Monday, March 28, 2011

re: Psychotherapy. . . . . .Part Two

Our conversation was set in movement by this comment from GREG

This has gpt me wondering.......

Therapy. Professional help. Shrinks.

In my experience, here in Oz, we don't tend to turn to others to seek help with our problems to understand ourselves etc.

We tend to just deal with it, to work it out for ourselves.
Im fact. we wonder at the Americans who almost immediatley just go to a complete stranger and blurt out ou problems and let them outline ho to deal with it instead of taking respnsibility and deal with it ourselves.
Dunno, but that is how I see it, we tend to self-help.

Is that bad, is that good?

Sure, I'm for self-help, but is this a step too far? Trusting others?


This is my reply:

Hi Greg. . . I want to take a bit of time to reply to your post. . . .I think Gary summed things up in a nutshell. . . .clear and simple. . . in his comments.  I'd like to reply to your email by explaining a bit what I do/will do, etc. . . and using this to share with the group.  I hope this will be OK  with you.  If you prefer, just let me know.

In the school of psychology [that is, approach, style, etc] I am involved with  I guess I'd say I tend to lean a lot on the Rogerian approach in that my style is/will mainly but not entirely nondirective therapy.

While there will "teaching" or "instruction" in therapy sesssions, the therapist is not solving the person's problem[s] for him but rather giving him tools to work things out for himself.   Since his problems are not mine I can be more detached [ that means able be objective, to see things more clearly. . . .]

My approach -- and it is not original to me. . lol. . .--- is teaching/assisting  by "education". . .from the Latin verb educare. . . .to draw out from. . . .by using various compassionate, emphatic style I would lead the patient to tell me what his problem is, how he got there, how he feels and how it affects self and others. . ..the answers all lie within the person. . . I assist in drawing them out of himself. . .in other words, I lead him to tell himself [by telling me] what is going on in his life. . . .

Once he can admit, . . ..denial often is a safety valve which slows us down till we are ready to deal with something. . . and own the feelings, what he is or isn't doing, we can draw out of him the solution which will work for him in easing off the pain and inaction/reaction. . . .by drawing the tools out of himself,  he can select what and how he is going to handle things.

Of course we must all work things out for ourselves, and a therapist can help him to stop spinning his wheels, getting no where alone, and begin to live a more happy and satisfying life. . . . .

People usually come to a therapist when they reach a point when they need help to work things out.

We don't solve a person's problems, we facilitate him to resolve his own.  Lots of people spin their wheels going nowhere. . . .a little educare  can help to open a whole new world for someone living in crippling depression, anxiety, self-hatred. . . . fear, anger, without hope. . . . . .you've met those kind of people. . .and I am sure you've helped others deal with those things too. . ..especially by sharing with them how you handled this or that situation, and you gave them courage to take another look, try a different approach. . . . . helped them know how good and how loved they are. . . .
righto?  ;-)

peace and joy,


AND  I shall leave Greg the 'last word'. . .here, at least. . . LOL

Yes I agree Gary is about 100% spot on, as he often is.

Yes, by all means use what I wrote, as I hoped that it might trigger some discussion.

A bit more explanation perhaps:
It's funny, we see a lot of US-TV shows here and people are portrayed using therapists all the time, it is almost presented as "normal" for someone to have a therapist...sometimes even as a bragging point or an indication of status even!!!!

But from my observations, Australians rarely admit to using therapists and seeking professional help. Here it is seen more of an admission of weakness or failure etc. Australians (males in particular) cope with life, they see themselves as too strong for that.

We see ourselves as self contained, strong, capable, etc, we have that "have a go" culture.
"Have a go ya mug!" is an oft-heard bit of advice.
Do it, try it, that's the ticket.

The general rule and advice from others,  for everything, is:  "give it a go mate, see how ya go, and if it goes tits-up then give us a shout and we'll give you a hand to sort it out"
It is part of the Australian psyche to encourage others to try for themselves...but at the same time offer assistance if required.

So, when we see Americans almost proudly proclaiming they have a therapist, we sort of, well, cringe. We like to deal with it ourselves...or at least with the help of our mates, not strangers, not professionals.
Well, at least all the Aussie's I know think that way.

Perhaps we are a little too proud and unwilling to seek help when we really do need it? I think that it probably does hold many back from seeking assistance. It's a cultural thing....and perhaps not the most sensible approach.

As for helping or teaching others....
I well know the technique you use to help people. I've used it for years to help others by leading them to their conclusions and goals...not telling them, this way you give them confidence to solve their own problems...
I started doing that with technical stuff at work, and over the years I've used it everywhere, as a leader, as a president of sporting associations/clubs and with friends. Once you help people to stand on their own feet they tend to look after themselves.

I also use it as a way of leading people to ideas, to ways of doing things, to coming up with good ideas and if they think they've arrived at the goal themselves, it gives them a sense of ownership and becomes more of a guarantee that they'll see it through as opposed to just carrying out orders.
Hell, more than once I've been leading someone to an idea or way of doing something that I'd thought of....and during the process the person arrives at a different and even better way. That made me feel extra happy with myself...heehee.

