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1 Prononymous, rogue demon hunter  Tue, Mar 1, 2011 12:03:27am

Sometimes therapy isn't so much about the truth as much as what people need to hear so that they can start to move down the path of improvement. I don't think they are going to skip over the whole "stealing is bad" part of the therapy.

2 Bob Levin  Tue, Mar 1, 2011 1:14:10am

re: #1 prononymous

Tricky stuff isn't it? If you play into that rationalization, do you impede his progress towards improvement?

Now good ol' Bernie heard nothing but praise his entire adult life. He had more awards than my house has bricks. He'd been honored more than Moses. Has enough plaques to scare a dentist.

Why is this different than his rationalizations? Didn't he wake up everyday thinking he was a marvelous person? Wasn't every honor that he received further proof that he'd fooled another group of people?

What does Bernie actually need to hear to start down the path of improvement? If you're the therapist, and he makes the 'breakthrough' that he's really a good person down deep, do you buy it (no pun intended)? Or has he played you for a sucker like everyone else?

This is a make or break moment in the development of rapport. What do you do?

3 Prononymous, rogue demon hunter  Tue, Mar 1, 2011 2:34:43am
Didn't he wake up everyday thinking he was a marvelous person?


I have no idea. Maybe he is a sociopath that doesn't even try to understand how others perceive him. Or maybe he has other mental conditions. I will note a recent study showed that extra income beyond a certain level doesn't result in increased happiness. Nor are rich people immune from mental conditions like depression, bipolar, schizophrenia, etc.

I have a family member that works in mental health. When they do therapy with a patient they don't automatically use a cookie-cutter, touchy feely, feel good about yourself type plan. The trajectory through therapy is tailored specifically for the individual. Now I can't speak to the competency of the psychiatrists handling Jerkface Bernie, but if they are any good they would do something similar.

4 Bob Levin  Tue, Mar 1, 2011 3:09:24am

re: #3 prononymous

I used to work in mental health. There are many, many problems with the system, a combination of a list too long to mention here and my own feelings about the discipline. However, one problem I noticed is that therapists had an increasingly difficult time recognizing the difference between a breakthrough and a symptom.

And if you can't tell the difference between a breakthrough and a symptom, there is no therapy, just the filling out of time sheets and insurance forms.

This is no breakthrough.

5 researchok  Tue, Mar 1, 2011 3:54:00am

"I'm OK, you're OK". So much for the real science of psychotherapy. Now, touchy feely and 'caring' are the watchwords of the day.

One undergrad psych course and everyone is an expert. It really is humorous.

6 Bob Levin  Tue, Mar 1, 2011 12:38:11pm

re: #5 researchok

So it's getting worse. *sigh*

You know who is surprisingly good at understanding the subtleties of psychology without the training? Car salesmen. Of course, they don't use the knowledge for the same purposes--but they know their stuff. In fact, it became very discouraging to find that car salesmen did a better initial assessment than many professional therapists.


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