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  1. #1
    Senior Member SurrealisticSlumbers's Avatar
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    Default Blind Leading the Blind

    Do you often think about becoming a counselor, therapist, or social worker of some kind but then realize that you might not be a healthy enough person to give people guidance or counsel with their own issues? Have people told you you're a good listener and asked for your advice, but you don't know how to help yourself or handle situations in your own life?

    Have you ever gone through counseling, and was that helpful for you?

    Other (slightly related) question: What, in your opinion, needs to change about mental health care in America today??


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    Shot at close range; left for dead by an unidentified killer, for reasons unknown. After 40 years, no names, few clues...

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  2. #2
    Member Lead Guitar Wankery's Avatar
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    Not sure whether all the questions are addressed only to people who want to work in the mental health field.

  3. #3
    Wake, See, Sing, Dance Cellmold's Avatar
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    All advice is basically just someone else's experiences & insights, repackaged as if they were appropriate to another's.

    Sometimes they are, sometimes they aren't. There's very much a 'the other' element to how this works in that while techniques have been developed categorically (as with negative/positive reinforcement & CBT) the methods are very much in the air as to their effectiveness.
    In any case, having similar issues or a train-wreck of a life has never stopped people giving unsolicited advice to others. Sometimes they can, just because of that train-wreck.

    I think a lot of it is about convincing a person of a more helpful worldview or framing with which to approach the reality of their situation. That depends on the effectiveness of the person giving the information & the willingness of the recipient.

    As for being asked for advice, well a lot of people like a soundboard. I don't think people asking for advice could perceive the person they are asking as being too flawed to give advice, otherwise they wouldn't ask it in the first place. And that's an interpersonal issue no one else but the people involved can solve.

    I never get asked for advice however, which tells you a lot about me & a lot about others & a lot about how perception works.
    'One of (Lucas) Cranach's masterpieces, discussed by (Joseph) Koerner, is in it's self-referentiality the perfect expression of left-hemisphere emptiness and a precursor of post-modernism. There is no longer anything to point to beyond, nothing Other, so it points pointlessly to itself.' - Iain McGilChrist

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  4. #4
    smoking nirvana biohazard's Avatar
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    Honestly, therapy never helped me and actually did more harm than good. I was on a cocktail of medications at one point and was perpetually misdiasgnosed with mental issues when I actually had a disease that was rare.

    So I'm heavily biased and against using pharmaceuticals to alter your mind. Especially when things like depression, anxiety, hyperactivity are due to diet deficiencies, food allergies, and/or starches or sugar.

    I'm also not the kind of person who needs to reflect on my feelings all the time. Doing that really hinders me from acting on my needs or desires. Reflection doesn't help someone as active and full of mental prowness as I. If anything, finding something proactive to put that energy into is far more beneficial for me.

    If I would change one thing about the mental health field, I would eliminate the drugs and make it more about a healthy diet, fostering a healthy environment that eliminated toxins and promoted light (cause vitamin D is essential for depression), and offering different classs like Tai Chi, yoga, weightlifting, different exercises, etc to help a person get out or foster energy. There is no comprehensive approach to mental health. It's all, drug up the person and let them become a lifeless potato. That is no way to live.
    WHERE YOU STOP IS WHERE I BEGIN
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  5. #5
    Senior Member SurrealisticSlumbers's Avatar
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    Enjoying reading everybody's replies!

    I find that modern therapy does little to address the root causes of most mental illnesses. I think most deemed "mentally ill" have encountered some sort of trauma, were misunderstood in their childhoods (likelihood for this is high if you are a rarer Myers-Briggs type), or didn't have a good support network growing up. Right now, people are not getting the care they need, and the people deemed mentally ill are really suffering from the effects of a piss poor economy and the fact that our government is broken. Not only that, but people have forgotten to love. Everyone is walking around like zombies, without any signs of life in their face, and not ever thinking about those around them. It's like that old Simon & Garfunkle song, "The Sound of Silence."

