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  1. #31
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    I think the purpose and style of the therapy will be all important.

    I cant see anyone who believes that others are going to bleed them dry being able to muster the empathy and master the active listening skills involved in therapeutic relationships, even in brief therapy and solutions focused brief therapy that's pretty much requisite, requisite to forming any kind of therapeutic alliance or the kind of attachment necessary even an initial assessment.

    At the initial assessment stage there needs to be opportunities for the sort of openness and honesty which will determine what sort of therapeutic intervention or style is to be employed, or determine if the therapist even uses that style or form of intervention, if you take the example of the Sopranos, which was mentioned already, the therapist in that is advised by another therapist to stop seeing Tony Soprano, she's either a depth psychologist or person centred therapist from what I've seen of the show up to that point and the therapist advising her rightly points out that Tony isnt lacking insight, which is what both of those approachs are about, and therefore should be referred to a cognitive behavioural therapist.

    CBT therapists are more about motivation and targetting clearly defined patterns of thinking, or more likely acting, habits, and the therapeutic alliance is more precisely about tracking together progress, set-backs, relapse cycles and the like. I am not convinced that being a domineering or directive personality is necessarily going to work.

    Whatever the approach, from the brief therapy/solutions focused brief therapy, which is the most short term in theory, to depth psychology practitioners, which is much more long term, there's going to be terminable and interminable cases, from the days of Freud therapists have speculated as to what causes that or why it is, there's no hard and fast answer even yet but the findings from neuro-psychology about attachment being patterned on the brain I find pretty persuasive.

    Attachment style dictates a lot and will influence what Freud first describes as "transference", which can be a good or a bad thing, its most simply the application to every relationship the affects and emotions associated with the first attachment relationship. It could well determine whether any therapeutic alliance is possible from the outset, whether the therapy is going to be terminal or interminal etc. etc.

    Sometimes the people who seek therapy to change a specific problematic behaviour, like alcoholism or paranoia, will go into what's called spontaneous remission or appear to recover rapidly because they the therapeutic alliance itself has permitted the satisfaction of a developmental need which has remained unsatisfied, or more likely it compensates for a developmental deficit while it lasts. At least that's one of the conclusions reached from the "good marriage" or "good friends" explanation of why so many people who could have disordered, deficient or improvable attachment styles manage to cope or function without ever having a breakdown, ever requiring a break through or ever coming to the attention of a therapist.

  2. #32
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fia View Post
    It is worth mentioning that it is considered unethical in counseling to deliberately impose your own values onto a client because as a vulnerable individual it is wrong to coerce their thinking.
    Its of course unethical or wrongful but its also likely to be totally ineffectual, a lot of the training which is being deployed in my workplace (residential social work) is catching up with this now but its something I've always thought, people can be quite studies in determining what's necessary to bluff or feign compliance, if that's what started in a therapeutic session its all for nothing and pointless. Its likely to be the case with clients who're vulnerable and want to please their therapists. Its also likely to be the case with reluctant or involuntary clients too.

    There's also the tragic, although not really that common, reality of individuals becoming rudderless, aimless and dependent upon their therapists. Once the therapy is finished and the therapist gone they'll revert to whatever troubles brought them into therapy in the first place.

  3. #33
    No moss growing on me Giggly's Avatar
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    Will the fact that she's doing biblical counseling change anything?

  4. #34
    Rainy Day Woman MDP2525's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Giggly View Post
    That's what I think too but she thinks EVERYONE needs tough and blunt.

    I have a pet theory that if a person grew up in and lives in an environment that's "tough" then they probably need the tender kind of therapy, but if a person grew up in and lives in a tender or mushy environment than they probably need the tough and blunt variety of therapy.

    I was a psych major in college and seriously considered mental health counseling. I understand your friends' remarks....with some exceptions.

    I remember thinking that Woody Allen having been in therapy for 20 years was a failure. No one should need therapy for 20 years. Progress should be made.

    I found that counselors were less likely to know how to bridge their patient into a "How are you going to take this info (progress from therapy) and utilize it to change your life in a positive way?" That's where a tough-love approach can come in handy.

