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Old 3 Weeks Ago
 

I have had well over a decade of psychotherapy. If I had to total it all up, I would say it was about 14 years. I don't mean to imply it was all with the same person. There were many therapists and many psychiatrists. I am just tallying up the total amount of time spent with anyone at all. I am 52 years old, and find myself in therapy again, not because I want to be in therapy but because it is the only way I can continue to receive sleep medication (zolpidem).

I am frustrated, because I really don't want to be in therapy. I am not aware of benefiting from it in any way in the past, and don't know how it is going to be any different this time. I have mentioned this to my psychiatrist (who is also my analyst), and he says all I have to do is talk.

That's it. All I have to do is talk.

In the past, I just talked, but I never got anything out of it. People say they learn things in therapy. I never did. But I have to stay in it just to get the zolpidem.

Now it seems to me that one could learn very useful things in therapy, such as how to make conversation, how to make friends, how to be clean, how to be organized, how to be disciplined. But I never learned any of those things in therapy, and I am ashamed that I know so little at this stage in my life. I feel doomed to just keep on talking and learning nothing.

At this point, the usual response is to say that I should discuss this with my therapist. Of course, of course. And I know how therapists respond: they reflect back what I say. There is no point in mentioning it to the therapist, but I will mention it anyway because that is what one is supposed to do in therapy: one talks. And talks, and talks. Eventually, one either loses the means to continue therapy or one dies. And then future generations talk and talk ...
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Old 3 Weeks Ago
theslowesthand's Avatar
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Therapy's not just about talking. It's about talking about the right things. And it's about listening. And it's about finding ideas/inspiration in the words being said. And it's about doing.

I'm about to do some more therapy. It'll be basically unstructured, no CBT/REBT/etc. But this time i intend to apply what i wrote above. I'll just guide the sessions to cover what i feel is important/urgent, just following my gut (& the notes i've made on things to talk about). And i'll also let the sessions go where they happen to go. Humans aren't packet instant noodles, so there's no set 1-2-3 steps to make to resolve issues.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by theslowesthand View Post
Therapy's not just about talking. It's about talking about the right things. And it's about listening. And it's about finding ideas/inspiration in the words being said. And it's about doing.

I'm about to do some more therapy. It'll be basically unstructured, no CBT/REBT/etc. But this time i intend to apply what i wrote above. I'll just guide the sessions to cover what i feel is important/urgent, just following my gut (& the notes i've made on things to talk about). And i'll also let the sessions go where they happen to go. Humans aren't packet instant noodles, so there's no set 1-2-3 steps to make to resolve issues.
I was told by a therapist back in the 80s that therapy was a means to fill gaps left by my childhood. If that were the case, I would expect to learn some things in therapy, e.g. how to make a bed, how to fold clothes, etc. I never learned anything. I'm not trying to be funny. I really feel that therapy never addressed any important issue. It is just me free associating, and to no purpose. I guess I am supposed to find a purpose. I never could.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago
 

If therapy is not working, then there could be an underlying issue.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago
arjuna's Avatar
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Have you tried neuro linguistic programming?
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Old 3 Weeks Ago
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If the therapy isn't working chances are it is the therapist isn't any good. Some therapists are better than others, just like doctors and physios. Trouble is I have fixed some serious physical problems, but fixing a broken mind is the hardest thing of all.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago
 

My current therapist seems a lot nicer than previous ones. Some earlier psychiatrists, and psychologists too, insisted that I am psychotic. My current psychiatrist insists that I am not. I know that he is right. But I still don't see any progress, despite my respect for him.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago
 

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Originally Posted by arjuna View Post
Have you tried neuro linguistic programming?
I don't know anything about it.

Wait. Is this something like Ericksonian hypnosis? Well, I have tried that. I don't think that hypnosis is what I need. I need basic advice: like how to do simple things, like clean, fold clothes, carry on a conversation, meet people. I can be in therapy for year after year after year, and not learn anything at all. I don't think I would learn these things from Ericksonian hypnosis either.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago
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Originally Posted by Earthcircle View Post
I don't know anything about it.

Wait. Is this something like Ericksonian hypnosis? Well, I have tried that. I don't think that hypnosis is what I need. I need basic advice: like how to do simple things, like clean, fold clothes, carry on a conversation, meet people. I can be in therapy for year after year after year, and not learn anything at all. I don't think I would learn these things from Ericksonian hypnosis either.
Do you have some money? Have you considered sharing a flat for a while with responsible people? I am sharing and we have very strict rules about cleaning for instance. We clean at every room once a room but we do a complete cleaning: we mop twice, clean all over the furniture, etc.

I find cleaning one of the easiest skills Iīve acquired.

NLP has hypnotic components. I believe one of the main principles of it is not to relive past experiences but to create a new compelling present.

Also, I donīt know if you have heard of Joe Dispenza. He has some excellent books on changing lives based on scientific research. He describes how to create new synaptic conections by linking thought to action. Anthony Robbinsī Awaken the Giant Within. If you have an internet connection or a library near by, therapy may remain cheaper than you think.

I have tried to cure myself by reading many books and putting the ideas set out in them into practice. I find the actual movement part the most difficult. And it involved a great deal of pain of having to face emotions that I had been repressing for most of my life. And I sometimes feel afraid. And every now and then I surprise myself by doing things I thought I wasnīt able to do, such as creating an engaging conversation.

Iīm not saying that what works for me will work for you but I find it hard to believe that with intelligent action you canīt come out of your unhappy state. Maybe we can help you find what that action consists of.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago
 

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Do you have some money? Have you considered sharing a flat for a while with responsible people? I am sharing and we have very strict rules about cleaning for instance. We clean at every room once a room but we do a complete cleaning: we mop twice, clean all over the furniture, etc.