    I'll say it again, unemployment and poverty arising from the current economy have led to a lot of psychiatric conditions in this country, like major depression. That is not the individual's "fault" or anything having to do with them or their organic brain chemistry. I mean, one can be neurologically predisposed to that sort of thing, of course...but it's exacerbated by all the crazy shit going on in the world right now. People want to live out their callings in life. It's human nature. People generally want to work, and to be productive members of society; to provide for themselves. When they are deprived of the ability to do so, they naturally become a bit mentally unstable. It ain't rocket science.

    Frankly, I am unable to be objective when it comes to the healthcare field. The bottom line is that we need a drastic overhaul of the entire system. My opinion only, and I'd welcome a debate on this. But, I think what I am hearing from many of you is that the current system has failed many patients and those seeking help. Medication can only go so far, and the fact is that environmental factors play a big role, i.e. diet.
    Shot at close range; left for dead by an unidentified killer, for reasons unknown. After 40 years, no names, few clues...

    Who are the elusive "Mystery Couple"?
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  6. #6
    Member Lead Guitar Wankery's Avatar
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    I was in therapy for a year during college; it didn't help me. The therapist had no idea what my problem was, and I didn't have enough life experience to really see it myself. She also didn't seem to believe me when I tried to explain my personality; she outright said "I don't believe you" on one occasion. Yet when I lied and told her what she expected to hear, she believed me.

    I went for neuropsych testing several times, and the psychologists clearly didn't listen to me and screwed up basic information about my personal history.

    I doubt that an overhaul of the mental health field will make much of a difference. I'm quite confident that various facets of civilized, industrialized society creates the overwhelming majority of mental illness cases, and mental health practitioners can't fix that.
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  7. #7
    eye of the storm magpie's Avatar
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    You don't seem to be blind to me, OP. I think you have the awareness to make a great counselor.

  8. #8
    SpaceCadetGoldStarBrigade Population: 1's Avatar
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    No one is quote unquote normal. Everyone has issues, it's just the matter of how serious the issue(s) is and how well an individual is handling it. If someone truly grew up with the perfect family and had the perfect life they'd actually fall under the category of abnormal.

    I think it really depends on the individual and what problems they're bringing with them to the profession. Obviously a psychologist that is incapable of dealing with their own issues can do damage to individuals they're supposed to be treating. If anyone thinks there aren't unfit psychologists practicing there are -along with incompetent police officers and medical doctors etc. Hell psychologists go to other psychologists even! The fact is if the profession didn't have other fallible human beings in it, no one would be practicing and people would be psychoanalyzed by computers.

    If someone is asking themselves if they have the right stuff for the job I'd say it's a start compared to the truly delusional who can't and don't question whether they should be in the mental health profession.
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  9. #9
    I could do things Hard's Avatar
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    Had I gone into clinical psychology, I would have been very effective. My current therapist has validated this (we've discussed it). It's easy for me to cut through others emotional fog and get to the root of the matter, and help others walk through their problems and be supportive. I've played "therapist" for many friends over the years.

    I also have bipolar II, and have plenty of neuroses that I have to work on every day in some manner. In some respects I am dysfunctional. I could still do my job though had it been that and helped others. Additionally, therapists are required to see regular counciling, so I'd still be getting my own supportive resources. If anything, I have found my personal struggles have helped me understand others and what makes people tic more than had I not experienced it.

    In essence, ones shortcomings or even mental illness doesn't mean they couldn't be an effective therapist.
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  10. #10
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SurrealisticSlumbers View Post
    Have you ever gone through counseling, and was that helpful for you?
    I was fortunate enough to attend a well run encounter group and it drew me out of myself and into society.

    And I was lucky enough to attend Reichian therapy and discovered my exuberance.

    I was fortunate to attend Gestalt therapy, and was able to reach hidden parts of myself.

    I attended six weeks of counselling and rediscovered my family.

    We live in a therapeutic society, and to those that have, it shall be given, and for those who have not, it shall be withheld.
    Last edited by Mole; 07-11-2017 at 05:38 PM.
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