. Wisdom doesn't come from pretending to be a wise man. It comes from being the magnificent fuck-up you are.

    Authenticity. It would proceed from blankness, because the other stuff is a constructed filter. The filter is supposed to protect you, but it can end up having you live somebody else's life and not yours. So maybe let the real you wreck friendships and produce frowns as long as it is the real you and not pent up frustration and unresolved dramas having to do with childhood crap.

    It's as if a person (call him Jeff) is ever producing a play. The play depicts a childhood trauma. Maybe the child in the play is saying "no" to an evil person. It's something the child didn't get to do the first time around. But what other people see is that Jeff just seems to be saying "no" all the time, to everyone. What's happening is that Jeff is recruiting everybody he meets to star in his drama where he gets to say no to the evil guy.

    If Jeff could become a little more conscious of this, his intellect might be able to help. The drama wants to be completed. The completion is that the asshole hears the child and accepts the no. Maybe Jeff needs to see that there is no external evil anymore. The evil is a feature of Jeff's psyche now.

    One way this could work out is that Jeff finally admits out loud that what happened to him was wrong. That explicit condemnation of the evil may create the kind of change necessary for Jeff to avoid becoming a evil himself (as he unconsciously uses the big people from his childhood as guides for who he's supposed to be.)

    Or it could go a different way involving forgiveness, but that's not one you can rush. It has to come naturally or not at all. Anyway, becoming aware of dramas that you tend to play out like a broken record can free you of the obstacles to being that blank fountain of life that's really you.
  • csalisbury
    1.7k
    That's a good point. I guess the point of therapy is that it's supposed to let you deal with that -with releasing the anger, with saying no - in a controlled environment?

    Easier said than done, of course, because if you need to transfer onto the therapist to let it out, and its the raw thing, you're in the territory of 'going too far' and the therapist has a right to be treated humanely etc etc.

    I guess the example hinges on whether Jeff has replicated the abusive situation by seeking friends who are abusive toward him in a similar way. Like you said, as though he's producing a play. In that case, I'd think he'd be justified, since anyone willing to participate in that play is probably producing their own play where they get to abuse Jeff. The two visions align, and Jeff's outburst both expresses his truth and disrupts the shitty play of the others.

    It's different if jeff's already gone through that and expressed the whole thing, and found himself with true supporters, who stick with him, but still Jeff keeps wanting to restage the play.

    Maybe you can get addicted to the feeling of someone 'hearing' the no? like addicted to the explicit condemnation?

    I think there might be a place between condemnation and forgiveness. I agree with you that the latter has to come naturally or not at all. I feel like that place is just - a quieting. If forgiveness comes, it comes; if not, it doesn't. It doesn't matter because it's not your responsibility to forgive.

    (postscript: Shaming is not pleasant (obv). Shame is one of the most unpleasant, most shattering, feelings. And it's palliated somehow, by passing it on to someone else. I don't like the whole thing at all. The people who can best shame are the people who are most acquainted with shame. Its this nasty vampiric cycle I just want out of. )
  • frank
    2.5k
    The two visions align,csalisbury

    Interlocking dramas. Neither sees the other. Each only sees a figure from the past or from dreams. People frequently interact with one another this way. Maybe most of the time? Is the therapist/client different? Is it also interlocking dramas? I guess it depends on the therapist. A therapist would have to be aware of what kind of dramas she feels a need to play out: savior? mother? lover?, and drop out of that so that all there is in the room is the client's drama waiting to be seen.

    I think Jung said that transference is actually love. It's love from the depths of the client to whatever out there is helping. That would mean there has to be some kind of help. In what form does help come?

    Maybe you can get addicted to the feeling of someone 'hearing' the no? like addicted to the explicit condemnation?csalisbury

    I don't know. That might mean that the one who's supposed to be hearing it is deaf. The drama can't be completed.

    It doesn't matter because it's not your responsibility to forgive.csalisbury

    True.

