måndag 26 november 2007

Is therapy actually pedagogy - should it be…

[Updated November 27 and 28 in the end]. Something I read yesterday evening in another forum, in a reply to a posting, swiftly before I go for a walk in the snow before lunch and meetings at work and pupils in the afternoon (my italics in the texts below). I am fairly critical to a lot of phenomena in psychotherapy and psychiatry, thinking it is manipulative...

What they are doing are too often "more of the same"?? Strengthening defenses instead of the opposite I have a feeling from my autodidact view. And the former blogpost: brain-tests like these are also a result or manifestation of the phenomenon to intellectualize, to be honest? My feelings are fairly mixed to this...

The commentator put the finger on something I have tried to find words for I think (the mail came; my salary/wage has been raised, I think I got rewarded for my work. Hmmm, the clever... Both glad and with mixed feelings. A bit tired being so clever and hardworking and loyal. But I am interested and cares a lot about the ones I work with).

And should we teachers be therapists?

By the way see this readers' letter at Miller's web. Where Miller answers for instance:

“I was distressed to the core when I read your letter for which I thank you wholeheartedly. At the same time, I felt a sort of gratefulness for the fate that helped the lively, brave and bright little girl not only to survive the terrible jail of her horrific parents but also to remain sound to keep the full clarity and the unusual courage in order TO SEE and TO ACCUSE, without ‘buts,’ without illusions, without self-betrayal. This stance is only very rarely encountered, and your letter will certainly help others to recognize their own situation and to forgo the ‘buts.’ /…/…here, the child has the strength to also speak for countless other children who are forced to bear the more or less visible delusion of their parents for years and to experience it as NORMAL. Formed by this ignorance, they often remain blind for the suffering of children during their whole lives and still recommend physical punishment. They work for senseless ‘research,’ for the pharmaceutical industry, organize wars, produce cruel movies and don’t know at all that they still ‘live’ in the prison of their sick parents because they never had the courage to see through the delusion and thus continue to poison the world with the toxin that they had to swallow as children.

Here the exchange I wrote about in the beginning of this blogpost:

Subscriber:”I had, a psychologist, [who] said after a while: ‘Haven't we spoken enough of childhood now?’”

Commentator:“No doubt you realized this really means the therapist didn't want to speak more about it.”

And why not? Was he afraid of doing this? Of personal reasons (even if he wasn’t aware of these reasons)?

Commentator: “But she/he used the dishonest word ‘we’.”

Yes, that’s true! Couldn’t he have said

I (in my opinion I) think we have spoken enough about childhood!”

Commentator: “As if it was a joint realization. What is the point of a psychologist becoming a therapist if she doesn't understand that a client may need to explore unfinished business from childhood -- until her client feels that all the necessary connections have been made.”

So true, needing to explore unfinished business! Processing things with another person, not doing it on her/himself… Even processing unconscious things.

Commentator: “I don't know what your psychologist wanted to do instead.”

No, what? But an idea comes later, see below.

Commentator: “If a psychologist is not actually a healer, but a pedagogue, she/he may believe that her job is to ‘teach’ coping strategies [believe that he/she actually is a pedagogue!]. That's a symptom of misguided assumptions underlying many schools of psychotherapy. I think it's dishonest or deluded to claim that teaching 'strategies' is something other than 'skills training'. That's teaching, not psychotherapy. It shouldn't be advertised as 'therapy'. The practitioners should be honest and call themselves 'coping skills trainers'. The word 'psychotherapy' becomes devalued if they use it for skills training. /.../ Dictionary publishers should add a caveat to definitions of the word to warn the public that it's often misused by 'skills trainers'.”

Yes, that’s so true!! They (most of them in fact) are skill trainers? Training the already good girls and boys to become even better! The best of the best!!?? Because who seek/search therapists? Isn’t it the ones that are aware that there is something that ought to be done!? And the ones that don’t, don’t think they need to change or work on anything? The ones that maybe most would need therapy are the ones that avoid all this "stuff", digging in the soul!? I think John Cleese and his therapist Robin Skynner wrote something about this!? That it’s the “healthiest” that seek therapists…

Commentator: “It just turns the search for a therapist who cares about your feelings into a difficult task.”

Yes, true! And genuinely cares, and isn’t talking about emotions and feelings intellectually only! As if these feelings were objects or how I shall describe it, objectifying feelings and emotions in fact. But this probably puts high demands on the therapist!? His/her own unprocessed things (which probably exists, otherwise he/she wouldn't have thought of this work) might be triggered then? And these things are probably extremely painful (and much more common than we usually believes)...

Commentator: “If skills training actually [my italics, because do they actually or automatically lead to improvements, and why not?] improves coping abilities and interpersonal relationships, it should be taught in schools -- for the benefit of society as a whole.

Yes, why not?? Much more than we do!

And I came to think of what the Dutch therapist Ingeborg Bosch writes about Daniel Goleman and his emotionally intelligent individual, and I think is very interesting and so true:

“The reader should be aware that many of the ideas on emotional development put forward in Mr. Golemans book are contrary to PRI [Past Reality Integration therapy] ideas. In PRI it is not considered as desirable for young children to control their ‘socially undesired’ emotions or feelings such as fear and anger. When this sort of behaviour is desired by adults of children PRI regards it as poisonous pedagogy /…/ Also, many of the behaviors that are considered by Mr. Goleman to be essential elements of ‘emotional intelligence’, are considered by PRI to be defenses [False Hope and False Power Denial of Needs] employed in order to avoid feeling pain. The general profile of Golemans ‘emotionally intelligent’ person fits the PRI idea of someone who is quite defensive, albeit in a socially desirable way. This might therefore lead to social success, while simultaneously sacrificing contact with the True Self and inner autonomy.