I find cleaning one of the easiest skills Iīve acquired.
I pay someone to clean the apartment, which just seems like the easiest approach. My boyfriend just recently moved in with me, and I'm trying hard to imitate him while not letting on like anything is wrong. I am 52 years old, and I have often taken that sort of approach. What saddens me is that, even at this age, I have to take such an approach.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago
 

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If you have an internet connection or a library near by, therapy may remain cheaper than you think.
I'm in therapy. I am just worried that this therapy will be the same as all past therapy. I think I need supportive therapy, the kind of therapy which treats the patient as being cognitively compromised. I have a PhD, so that is a little ironic. But I think I need it anyway, since there are many basic things I don't know. For example, when I see people use silverware I am amazed at how they do it. My use of silverware is really much cruder, and I worry that people will notice.

Quote:
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I have tried to cure myself by reading many books and putting the ideas set out in them into practice. I find the actual movement part the most difficult.
I have read lots of books. The only one that really did anything was Stop Obsessing, by Foa. Really effective for OCD. But most books don't address my problems. Imagine a book called How to Use Cutlery. Ha!
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Old 3 Weeks Ago
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Therapy is what helped me sort Some of my issues out. But here is the important thing;

No mental health professional (MHP) will EVER be able to 'cure' or 'improve' you.

The only person that can, is you. MHP's can present you the tools for you to work on yourself. They cannot do it for you.

Recovery/improvement has to be self driven. From seeking out help in the first place, to trying meds, CBT and any other tools or methods, YOU are the one that has to drive this.

It's tough. It really is. Especially the re-training your faulty thinking CBT. But this is where I found most of my improvement happened. I learned to become a bit more positive and - most importantly - accept myself for who I am today.

I was lucky enough to choose a MHP who was very good at his job. Like all professions there are good ones and not so good ones. Don't give up because you haven't found good help yet.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PugofCrydee View Post
Therapy is what helped me sort Some of my issues out. But here is the important thing;

No mental health professional (MHP) will EVER be able to 'cure' or 'improve' you.

The only person that can, is you. MHP's can present you the tools for you to work on yourself. They cannot do it for you.

Recovery/improvement has to be self driven. From seeking out help in the first place, to trying meds, CBT and any other tools or methods, YOU are the one that has to drive this.

It's tough. It really is. Especially the re-training your faulty thinking CBT. But this is where I found most of my improvement happened. I learned to become a bit more positive and - most importantly - accept myself for who I am today.

I was lucky enough to choose a MHP who was very good at his job. Like all professions there are good ones and not so good ones. Don't give up because you haven't found good help yet.
Well, my current therapist says that CBT is like training a dog, and all I have to do is talk. I have had lots of different kinds of therapy, and I almost never get what I really think I need which is supportive therapy. I feel like I need the kind of therapy in which the therapist gives information about how to do simple things in life. But as I grow older my incompetence will increasingly resemble dementia, and perhaps it doesn't matter anymore.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago
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Excuse me to intrude but, why do you think you need therapy to learn how to do the simple things in life? What kind of little things do you feel like you cannot do? Is it possible that therapy fails with you because there is a misunderstanding about what you are supposed to get out of it and no one ever had the idea of explaining it to you?
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Old 3 Weeks Ago
 

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Excuse me to intrude but, why do you think you need therapy to learn how to do the simple things in life? What kind of little things do you feel like you cannot do? Is it possible that therapy fails with you because there is a misunderstanding about what you are supposed to get out of it and no one ever had the idea of explaining it to you?
No one ever taught me to shave, for example. I don't think I'm doing it right. I don't do much of anything right: fold clothes, know how to act at a party, make conversation, clean floors. Of course, I hire someone to do some of these things, but I still feel that something is wrong with me.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago
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I'm just wondering if maybe a part of the issue would be that you are too hard on yourself. Doing things Right is a relative matter. Acting at a party and making conversation is an art that more people than you know do not master. As for taking care of yourself and your place, is your floor clean after you cleaned it? Is your face shaved after you shaved it? Does your way of folding your clothes good enough for you? It doesn't matter if you do it the way the majority does it, or the way you choose to do it, as long as it's working for you.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago
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No one ever taught me to shave, for example. I don't think I'm doing it right. I don't do much of anything right: fold clothes, know how to act at a party, make conversation, clean floors. Of course, I hire someone to do some of these things, but I still feel that something is wrong with me
Nobody taught me how to do these things. I just learnt through trial and error. I think some things cannot actually be taught by others. Like so******ing & personality development; it's a complex series of trial'n'error experiences.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago
 

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Nobody taught me how to do these things. I just learnt through trial and error. I think some things cannot actually be taught by others. Like so******ing & personality development; it's a complex series of trial'n'error experiences.
I don't know how to swim or ride a bike.

When I was a teenager, the therapy was of some use: I learned how to find a job, find an apartment, pay rent, and just a little bit about conversation. But, since then, the therapy has been useless. (Ironically, the therapist who actually taught me things was also very abusive at times.)
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Old 3 Weeks Ago
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Ha! Folding clothes, I buy clothes that don't need folding. I haven't used an iron for nearly 25 years.

I know how to act at parties, I leave.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago
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I don't know how to swim or ride a bike
I must admit, i had lessons to learn to swim (was slow to pick it up).
With learning the bicycle, i had a guide - namely guide-wheels. But i picked that up after sufficient practise.
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