    Shame is one of the most unpleasant, most shattering, feelings. And it's palliated somehow, by passing it on to someone else. I don't like the whole thing at all. The people who can best shame are the people who are most acquainted with shame. Its this nasty vampiric cycle I just want out of.csalisbury

    But can you feel shame if you give people the freedom to think whatever they like about you?
  • unenlightened
    3.6k


    Interesting exchange.

    So maybe let the real you wreck friendships and produce frowns as long as it is the real you and not pent up frustration and unresolved dramas having to do with childhood crap.frank

    I would agree with this, except that it turns out to be the same narrative - the same play with a different ending. Rather like the great virtue of not shaming puts all the rest of us to shame.

    What's discomfiting is there doesn't seem to be much left but a kind of somber blankness, which my mind tries feverishly to cover upcsalisbury

    'They saw that they were naked and were ashamed.'

    The original narrative; and thus universal. We cover up, we make plays, and live out dramas, and a life without these dramas looks empty, like the void from which creation sprang.
  • Wallows
    8.1k
    I'm going to profess my antipsychologist view on the matter, and welcome any criticism.

    I feel as though some memories cannot be assimilated into one's being, such as profound trauma, sexual abuse, extreme neglect, even bullying.

    Now, people tend to focus on these rare events that have happened in their mind/body/spirit, and in some sense get stuck or fixate on them. What results from this is most likely all the aforementioned woes of existence. The solution cannot be found in reliving the past or perpetuating it according to emotive reasoning or rationalizations.

    The solution, I think, is to simply encode new memories and keep on moving forward. Someone might say, that this is wishful thinking or easier said than done; but, there really is no way; but, forward.

    Perhaps, this is what you were getting at @unenlightened? Because as it stands we are in a swamp of these "rationalizations". Yes, there is nothing more genuine and authentic than one's feelings; but, from my readings on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, they can be detrimental in dictating or reinforcing negative habits or cognitive distortions.
  • unenlightened
    3.6k
    I'm sorry, but CBT is just more coal as far as I can see. Nothing is far more genuine than one's feelings.

    Feelings are evoked by drama. One enacts the drama in order to have feelings to cover up the emptiness.

    First the place of safety. Off-stage, the green room perhaps, an asylum.

    And then stop acting, stop the dramatics, for which you need someone who won't feed you lines, and won't try to 'direct' you.

    And then there is the possibility of insight. I will say some words about that and they will be inadequate.

    It doesn't arrive through clenched teeth as the result of effort and struggle, nor is it earned by good works; it is the gift of grace. One sees what one is, what one is made of, that it is the drama, that it is the past that one replays, and that there is nothing else to one's substance than this melodrama, and one is always hiding the void from oneself and from others. And if ever you hear someone telling you how they have realised the void, you can be sure they have made a drama out of insight.
    But if one hasn't done that, then one sees that the drama does nothing to fill the void, it is just a distraction and a mischief. One stops, and then life can begin.
  • Wallows
    8.1k
    One sees what one is, what one is made of, that it is the drama, that it is the past that one replays, and that there is nothing else to one's substance than this melodrama, and one is always hiding the void from oneself and from others.unenlightened

    OK, now we are talking about identity consolidation, am I correct? And, if I am, then I don't see how any escape is possible, as you say. It's all there in the background. The coal burns nicely, and nobody cares about the smoke until they have to breathe it, or until the "frog" croaks from the heat. I can see where this is going, but, I suppose that there is no cathartic tabula rasa that one might want to find in the grace of God or in some monastery or even in the ecstasy of nirvana found in meditation.

