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TOPIC TITLE: Am I really extreme???
Created On 7/17/08 1:28 AM
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rainbow
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7/17/08 1:28 AM
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I am seeing a new therapist. After talking to her 'once', she decided that my problem is that I am very extreme because I use words like -everyone-always-never-no one-. She says I see things in either black or white. She says that till I don't change this, I will not become better. I have always used flowery words. That is my way of expression. She wants to change my personality.

Is it so terrible to say "everybody loves this?" or "I never see this person" Of course it is exagerated, but I think it is even more crazy to say "75% of the people love it".

I need some feedback.

Thanx in advance to the 35% of people that will respond to this post.
 
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Aba
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7/17/08 11:50 AM
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Hi Rainbow,
I would definitely say speaking in extreme terms is only good 1.23% of the time. .

Kidding aside from my own experiences I can see some benefit to using more moderate terms.

A. One is less likely to be challenged about the accuracy of the statement being said.

B. Small children, who take things very literally, a statement like you never to X (positive thing) or you alway do Y (negative thing) over some time can really get to them.
I feel the same is true when it come to adults too.

C. Believe it or not and from experience I now believe it, according to Dr. Haim Ginott in "Between Parent and Child", saying things like, "This picture is incredible" will just couse the child to find the negative in his own picture. A better way he says is to describe the picture. A statement like "You are the best child a father could have" will make the child think "If he only knew what I did yesterday when he wasn't home". (I know I'm not doing justice to his point sorry if it isn't clear).

I can understand some concern of losing some ways to express yourself but, if I may, even should one remove some of the more intense colors of the rainbow it will still be quite colorful, pretty, and amazing.

Thats my 2 cents. I hope I'm included in the 35% of the people who get thanks.

By the way I have no idea if you are extreme as the name of topic asks but you did bring up in my opinion an extremely important topic (I'm a really sucker for a bad pun).

Good luck with the new therapist those transitions can sometimes be very hard.

Kol Tuv,
aba of 4


-------------------------
"Success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to do your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming." - Coach John Wooden
 
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bubbs96
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7/17/08 1:16 PM
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well....tho i appreciate the argument against "black and white thinking" and speaking in extremes....i don't know that for a first session this is necessarily helpful feedback(hehe i actually think its kind of "extreme" on the part of the therapist)....obviously it didn't make u feel comfortable or trust her!!

also, there's a difference between "everyone/always, etc" and exaggerations....exaggerations, to me, are more of a problem.....

just my two cents....


-------------------------
"Recovery is a process, not an event."
Even when it doesn't look like it, I am trying, and I'm doing my best in the moment.
 
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gad
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7/17/08 2:50 PM
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Sounds to me like the therapist may be too extreme.

But if you are willing to work with her in spite of her issues and shortcomings, it may end up working. Especially if she has other good points, and if there is potential for a good chemistry between the two of you.
 
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rainbow
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7/18/08 3:50 PM
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Thank You all (abaof4,bubbs96,gad) for answering.

abaof4,
A. I usually am not challenged because I do not literally s-t-r-e-t-c-h the truth.
B. Kids are always first to use such terms as 'everyone in the class did ......'
C. I did not get this point.
Changing therapists is a challenge.

Bubbs,
you got the picture well. I don't exagerate, I will say for example that "everyone at the wedding looked great" Or that "no one wears this style anymore" just everyday terms so many of us use.
I have seen many therapists already....She is the first one that made me feel like 2 cents.

gad,
I am going to give it another shot, but I will not allow her to intimidate me. My depression and panic attacks are not my 'fault'. I understand that is something 'I' have to work on, but not something that I can be 'blamed' for.


For now, I am still waiting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Rainbow
 
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Aba
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7/21/08 10:31 AM
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>C. I did not get this point.
I knew I wasn't doing justice to the idea but I tried anyway to give it over, sorry.

>Changing therapists is a challenge.
My wife went for on and off with therapists for 6 months till she found one she could work with it wasn't easy. She just switched again, the last one retired. Needles to say it was very unsettling on her and the rest of the household.
I truly don't understand, as you commented in Dr Price's forum, that the clinic has rules against switching, it seems counter intuitive.

>I am going to give it another shot, but I will not allow her to intimidate me. My depression
>and panic attacks are not my 'fault'. I understand that is something 'I' have to work on, but
>not something that I can be 'blamed' for.
Your attitude is very impressive and gives me "chizuk". Good luck.