    Basically a good therapist is both soft and tough. Soft at the start and as the patient strengthens the therapist should become firmer in challenging them. (they cannot suggest/tell a patient what to do but they can ask questions of that patient that get different thought processes going). A good therapist should have empathy and should read and adjust their level of firmness or softness to the patient but ultimately have a goal of recovery and independence for that patient. Do you see a sense of empathy in your friend?
    ~luck favors the ready~


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  5. #35
    Rainy Day Woman MDP2525's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Giggly View Post
    Will the fact that she's doing biblical counseling change anything?
    Oh. I just saw this....I bow out here as I'm biased.

    I have a lot of issues with biblical counseling as right and wrong are filtered through biblical interpretations. The people and situations involved take a back seat to whatever the Church believes in.

    To give a real world example, my mother and father went to counseling. She wanted to divorce my father. My father was physically abusive to my mother. Broken bones, etc. This was known by the counselor and because 1) divorce is a sin. 2) it says in the bible to "forgive seventy times seven" 3) it says in the bible to "obey your husband" = she was the sinner. She stayed in the marriage another 4 years because of that. Yeah. I'm not a fan and I don't consider it professional counseling.

    Please anyone don't take my post as an attack on Christianity or God. It was neither.
    ~luck favors the ready~


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  6. #36
    No moss growing on me Giggly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MDP2525 View Post
    Oh. I just saw this....I bow out here as I'm biased. I have a lot of issues with biblical counseling as right and wrong are filtered through biblical interpretations. The people and situations involved take a back seat to whatever ideas the Church believes in.

    To give a real world example, my mother and father (a Pentecostal preacher) went to counseling. She wanted to divorce my father. My father was physically abusive to my mother. Broken bones, etc. This was known by the counselor and because 1) divorce is a sin. 2) it says in the bible to "forgive seventy times seven" 3) it says in the bible to "obey your husband" = she was the sinner. She stayed in the marriage another 4 years because of that. Yeah. I'm not a fan and I don't consider it professional counseling.
    I was wondering why you'd even need a degree for biblical counseling but I'm thinking the degree makes them seem more credible to someone religious who is seeking counseling.

  7. #37
    Rainy Day Woman MDP2525's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Giggly View Post
    I was wondering why you'd even need a degree for biblical counseling but I'm thinking the degree makes them seem more credible to someone religious who is seeking counseling.
    you can be a "counselor" in a church without any degree at all. If you get a degree, like your friend, it's probably from a Bible college. They do not follow the same guidelines for DSMV.
    ~luck favors the ready~


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  8. #38
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by INTP View Post
    Its the other way around.
    Both sympathy and empathy come from the Ancient Greek. And sympathy means to feel the same as, whlie empathy means knowing what the other feels but without feeling it yourself.

    So you can see empathy is a high level skill that requires education, training and practice.

  9. #39
    Senior Member Santosha's Avatar
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    A think that a good therapist has the ability take a deep understanding of the patient and bridge it into optimal function. By optimal function I do not mean what society might dictate as "functional" I mean the optimal mental, emotional and spiritual states of the individual. THe focus of insight and implementation would always take precedence over being soft or friendly (though depending on the individual these tactics will likely build rapport, aiding insight.)

    The act of being a therapist (not just getting a psych degree) usually draws those with tremendous patience, empathy and a deep concern for fellow human beings because therapy is definately not where the big bucks are (for a majority) and its far too draining to chalk up to idealistic and self righteous notions. There may be a few igits that make it through the initial nets but lack staying power. So I don't really believe in "bad therapists," moreso bad combinations. And I think that some people hear the word 'therapist' or 'psychiatrist' and think they are somehow superhumans, with an ability to see right into ones soul extracting it with some fantastical device, make a few adjustments, and send one on their way. It's just not realistic. Humans like anyone else, with their own quarks, fixations and trials.. but they have studied, they've seen some things, and the better ones have probably been around for a while.

    It is just as important for the patient to be committed and open-minded as it is the therapist. More-so infact. We each hold the key to ourselves.. but a good therapist will know which locks they go in and how to open them when the key breaks off.
    Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun - Watts

  10. #40
    Senior Member INTP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    Both sympathy and empathy come from the Ancient Greek. And sympathy means to feel the same as, whlie empathy means knowing what the other feels but without feeling it yourself.

    So you can see empathy is a high level skill that requires education, training and practice.
    Its the other way around

    Empathy is feeling what other person is feeling, sympathy is feeling bad because other is feeling bad/understanding what the other is feeling and having compassion because of those
    "Where wisdom reigns, there is no conflict between thinking and feeling."
    — C.G. Jung

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