Is therapy not working for you? Do you feel disappointed in how your therapist and you interact? Do you not seem to be getting to the root of your problems? Do you feel that something is missing? Sometimes in these cases, patients don't know what to do except let therapy drag on until they find a new therapist. Or, they let the feelings of dissatisfaction build up until they reach the point of total frustration and then suddenly quit. Either right away or after a time, they search for someone new. Is there anything you can do to stop this vicious cycle and get the help you want? If you are dissatisfied, you might consider discussing with your therapist the problems with how therapy is going. Tell your therapist why you aren’t happy with therapy or with him (or her). Your genuine feelings should be validated. Your therapist should not be defensive. Give your therapist the chance to correct issues that are alienating you. (Sometimes, your therapist might offer an explanation of why certain processes are in your best interest. Try and stay open to this. You can always discuss anything questionable with a friend, mentor or another therapist.) Remember, you can be your own best advocate.* Preventative Measures One of the best ways to thwart problems is
Your Belief System: The Longer-Shorter Path In the last post, we focused on coping skills and strategies, which are the emotional scaffolding upon which your life reconstruction can begin. In this post we'll discuss your general belief system. This may include beliefs about who you are, how much self-determination you believe you have, spirituality/religious beliefs, what your life is truly about, and so on. These are the foundation upon which your life actually rests. A dysfunctional belief system is a set belief or group of beliefs that impair an individual’s ability to function in a mentally, emotionally, intellectually, spiritually, and physically healthy manner.
Your Emotional Scaffolding: Developing Coping Skills The systematic, yet personal approach that I believe really works is a combination of the use of proven treatment methods and the therapist’s techniques. Effective therapists primarily use proven treatment methods supported by their own studiously developed personal techniques. Whenever possible (and that is the vast majority of the time), it's important for your therapist to first help you improve—or, if necessary, develop from scratch—your emotional scaffolding comprised of your coping skills and strategies, before digging up and exploring your past.
It's all about feelings. When a person struggles with a sense of self and they aren't sure who they are, they aren't sure how to experience, live with, or manage their thoughts and feeling. Feelings especially can become baffling, annoying or painful. In many years working in both mental health and addiction, I've found that in general, people try drugs or alcohol, and end up abusing them, because they want to change, forget or control a feeling or feelings. Changing a feeling can be as simple as
*Let's begin answering this essential question: What is therapy, really? By definition, psychotherapy is “The treatment of mental or emotional problems by the use of techniques that are tailored to the unique problems and backgrounds of the individual and that may include talk therapy, behavioral modification, medication, and other treatments.” The goal of psychotherapy is to help resolve an individual’s mental and emotional problems and, at the same time, teach that individual how to attain the skills needed to deal with life on life’s terms. Therapy is also an inner journey with the therapist as guide. With a good therapist assisting you, your emotions (what you feel) begin to get in sync with your intellect (what you know). When your head leads and your heart follows, the world becomes an easier, more meaningful place in which to live. Therapy is not about
How do you deal with the difficult people in your life? People for whom you seem to walk on eggshells, trying to avoid unwittingly provoking their anger. People who must be in control of every personal exchange so their superiority shows. People who try and control you with insults or put downs. People who try to emotionally manipulate you. People you can never please. People who are caught in a spiral of negativity. People who lie.
Therapy with a treatment plan, that handy guide to setting and achieving your emotional and behavioral goals, holds the therapist and client to accountability and boosts the potential for positive change. You can also make a self-improvement plan, something simple, easy to implement, and effective. There is some similarity to the treatment plan you might use in therapy, except you can do this on your own (or with a friend, adviser, or even if you like, your therapist.) Step 1: EVALUATION If you wanted to buy a car,
Finally, Reason In The Nature vs. Nurture Debate From ScienceDaily a viewpoint that makes sense: Evolutionary science stresses the contributions biology makes to our behavior. Some anthropologists try to understand how societies and histories construct our identities, and others ask about how genes and the environment do the same thing. Which is the better approach? Both are needed, argues Agustin Fuentes, University of Notre Dame biological anthropologist. "Seeing bodies and evolutionary histories as things that can be measured separate from the human cultural experience is a poor approach and bad science," Fuentes said. "Seeing cultural perceptions and the human experience as unconnected to biology and evolutionary history is equally misguided. Data from a vast array of sources tell us that we need an integrative approach to best understand what it means to become and be human." Therapy Soup weighs in: Now that Agustin Feuntes has got that out of the way, perhaps we can understand that the most meaningful question in many cases isn't nature vs. nurture, as much as do we believe in free will and choice?