Is the tide turning?
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Author:  Dennis [ Sun Mar 08, 2009 1:40 am ]
Post subject:  Is the tide turning?

In Sweden the National Board of Health and Welfare has put out new directions that say that people with depressions and anxiety should get therapy and not medication. According to them, Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) gives the same results as medication, but without the side-effects. They also conclude it will cost a lot of money to educate people in CBT. Not a word about prevention though.

Swedish source: here


Author:  Steve [ Sun Mar 08, 2009 9:45 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Is the tide turning?

Hold it. I thought medication worked as well as sugar pills...

Oh wait: therapy don't rot your teeth. I get it. In the long run are therapists' bills less depressing than dentists' though?

No, just kidding. I wouldn't want to take peoples' hope from them (there is no God there is no God) (going to AA makes it less likely you'll quit drinking than if you just go around doing whatever you want) ("left", "right" and "moderate" political "points of view" are equally moronic).

Some of my best friends are therapists. I wish I were kidding about that. I know at least four of them. I mean people I went to school with, stuff like that. One of them even asked me if I wanted to be her boyfriend, back in 9th grade. She was kind of hot, actually, but I said no, thanks, just didn't seem right. I got a great picture of her cleavage a just a few years ago (she was still kind of hot), but then later, when discussing the hypocrisy of the California legislature making a big deal of banning SUVs (sorta/kinda) from the state fleet while the majority of them drove to work in them, she decided I must be racist and so threatened to tell "friends" of hers in East L.A. about me, friends who "weren't so understanding".

No wait I know FIVE personally--I just realized the "God Guy" guy in my old high school group is a therapist too. Two masters degrees, I think. Retired with the full benefits of a state employee at the ripe old age 53 after having been an "educator" in a prison. He blessed me, "too", at Thanksgiving about four years ago and would say things like "PTL" (Praise the Lord) and "God's speed" (sic) and "God made that kid on his way to buy himself a bag of Cheesy-poofs crash into our classmate Jan's car, nearly killing her, in order to remind us how precious his gift of life is." When Cathy's aunt had been misdiagnosed with cancer (it was really just gallstones) his wife's group of Internet Prayer Warriors were credited with what was an obvious "miracle". (If they'd prayed harder maybe God would have turned it into a booger instead? Just easier to get out, is all...) But God Guy just had masters' degrees. The rest all have PhDs.

The next one, Pete, I'd say is a genuinely nice guy. Has foster kids and everything. Don't have any good stories about Pete except that he described his job to me as a university "sports psychologist" as trying to convince as many football and basketball players as possible to finish their degrees before turning pro. Gets big bucks for that. He told me his interest in it began after having been a "trainer" for the high school football team (on which I dearly loved playing the sweet, sociopathic position of defensive end. It's GREAT to just kill guys!).

Two to go but I'm tired. One is a pretty neat crazy lady with legs that are really...well she's making the rest of us not look good is what she's doing with those legs. She yanked me out of a chair to dance with her once, several years back. So that was pretty cool. She's married to another PhD, also in the field.

The last one (that comes to mind) is a college classmate (about to be married to a buddy) who's cooked me more meals than I can count now, including one right here in my very own hovel. Refuses to discuss almost anything "psychological", seemingly especially Miller, and steadfastly maintains that medications are important. And she makes her eleven year old daughter say prayers, too. This lady DID just a few months ago complete a three or four day workshop on that "Move Your Eyes All Around Really Really Fast Therapy". She says it's very scientific! And I believe her!



Author:  Dennis [ Sun Mar 08, 2009 12:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Is the tide turning?

You can say that medication and CBT therapy are two evils, but at least a human being talking to someone about his/ her problems is better than giving a pill and saying: it'll be alright. The side effects of mind-altering medication is a bit more than possible rotting teeth. How about a chemical lobotomy? People who are depressed have a right to find the cause of it. Anyone hiding those causes, is part of the problem in the first place. People need to be more confrontational when it comes to the health of people. Life is not a game.

I don't understand why you posted this picture though. It adds nothing to the discussion. What do you want to say with it?


Author:  Steve [ Tue Mar 17, 2009 9:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Is the tide turning?


