“There’s a part of me that knows I should do this. But there’s another part of me that really doesn’t want to.”
How many times have you said this to yourself? Does talking to yourself about “parts” like this mean you qualify for a diagnosis of Dissociative Identity Disorder (previously called Multiple Personality Disorder)? Probably not. However, I have had the honor of working with people who have this diagnosis. I call it an “honor” because my sense is that someone who suffers from this does not let on about it to just anyone. In any case, in working with these people, it came to me one day that everyone (including me and including you) has something in common with them.
“The easiest way to get from point A to point B is with a vehicle that runs on alphabet soup.” ~ Jarod Kintz
Imagine for a moment that you have been feeling down for a few weeks plus a little tense at times. You’ve been to your doctor, who prescribed some medications with weird-sounding names (the topic of another article in the future). Your enlightened doctor also suggested that you seek out a therapist with whom you can talk things over. You go to your insurance company’s website to find someone who has an office nearby and takes your insurance. Suddenly, as if this was really what you needed at this time, you become faced with a laundry list of names, all having letters after their names. How can you tell who is whom? Well, let’s see if I can help.
“I’m afraid our time is up.” ~ Said at one time or other by most therapists
Why not a 15-minute hour, like a physician? Why not a 60-minute hour, like on most people’s watches? Why an hour in the first place? Good questions all. And the answers do not involve any evidence-based reasons that I know of. It’s all about the convenience of the therapist. Or it’s because that’s what insurance companies pay for. Same thing?
There is something in every one of you that waits and listens for the sound of the genuine in yourself. It is the only true guide you will ever have. ~ Howard Thurman
I recently read a book by Thomas Moore called, “A Religion of One’s Own.” Here, Dr. Moore, a former Catholic monk and now an author, therapist, and professor, tells his story of pulling in religious and spiritual traditions from various places and developing a “religion” that works for him. He also leads the reader through a process of doing this for him- or herself. In this spirit, if you engage me as your therapist, I will guide you toward a “psychotherapy of your own,” one that works for you in every possible way.
“You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say or do can and will be used to help you. You have the right to bring anyone with you. If you cannot afford therapy, your therapist will work with you to address this problem. Do you understand these rights?” ~ Dan Metevier, PsyD
No doubt you recognize these words, or words that sound similar. If you watch any kind of “cops and robbers” TV show, then I know you’ve heard something like this coming out of the mouth of a police officer. Miranda rights were established in 1966 from the United States Supreme Court case of Miranda v. Arizona. The Miranda warning protects a suspect’s Fifth Amendment right to refuse to answer self-incriminating questions. The Therapy Miranda Rights, on the other hand, help clients understand some of the “rules of the game” before engaging in the therapy process.
Note: This is a response to an article called, “Ignoring the Evidence: Why Do Psychologists Reject Science?” by Sharon Begley in Newsweek on October 12, 2009. Click here to go to this article.
Psychologists reject science because it’s too primitive to be useful! The human brain and mind are far too complex for the current state of psychological science to be truly useful in the treatment of many or most real-life psychological issues.
Note: If you have not read Part One, please do so before embarking on this article. Thanks!
In Part One, we looked at how therapy can change our brains regarding relationships. Now, let’s look at how therapy can change our brain in another way.
Let’s imagine our brain is a large (very large) collection of roads, ranging from dirt roads to superhighways (or freeways, depending on where you’re from). These roads get Continue reading
What really happens to your brain when you go to a therapist? Hey, be kind!
Let’s start from the very beginning (a very good place to start). In the beginning, our brains have a lot of “hardware,” estimated at one hundred billion brain cells, but they have very little “software.” We only have “programs” that let us do things like cry, sleep, poop, suck, poop again (and did I mention poop? Oh, and cry too).
No, I’m not writing a send-up of the Slow Movement or the book that exemplifies the movement’s principles, although what I’m writing about fits that movement well.
I am inviting you, dear reader, to slow down your self-improvement efforts so you can catch up with them and let them integrate within you. I am inviting you to accept how Continue reading
I have a small sign in my office that reads:
Notice: This office has been designated a Judgment-Free Zone. Please set your expectations accordingly. Thank you.
While said in jest, it also means a lot to me. In my work with clients, and in my own work in therapy, lack of judgment (me judging them or them judging me) has been the most significant aspect of success.