    But, if the issue is forming and developing a healthy and sound identity, with ego boundaries firmly established through social norms and the roles we thus play, then doesn't your analysis collapse on itself and digress into some quasi-nihilistic insight? After all these years interacting with you, and trying to find some guiding theme in your philosophy, I am coming to the conclusion that you either want us to digress into a state of an atavistic emotive reactionary motivating force that would 'direct' us or a Nietzschian derivative of logotherapy. Am I mistaken here?
  • unenlightened
    3.6k
    After all these years interacting with you, and trying to find some guiding theme in your philosophy, I am coming to the conclusion that you either want us to digress into a state of an atavistic emotive reactionary motivating force that would 'direct' us or a Nietzschian derivative of logotherapy. Am I mistaken here?Wallows

    I try my best to be just what I am, but everybody wants you to be just like them,
    They say 'Sing while you slave', and I just get bored.
    I ain't gonna work on Maggie's farm no more.
    — His Bobness

    See, that's where you go wrong, looking for guidance, as if there were someplace else to be. Get back to the fields and sing! :rofl:
  • Wallows
    8.1k
    Get back to the fields and sing!unenlightened

    I think I'll continue wallowing contently while puffing on my cigarette.

    *Wallows with grace*
  • fdrake
    2.2k
    What's discomfiting is there doesn't seem to be much left but a kind of somber blankness, which my mind tries feverishly to cover up. It's hard to find what to promote that isn't wrapped up with that covering. Right now all I really have to work with/on is: don't lie, honor commitments, don't make other people feel shame.csalisbury

    'Somber blankness' will hopefully eventually turn into 'blankness' without the negative affect. Otherwise known as an untroubled mind. I'm not there yet either; I've noticed the same kind of thing, as the worries recede nothing takes their place, and eventually unburdened reactivity takes the place of worry. But I don't think the lack of trouble advances uniformly on all mental/behavioural fronts, for me at least it comes in waves. The waves correlate with the troubles I deal with IRL but don't react 'entirely healthily' to.

    I also think there's something to the idea that coming up from the bottom, when you are very introspective, comes with some insights. Insights that I far too readily project onto others, but insights nevertheless.
  • creativesoul
    5.2k
    If being paid for one's services makes one a prostitute, then capitalism has made prostitutes of us all.
    — creativesoul

    Yes, and I think there is a very real sense in which it has; if you buy into it at least. ("Buy into it" look at the terminology there and its implications).
    Janus

    Not all services rendered for monetary gain are sexual practice. Those have a certain moral/religious connotation and can result in invoking opposing feelings/attitude. Prostitutes are shamed in public far more than they are admired/valued/praised. For those who hold prostitution in negative light only, capitalism has negative value if they think/believe about capitalism in such terms. If one holds prostitution in a positive light, the capitalism is valued in the same light.

    Regardless of one's judgmental tendency towards prostitutes, drawing an equivalence between capitalism and prostitution does not have a clear result. Rather, that equivalence is ambiguous. It means different things depending upon one's morals.

    It's rhetoric, but well used.

    Do I think/believe that they are some psychologists, therapists, and/or self-help gurus who do not care about helping patients as much as they care about receiving payment? Of course. Not all.

    Feelings are often mistaken for thought/belief.

    That is my problem with some purportedly therapeutical discourse.
  • creativesoul
    5.2k
    Someone mentioned drama. Here's my down and dirty take...

    Shit happens. Shit happening is reality. Whether or not it is also drama depends largely upon how the shitty situation is handled. Drama is largely self-perpetuated. Not always. Bad shit happens to good people. Good shit happens to bad people. How shit is handled can do both, help or hinder the possibility of drama.
  • creativesoul
    5.2k
    Serenity comes when one changes what they can(and should), accepts what they cannot(and moves on), and knows the difference between the two.

    There's always value to be had by carrying the good away after laying down the bad. The linguistic framework one uses limits/delimits what can be subsequently and coherently stated. One can deliberately want to come to different terms about the same events. One who is wise knows that coming to different terms changes one's outlook, and the ability to do that always takes an other.

    Not just any other will do.

    How can we trust?

    Acquire knowledge of what sorts of things can be true and what makes them so. That's the first step. Use that knowledge as a filter through which to sift all subsequent relevant offerings. It gets one closer than not. This alone is not a solution to anything at all. It's a means for improvement as it is a means to better navigate the world.

    Realize that not all people are the same. Not all groups of people are the same. Not all individuals are the same aside from their namesake. All paid therapists are therapists. Some are not trustworthy. Some are. The same goes with other people, except they will often do what they believes will help for free. Others help unknowingly if the right attitude is within earshot.