It interests me that Carl Rogers, I think, is quoted in one of my encyclopedias saying something like "Early in my career I found myself running out of junk I'd been taught to tell my client. I discovered then that sitting there going 'mmm-hmm' and pretending as though I were interested did as much good as anything else." I think it's significant, too, that Rogers did later come up with the concept of 'unconditional positive regard'--something that I believe shows real insight, his part, and is something not just to cheer about but to practice--but I suppose my broader points are these:

Like it or not, Rogers' training and the training of all professional therapists stem from the same root as that of psychiatry. Put simply, it's a poisonous root! There's no question that medication is completelythe wrong track; I have a hard time believing that a completely natural mechanism for recovery from trauma isn't built-in to all of us already, one that's been there all along, one that doesn't need "discovered", maybe not even "helped along". At least not much. In the case of physical injury physicians really don't do much than to point the body in the right direction--sew the skin together or position a broken bone--nature does more than 99% of the actual work with no further involvement on the part of anyone. There is no "lifetime" anything involved (I'm not including lost limbs here). I think that the greater problem is that the outside, general world is largely ignored as the culprit; injuries become targets, reinjured and reinjured--Fromm is right in saying that the field needs to recognize that "One cannot be deeply responsive to the world without being saddened very often," that ""...psychiatrists and psychologists refuse to entertain the idea that society as a whole may be lacking in sanity. They hold that the problem of mental health in a society is only that of the number of 'unadjusted' individuals, and not of a possible unadjustment of the culture itself."

So yeah--to the extent that a therapist rebels against their own training and background I would absolutely favor that course. Whether they rebelled or not I would still favor therapy over "medication", assuming there were no other option. I still like Neill's observation that just giving people plain, simple freedom is what worked by far the best. I suspect that allowing oneself freedom is finally all there really is to it. I can't forget what looks like turns out now to be the truth about AA: subscribing to its tenets makes it more likely that a person will continue to drink than if they take no steps at all. It seems to me that often therapy (or the search for more effective ones) is itself unhealthily addictive.

I think a person's ability to actually give another "unconditional positive regard" is unlikely to be something tuition can buy; simply telling a student that they must have it in no way actually develops that quality. Having willingly submitted to authority in the first place is problematic here, I suspect, when it comes to therapists. People like Neill show that it's possible to have submitted but still recover from the experience quite nicely of course, proving that formal education is not necessarily a death sentence. I still wonder if it might not be close! I wonder too if an analogy could be made: psychiatry and medication is to therapy what corporal punishment is to "less violent" forms of mistreatment.

But YES I really think the tide is turning, except that it's not a 'tide' at all, I hope. Tides go out and then come back in again! What's wrong in our culture needs to go away and stay away. It's been more destructive than fucking polio. But I think it's dying, I think people will have to fight a bit longer but that the outlook is good.

Nobody should ever quit screaming and yelling about how much it hurts. Because it does. Anything else is just a goddam lie.


Author:  Dennis [ Wed Mar 18, 2009 12:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Is the tide turning?

I basically agree with everything you wrote here. Most people in despair have 2 options: pills or therapy. Pills were and are still dominating in our society. If there are no alternatives, I would prefer therapy. Not because it would solve the problems, but the chances for improvement with human interaction are higher than with pills. Pills cannot listen to a patient. Even if a therapist is damaging a person by his or her poisonous pedagogy, some of them - I hope - will give the impression to the patient that they listen, that they are to be taken seriously. Maybe a handful of therapists will realize after a while that there's a pattern and will follow the same road as Alice Miller, Arthur Janov, and others did, because of the stories they hear. Maybe some patients learn to hear their own voices for the first time in their life. But ultimately it's the lack of empathy in our schools, and society that let these people escalate in their problems. And the lack of freedom to heal. Much like you say when you for example break your arm, your body needs time to heal. If you don't have time to rest, it won't heal properly. It's the same with emotional hurt. They used to say that emotional hurt doesn't leave any scars, that you cannot see it on the outside. But you can. The language of the body and the expression of the face often gives a very good indication.

Freedom is very important and not just an empty phrase used by presidents. You have to take it, no one will give it to you.


Author:  Steve [ Wed Mar 18, 2009 5:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Is the tide turning?

Dennis wrote:
Freedom is very important and not just an empty phrase used by presidents. You have to take it, no one will give it to you.

Not out here in the real world, they won't! Sons of bitches! If I could express one opinion quickly, less than half thought out: the only business any of us has trying to 'influence' anyone else is to help that person find their own courage. Truth does exist, we all know it in our bones, and have all along. I think that it's a common truth, one that transcends differences, transcends cultural "relativism". But we're all scared to death to speak it. Every last one of us lives life in a state of terror, even if it's kept buried. That includes "authorities" and bullies of all types, because they know somehow that they're caught up--seemingly involuntarily--in playing some kind of perverted "role"......

All right I'm losing it. Sympathizing with oppressors is crazy. But still: encouraging each other--specifically encouraging each other to fight for and maintain our own individual freedom--is possibly the highest possible human social function.

"Leaders", therefore, would not be politicians at all, but rather anyone who stuck their neck out, looked stupidity in the face--in the real world--and said "No!" That's pretty tough!

But back to the topic somewhat: it is great that the National Board of Health recommends against medication. (The chimpanzee who tore the woman up so horribly here in the US recently had "even" been served an antidepressant--put into his tea, I think, maybe that morning.) What I'd like to know, though, is why with all Sweden's great child protection laws does it not seem willing to enforce them when it comes to situations like Malmo?


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