I'm a sneaky manipulative person .... but in a nice way of course.

So, as you can see I agree 100% with your method. If you can lead others into solving their own personal problems it has to work best. They have "ownership" of the solution and will certainly be more inclined to see it through compared to some "expert" telling them what they are doing wrong and need to do etc.

Being a facilitator is a good thing.

Cheers and love mate,


J said...

We shouldn't discuss psychological therapy without mentioning psychopharmacology. As a life-long sufferer of depression I can attest that modern medicine has the power to dramatically enhance the quality of life for those with simple chemical imbalances in their brains. This takes nothing away from talk therapies and, especially, cognitive behavior modification therapies. As for masculine reluctance to seek psychiatric assistance, I see it as arising from the same sense of sexual insecurity that fosters homophobia, or the notion that it is unseemly for a man to cry. (This anachronistic thinking was cleverly exploited by GEICO insurance in an advertisment in which a former Marine drill sergeant turned therapist denounces his patient as "crybaby" who makes him sick.)
Now, is it too much to ask you, Justin, if you will be seeking your doctorate after your masters studies are complete?

Gary Kelly said...

I agree with Greg that a lot of Aussies are too stubborn to seek help because they think it's a sign of weakness. To exacerbate the situation, many refuse to admit there's a problem in the first place. "She'll be right, mate. No worries."

Every journey begins with a single step. In problem-solving that first step is to admit that a problem exists. Once that's outta the way, the rest of the journey falls into place.

If you watch Cesar Millan's TV series, The Dog Whisperer, you'd know all this. More often than not, problems with dog behavior are the fault of the owners, not the dog. Hehe.

So maybe Millan should change the name of his show to The Human Whisperer.

JustinO'Shea said...

Excellent points, J. Thank you. Only a MD psychiatrist prescribes psychopharmacologicak meds.

After MA this June do I continue for doctorate? Maybe. .. but there are/is an enticing offer in the offing. . . more later. ;-)

J said...

I could easily see you leading an outreach/counseling program. Even if it were a modest one (which I doubt), you would make it great.

jimm said...

Looking back, as a teen, there were plenty of signs i needed counseling. But no one stepped forward to suggest that, or help.

And i effectively took to the 'johnwayne-man-up' mode for many years.

The stigma: Getting therapy was for crazy people. That was the thinking. Anyone who got therapy never admitted it, for everyone would think them loony. Not to mention the shame they and their family would feel. God forbid.

I'd like to think it is different now, but is it really?

I'd like to add some to the pharmaceutical bit. Nowadays, first they invent the drug, then they invent an illne$$.

JustinO'Shea said...

I think, JIMM, the important things is that YOU stood up and did what was needed yourself. . . .perhaps if it had happened earlier it could have saved you a lot of pain. . . and pain is often a "crippler" in that in pain we are just unable to do anythng by ourselves. . we can't even get started.
Somewhere along the line in your life, JIMM.,you did it. . you got what you needed and you live. .. a lot freer than at another period.

Am i correct? ;-)


Coop said...

Greg says:

"The general rule and advice from others, for everything, is: "give it a go mate, see how ya go, and if it goes tits-up then give us a shout and we'll give you a hand to sort it out"
It is part of the Australian psyche to encourage others to try for themselves...but at the same time offer assistance if required."

My impression of therapy is exactly that, Greg. The person is perfectly capable of trying something on his own. The therapist is there to help sort things out.

Aussies probably see the therapist as the complete stranger. Why go see the shrink when y' can give a shout out to a friend?

jimm said...

J, i hated that Geico commercial, so demeaning.

Mostly what our Oz friends are citing is a support system. We all need that, but what happens when you don't have that life-raft?

Counseling, stay the course, or worse?

Ppl complimented me becuz i never complained about my hearing loss. So i would just endlessly absorb all of the frustrations. Isn't that stupid?

You're right, Justin, i had to do the legwork myself. Counseling won't change my hearing, nor will it make society accept gays. But it did help me justify how i felt, and rebuild my confidence.

Life is weird.

JustinO'Shea said...

Yepper, JIMM,, life is weird. . .but a nice weird, ya know?!

Look at you. . . life is weird but you are the nice part. . .;-) Look at the crap you've had to deal with. . and likely still are. . .and look how well you are! Unless you list things, I never got/get the impression you are an emotional cripple. . .Au contraire, you seem so balanced, so together. . .a genuinely nice person. . .you aren't breathing fiery anger and venomous rage. . .not at all. You sound like a mature man. . .with definitely your own style and penache. . . hehe. . .stronger and still compassionate and sensitive to justice and kindness. . . all because you used your hard crap to build courage and maturity.

Blush, if you want to. . .you made it!!!
ciao duude. .

jimm said...

awww... im melting...

Thanks, Justin!