Saturday, December 17, 2016

Son of Pessimistic therapy laws*: Some observations since

* In a therapy group, drug-addicted and homeless clients express bravado, wisdom about life and self, and workbook-taught hope. They may break down or break through in individual therapy, but in group they become children influenced by peer pressure and peer support, both detrimental to healing.

* Borrowing the spirit of Woody Allen’s quip – “I hate reality, but it’s still the best place to get a good steak”: The here-and-now is our most desirable place, but is our prison. We are separated in time and mind from mother and father (mommy and daddy) and their help. (See next-to-last observation.)

* Many clients who could keep a job want Social Security Disability Income. I wonder if they are not lazy, but instead are children seeking justice and the free gifts they should have had in childhood.**

* Hurt and anger are so often inextricably fused – like love and need – that we might choose the hurt: That’s the only place we can heal (and touch our most real self).

* On my death bed, I will still need and wish for my self-medicative acts and substances (writing, coffee-and-contemplation, food). Because despite my knowledge and my therapy and some serenity, I will never not be my core self which is loss, pain and un-self.

* The therapists at one mental health center are complacent braggarts or have skin-melting bad breath, and the case managers give daily classes on “growing happiness” and “building self-esteem,” neither of which could happen with ten thousand worksheets and checklists. Our profession is mostly stupid and amateurish, not a half-an-inch different from the rest of the world.

* We cannot grow from a neglected or abused dependent child to an independent adult. This disturbing insight is my own and I am sticking to it. Notwithstanding my frequent if not daily efforts to help a client grow strength and autonomy, I know that lack of a loving dependency in our childhood leaves us a baby needing to be held forever (though that lack often grows a defensive character of pseudo-strength and independence). Unfulfilling parents keep us incomplete and stuck in time. To our dying day we need, almost to the point of engulfment.

* Best therapy would be a couple years away on an island refuge or in a sanitarium on a secluded estate, beyond the quiet or loud imperatives of life, with the therapist often there. This is because every moment in the consciousness-demanding present – in here-and-now life – is a strain, a wrongness to someone whose vital but bleeding core is ensconced in the past. And that is where the hurt adolescent and adult are, despite everything we want to believe. The present is being trapped in a strange dimension for most people. In this wrongness, they grow rage and delusion, starve or run blindly. They believe fake news, make their hurt and fear decay to anger.

* Peer support, love, and helping a person can push the storm and the emptiness away, to different degrees.

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Comments are welcome, but I'd suggest you first read "Feeling-centered therapy" and "Ocean and boat" for a basic introduction to my kind of theory and therapy.