    There are trustworthy people in this world.
  • creativesoul
    5.2k
    The Oracle Has Spoken...

    :rofl:

    Just friendly offerings. Do with it what you may.
  • unenlightened
    3.6k
    Someone mentioned drama.creativesoul

    That will have been me at least; and Alice Miller.

    Drama in the sense of the narrative of the dramatis personae; in this sense, identity is drama - the identity 'prostitute' already implies the relationship, financial and sexual and moral, and the identities 'therapist' and 'client' also imply a drama of being that is already understood and merely acted out.

    So by and large, allowing for exceptional people, serenity is another drama, and the stoic, the philosopher, the reconciled, even the oracle, are all dramatis personae.
  • frank
    2.5k
    "The most shortsighted and pernicious way of thinking wants to make the great sources of energy, those wild torrents of the soul that often stream forth so dangerously and overwhelmingly, dry up altogether, instead of taking their power into service and econominizing it."

    -- from Nietzsche's notes

    Nietzsche and Depth Psychology
  • creativesoul
    5.2k


    So all self-identity and/or self-image is drama on this rendering? All different personae are but kinds of dramatis personae.
  • unenlightened
    3.6k
    Not entirely, but for most of us, mostly. A surgeon, or a bricklayer, or a philosopher has hopefully a real skill that makes a real identity, but even here, there is an element of performance, one dons the garb, gathers the tools, and behaves in a conventional way with others. Surgeons do not wolf-whistle on the job, even their inappropriate behaviour has other conventional forms.
  • csalisbury
    1.7k
    "The most shortsighted and pernicious way of thinking wants to make the great sources of energy, those wild torrents of the soul that often stream forth so dangerously and overwhelmingly, dry up altogether, instead of taking their power into service and econominizing it." - Nietzschefrank

    Maybe. But that sounds a lot like the drinker who's gone white knuckle a few months and is slowly convincing himself that a better approach than drying up would be to drink more economically, drink only in these settings etc.

    I mean, how'd it work out for Nietzsche?
  • frank
    2.5k
    I don't really fathom self-destructive behavior, not that I haven't put out my share, I just don't fully understand what it means. An alcoholic family member told me it's linked to expecting life to be a perpetual party.

    Nietzsche's organizing idea is like an underlying fountain of energy. Act in line with it, and hard things become easy. Act against it and easy things become impossible. What is alcoholism in any that? Probably depends on the individual.

    I mean, how'd it work out for Nietzsche?csalisbury

    I think you're pointing to something, but I'm not sure what?
  • csalisbury
    1.7k
    I guess I'm talking about self-delusion. I agree, abstractly, about acting with energy rather than against it, but I don't know how you do that. And since I don't know how you do that, I don't know what's acting in line with it and what's rationalized self-destruction. The allusion to Nietzsche was that he ended poorly, though maybe that's unfair if it was all due to syphilis. The feeling I get reading Nieztsche is an uncomfortablly familiar feeling of : things going wrong and then trying to work out a thought-picture of why & how to fix it, and then things still go wrong and then there's a new thought-picture, like all the 'cures' are just symptoms.
  • csalisbury
    1.7k
    The alcoholism thing was just a bad play on 'dry' + a paradigmatic example of rationalized self-destruction. I think self-destruction is probably trying to replace intimacy with something else, at first (the alcohol is connected to the party - i.e connection - & then becomes a stand-alone metonymy for it.) I think there's a phase change at some point where the destruction becomes less an attempt to connect, then a kind of destiny you feel compelled to fulfill, like all that stuff in Dostoevsky.
bold
italic
underline
strike
code
quote
ulist
image
url
mention
reveal
youtube
tweet
Add a Comment

Welcome to The Philosophy Forum!

Get involved in philosophical discussions about knowledge, truth, language, consciousness, science, politics, religion, logic and mathematics, art, history, and lots more. No ads, no clutter, and very little agreement — just fascinating conversations.