In the midst of practising piano here: I reacted too on this of course, that he thought we had spoken enough about childhood (?you know one can?t, it can be too much!? is it so many therapists thinks they shall react? I try to understand this). And a while later he (because it was a he not a she!) said: ?I think I can help you!? as a reply to something I had said. And that made me see warning-flags: ?No, not another saviour!? So I ended the therapy soon after this.
You wrote: ?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.?
Karin: So true!! What?s the point?
D.R.B.: I don't know what your psychologist wanted to do instead.
Karin: So true that too! I haven?t thought of it: what did he want to do instead?? What were we there for too?
D.R.B.: If a psychologist is not a actually a healer, but a pedagogue, she/he may believe that her job is to ?teach? coping strategies. That's a symptom of misguided assumptions underlying many schools of psychotherapy.
Karin: Yes, is it so?? Are they after all pedagogues?? Or do they see themselves as that (though not consciously)? Yes, is it a misguided assumption underlying many (maybe almost all??) schools of therapy?
D.R.B.: I think it's dishonest or deluded to claim that teaching ?strategies? is something other than ?skills training?.
Karin: So true again! They should say that they are skills trainers?? Phew I say!! Do I have to be clever again entering a therapy-office?? The clever, good girl? Maybe even a virtuoso? Observe the (self)irony.
D.R.B.: 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. It just turns the search for a therapist who cares about your feelings into a difficult task.
Karin: Yes, difficult was the word! And how well said!
D.R.B.: If skills training actually improves coping abilities and interpersonal relationships, it should be taught in schools -- for the benefit of society as a whole.
Karin: Yes, how clever of you!! You are wise!! Yes, if it is about this why don?t we?? It would save a lot of money! For the society not least!
D.R.B.: In fact, I think one of Alice Miller's blind spots is that she recommends to readers that they seek an 'enlighted' therapist. But that leads to problems because ideal therapists are very few and far between. Most of her readers will encounter the same experiences as you describe. Authoritarian figures who treat their clients as "dull" and brush aside their real concerns. Maybe there is no ideal solution if a reader can't find a genuine enlighted witness who doesn't behave like someone with 'superior' knowledge.
Karin: Yes, she seems to have blind spots? Yes, I also think ideal therapists are few and far between.
Authoritarian figures yes, which has to maintain their power and superiority? At last? At last have someone under them, someone dependent on them and seeing up at them? Even if they probably aren?t aware of this fact. That?s what they are taught too during their training?
When I was 33 I had started to awake with agony in the mornings. My seven year younger sister had got her first child. I had no children, no family or anything, was only working, and working hard. My maternal grandfather died this spring (in February I think) 87 years. My maternal grandmother had died 2 years earlier, on her 91st year. So now I had taken a step up in generations. These grandparents stood me nearer than my paternal (they died a little more than 10 years earlier, 88 and 86 years old). I had been working hard at work too, with a new, young boss, a very enthusiastic and creative?
I wonder if I had landed in an early 40-year crisis. ?Was this all?? Where am I going? Is it like this my whole life is going? In the same pattern/manner??
And I thought one shouldn?t feel as I felt, so I contacted the psychiatric clinic where I live. They wanted me to write a self-admission note (sj?lvremiss in Swedish).I got no reply and started my summer-vacation, and an education, a second to church-musician. During this I got a time with a female psychotherapist (educated from Social College in the bottom).
The background to why and how I landed in therapy.
During the fall my youngest sister came to the town where I lived to practice during he education at School for Social Workers (college). She practised at the psychiatric clinic here. Once when I visited her there lay a book on her bed. Miller?s first book, I read the cover and thought it was about me. She had borrowed it at the library at the hospital (the biggest hospital in this county). In it it was a message pasted from the librarian something about this book that it was difficult to read and/or grasp.
But I bought it and read it. I was in the midst of the therapy and got very anguish again, even worse than earlier?
But then I felt validated by her book that I wasn?t dull. I had started to doubt on myself entirely? So no, I am not dull? But this male therapist, whom I contacted in May because the female therapist should leave her workplace, ignored what I had read, and what I had written.
Once in the beginning I happened to mention that I wrote a lot, wrote diary, and he then replied immediately that maybe not all would reach him. I got cold with fear (!!!! Think if I did anything wrong! Horrible!) so I sent him my ?productions?! With all my thoughts and reflections. No reactions on anything of it. I don?t know if it was me who should have taken what I had written up with him? (he was psycho-dynamically oriented?).
This resembles how my dad behaved towards me?? Both these two men with longer educations than I!!! Needing to demonstrate their superiority?
Maybe this was his ?method? too?? Phew! No indignation ever from him. He instilled even more guilt in me? By saying a one occasion that one could lively understand how my dad felt in a situation? But this is a long story (both the therapy and about my parents).
Yes, on a walk this afternoon I thought that in many cases it is perhaps better to deal with it on ones own? The best one can.
But the sad thing is that for the ones less needing help it is easier to leave a bad therapy, the more harmed the more difficult?
Hug to you, warm and sisterly