And is this actually “healing”?

And Jennifer Freyd writes at page 195 in her book:

“For a child dependent on abusive caregivers, lack of internal connection can help maintain some sort of external connection to necessary others. But I disagree with those such as Daniel Goleman (1985), who suggest that while truth is generally a good thing, some times even privileged members of our society are best served by living with ‘vital lies’ in which the truth is best kept from oneself and one’s intimate partners.
Addition November 27:

An article in a Norwegian newspaper “My life in half an hour” (not worth more!?? And today reduced to just a few minutes!):

“Psychiatry-critics. I dropped their pills, so they dropped me. Psychiatry isn’t different from the rest of the society; they want obedient and humble victims *, living up to the role with /…/ repentance and submission **. And at last – adjustment.”

Pills are the solution. Doctors’ time for the patients is very limited. They don’t take a deep going anamnesis, one doctor sat with his back towards the patient during the whole session. The patient meets new doctors each time…

The Norwegian physician Anna Lise Kirkengen thinks physicians (General Practitioners for instance) should take up even the childhood story when they are taking up the anamnesis...

In one of our newspapers here it stood work environment, about the Swedish Work Environment Authority that they are going to get fewer recourses to their work, and the consequences of that... It stood that it would be better with prevention, to avoid things...

I get so tired. And I don't like what is being done... Things should be done right from the first beginning a man said. Yes, that about prevention...

Yes, we shall keep quiet, be obedient, work like beavers. More about working like beavers... And if we don't thrive in this existence we are given a pill, yes, silenced with a pill!!?? Too many psychiatrists, psychologists - and physicians contribute to this!? Walking in the power's leading-strings!? Maybe with too much to do they too, so it is easier to prescribe pills than doing anything else? They don't have the strength to really hear what people have to say? Noone has that strength, all working like beavers. The exceptions are few!?? Putting ourselves and the society in a trap??

* At the same time people are accused for being unable to quit the victim-role!!! For playing victims!! In therapy too!! Jenson has written about this. Maybe more about that later.
** Should apologize for their whole existence, all nuisance they cause for all and everyone!!?? For not having anything to contribute with, and for not having had anything to contribute with ever!! Be ashamed!!! Go away! Don't show up again!! (where did we meet this first in life?).

"Repentance" means "ånger" in Swedish.

Tillägg 28 november:
En tredje kommentator kommenterade utbytet ovan om terapi som svar till ”subscriber”:

Commentator 2: ”What you write about your psychologists/psychiatrists, I agree with x [the first commentator]. They were the ones being manipulative and being scared. And these are not exceptions in the world of therapy, but rather standard procedure. But they feel confident by what they believe because they have that diploma from years of schooling, and never had time to question anything.

Therapists are parent-defenders. Otherwise they would have the parents on the chair and not their victims.”

Dvs. något i stil med:

”Jag håller med x [kommentator 1] om det du skriver om psykologer/psykiatriker. De var de som var manipulativa och rädda. Och de är inga undantag i terapins värld, utan snarare standardproceduren. Men de känner sig trygga/självsäkra/säkra med det de tror på därför att de har sina diplom från åratal av utbildning/skola och har aldrig haft tid att ifrågasätta någonting.

Terapeuter är föräldraförsvarare. I annat fall skulle de ha haft föräldrarna i stolen [som patienter] och inte deras offer.”

Jo, han har rätt? Detta är power-abuse? Och i extremfall går man verkligen maktens ärenden... Även terapeuter (och kanske inte minst psykiatriker, genom att droga ner patienter***) gör det, men kanske inte alltid genom att vara medvetna om det? Skulden läggs på individen... Och individer ska anpassas? Utan att de uttryckligen bett om det...

Tror de trots allt att individer är födda till självdestruktivitet och/eller destruktivitet?
Se bland annat vad Jonatan Pincus funnit (i bland annat denna artikel) i sin forskning om seriemördare och de allra värsta brottslingarna.

*** Så vi inte tvingas lyssna på vad de försöker säga och ge uttryck åt??

2 kommentarer:

D.R.B. sa...

Hi K,

You added interesting things to the discussion we had. I'm glad Ingeborg Bosch has seen through Daniel Goleman. If you type "emotional intelligence" into Google, the No.3 result is Steve Hein's "http://eqi.org/" website. Maybe you know it? The good news is that he sees things the way we do. Please help him become No.1 by linking the words "Emotional intelligence" in your sidebar. Steve Hein has made a lot of criticisms of Daniel Goleman:


Did you know Daniel Goleman's mother-in-law, Juliana Bennett-Blue, was arrested for animal hoarding? It basically means keeping a lot of animals and not taking care of them.


Best wishes,

k sa...

Hi D.R.B.,
Thank you for the tips! I will check this! Interesting!
I have just returned from walk in the snow with poles! We do this here - we are a bit strange!!?? :-) Though I haven't been splashing through the snow. It hasn't gone really so far. At least not when I am here i town (with the countryside near). But when I am in the countryside then I sometimes have to! :-)
Now something in my stomach before I go to work.
I am going to play with our youth Symphony Orchestra this evening as stand in for one of our students.
But I look forward to checking this!
Do you know, one of my two brothers work with animal protection!! So he sees those things you wrote about...
Best wishes to you!