All the best,
Aba of 4


-------------------------
"Success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to do your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming." - Coach John Wooden
 
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rainbow
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7/22/08 10:47 AM
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I have seen this therapist again. This time I came with an attitude. B"H the session was pretty good. I was more assertive, (it was one of my 'good' days) so I did not feel so threatened by her. She still tried to make me feel 'guilty' for my problems, According to her I can be totally fine if I really want too..... This gets me mad. If I didn't 'want' to get better, I wouldn't be going for therapy. (and taking meds)
 
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frumsw
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7/22/08 12:06 PM
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Without sounding like I'm taking the side of the therapist because I'm not and there are plenty of lousy ones out there, just like in every other profession, the whole basis of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is that if you change the way you think and by extension the way you express your thoughts, you will change the way you feel. So that by saying, "everybody was dressed so well at the wedding except for me", you would feel worse than saying, "most of the people dressed well". I wonder if this is what she is saying in a rather blunt way. This method does put all of the responsibility of change on the client. The "kuntz" is to make the client feel heard and understood and then discuss what they should do.


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frumsw
 
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bubbs96
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7/22/08 12:18 PM
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so, it's interesting....i sort of just had that "fight" with my therapist last night....I'm about to go (back) into the hospital for eating disorder treatment, and we were discussing the fact that I am panicking, not wanting to go, and feeling "forced" into treatment by my team (who will not work with me if I don't do this bc I am so sick)....

obviously, going into it feeling forced isn't a recipe for success...i have to feel like it comes from me. but i'm at a place now that i just can't figure out WHY i want it, and so i'm using wanting to keep my team as that reason....

yes, i can recover if i "want" to....the problem is that i don't know how to "want to" anymore....that's where we (I) keep getting stuck....so is it helpful for a therapist to constantly remind me that it's all up to me, or is it more useful for her to try to empathize with how hopeless I feel, and try to give me encouragement?.....honestly, i think there's a time and place for both....

just my perspective....different styles work for different people....for me, a therapist who is so strict with the theoretical model and doesnt leave space for empathy doesnt work for me....but i know that style does work better for others who need their therapist to be "tougher" on them...


-------------------------
"Recovery is a process, not an event."
Even when it doesn't look like it, I am trying, and I'm doing my best in the moment.
 
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HopefulMommy
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7/22/08 10:13 PM
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Bubbs, hope you won't have to stay in the hospital for long. Good luck! We'll be thinking of you while you're there.

I have mixed feelings about the original question. I've done cbt, and I don't think I would have been able to funciton without it. But cbt does put "blame" on the patient. One of the books my therapist gave me actually said that people can make themselves mentally ill by their destructive thought patterns. I found it offensive.

I haven't figured out for myself yet how much of my issues are my "fault" and how much is chemical. I tend to feel guilty whenever I have a set back.

But empathy is definitely important. Forget mental health -- even if someone you know got herself into a big mess, even if it was her own fault, wouldn't you empathize first, and then problem solve?
 
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rainbow
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7/24/08 1:11 AM
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Bubbs,
you are right about some people needing a tough therapist.
I know someone who is going to a thrapist for about 6 years, and nothing is changing, because she is still making a pity party about her childhood. She needs someone to tell her that it's water under the bridge and she should go on with life. (her childhood problems were not abuse, or anything even close to that)
I feel that a therapist should have a little biit of empathy too.

Is it normal that she never asked me about my family? If I was married, had kids, had family support? Kinda weird that she never asked me anything about my daily life...


HopefulMommy-

I loved your post. I understand the concept of DBT, (even tried it for a while in a group.) But I feel that it just made me doubt if it is chemical or my fault.

I agree about the empathy, And I fully understand that 'I' am the one choosing how to react to situations. But I would like her to do the therapy part, and HELP me find a way to accept things and feel better. She is like a walking textbook. But she expects ME to know what is written there. I feel like I am back in school


I don't know if I am right or wrong, but could it be that severe trauma and grief is what is keeping me from getting better? If so then I need grief counseling first.
 
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rainbow
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8/3/08 3:14 PM
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My last session was a bummer. My therapist is good at telling me to take the blame for my deppression, but she did not have an answer to my problem of dealing with overwhelming grief. At least she did not try to tell me that I was to 'blame' for feeling extremely sad on the loss of a loved one.
B"H I did not come out of there worse than I went in.

If I would have the answers, I wouldn't be going to a therapist to help me.

Still waiting for the light at the end of the tunnel.

Rainbow
 
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frumsw
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8/7/08 2:04 PM
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Sorry to hear things are not working out with this new therapist. A note about grief: sadness and depression are normal reactions to a loss. There really isn't anything or anyone that can take it away except for time. When these reactions are lasting longer than they are supposed to or more extreme than "normal", then you need help. I can tell you that the therapist I was seeing before my baby died and during the whole situation was pretty useless in helping me feel better about his death. She was a pretty decent therapist but it was a pain I just had to get through without shortcuts. Of course when I blamed myself and felt that I was a defective human being for it having happened I compounded my own pain but Thank G-d, 1 day probably about a year later, I woke up and stopped beating myself up which helped tremendously. Hatzlacha to you.


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frumsw
 
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