1. ScHaLl
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    ScHaLl Senior Member

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    Psychological Therapy

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by ScHaLl, Feb 6, 2009.

    I just had a debate with my girlfriend about the pros and cons of psychological therapy and treatment.
    She stated it would be unnecessary because those that go there would be losing their **** over too simple trifles and meaningless problems that they should cope with themselves and those that don't, as I brought of examples of abused children or something to the likes, couldn't be helped by it because their problems would be way too deep within. It may prevent them from committing suicide (yeah, it went pretty worst-case) but they'd go on with their life suffering.

    What do you think about it? There are some questions I got and I'd like your opinions on them.
    Do psychologists help in those worst cases?
    Do they involve themselves in problems that should not bother them?
    Do people who go there just make a big jazz about small problems, in general?
    Can psychological treatment get people to talk about their problems if they really don't want to be helped in the first place?
    Does it just save some lifes but make them a torture afterwards?

    Those and of course, your own personal input.
     
  2. Ashleigh
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    Ashleigh Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well god help those psychologists if they dont help them.

    Just look what happened to Bruce Willis!


    But seriously - people usually have to get refferred to a psychologist or pyscho therapist when they have deep and dangerous problems that could harm them or those around them. Otherwise, they'll just go to councillers. It depends on the severity. Better that the help is available, and even if it doesnt save them from harming themselves, then you know what? The psychologist cant be blamed. They're only human too.

    Some people are beyond help. It's sad, but true.

    Personally..I dont like the sound of it. I wouldnt really like some stranger to tell me exactly how i feel, give me 'advice, and then charge me for it. That's just me though.
     
  3. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    FAIR WARNING - potentially inflammatory topic

    Just a caution to keep it friendly and respectful, folks. The thread will be shut down te moment it becomes inflammatory,
     
  4. ScHaLl
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    ScHaLl Senior Member

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    I agree that some people are really beyond any help. That sure is sad and that sure is depressing, though.
    And your last point sounds a lot like the point she made as well. Why would you talk to some stranger that you pay to listen to you? She says you wouldn't, if you don't want to. I assume psychologists should know what they do. And they will know how to help you and how to make it so you accept help.


    Wait, what? Did I go unrespectful somewhere or is this just precaucious?
     
  5. lordofhats
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    lordofhats Contributing Member

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    It's important to differentiate from a psychologist and a psychotherapist. All psychotherapists are psychologists but not all psychologists are therapists. Not all psychological professionals actually do therapy. A lot of them do studies and conduct research of the mind and don't actual do anything along the lines of counseling.

    It depends on the psychotherapist and the the person. If the person can be helped and is seeing the right person it can help a lot. Its a complicated issue and it's not easily described. It's really going to be different for each person and who they are getting help from. Some people can get all the help they need from an attentive or supporting family/friend base. Sometimes though when there's nothing else to fall back on, or in certain cases, a stranger is the only person who can help. It's a two way street. Both sides are active participants in the matter, and if one refuses to work with the other it gets stalled real fast.

    Not that I'll disclose my own experiences but I do know. It helps.

    Psychotherapists only get involved because people ask them to (and pay them). Psychologists who conduct surveys and research might get involved in things that are none of their business but I think that actual counseling therapists that you are actually referring too do not.

    Considering that anti-depressants are given to anyone who says "I feel sad" yes. A lot of the time people will act like the tiniest depression is something needing a sit down when it's really not. There are a lot of people with legitimate problems and need talk therapy but I think there's an equal number of drama queens/kings who just want attention from anywhere they can get it and who overreact to every little thing.

    See my answer to #1.

    #1 again
     
  6. Henry The Purple
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    Henry The Purple Active Member

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    The argument seems civil.

    I think psychologists provide a good service. That being said, everyone is accountable for their own destinies. We cant expect others to solve all our problems. That applies to the metally ill too, unfortunately. Even if they are at a disadvantage, they are the only ones able to bring their own recovery. A psychologist is but a guide, nothing more.
     
  7. Eoz Eanj
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    Eoz Eanj Contributing Member Contributor

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    It really just depends on the person doncha think?

    Psychotherapy is just another method of coping.

    For some people, it'll work
    others, it won't
    and for some, they'll never know.

    With that said, you can never say psychotherapy does work, or does not work, because it'll always depend on the individual.
     
  8. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    Psychologists are like the rest of society...some are good; some are kooks. The key to successful treatment is finding competent therapists whose skill and genuine empathy helps reluctant patients "open up" to the process. This may take some time as deeply personal conflict is not easily shared...much less, engaged.

    As far as seriously impaired mental health patients (suicidal, homicidal, psychotic, etc), society provides forced-initiation of evaluation and therapy through the psychiatric commitment process. Such forced hospitalization for psych reasons is usually limited to 72 hour "holds", so a patient who can play the game may simply provide the right answers until gaining release...yet, still be dangerous to him/herself or others.
     
  9. Unsavory
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    Unsavory Active Member

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    From my personal experience, I don't find psychological therapy to be particularly helpful. Though I'm doing better now, there was a long time in my life where I faced an enormous amount of psychological distress and nobody could help me through it. I saw easily over a dozen people, so I got a pretty good sampling of who was out there. I can't fully explain or understand why, but therapy was worthless at best, harmful at worst.

    I finally got better when I decided to stop going and committed myself to improving my situation on my own terms through my own methods. I still face depression at times and my anxiety issues are not under complete control, but I'm doing a hundred times better on my own than I ever was with therapy. That said, I still believe therapy can help some people. Just because it didn't work for me doesn't mean it can't work out great for others.
     
  10. Torana
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    Torana Contributing Member Contributor

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    As said already, it really depends on the person. You can't be helped at all if you are not willing to be helped in any way though. That is the key to over coming a lot of obstacles in life. TO be willing to overcome them! If you aren't, the best help/treatment, in the world won't do you any good.

    I've been through a lot in my life and have spent time with professionals, but I didn't feel comfortable and didn't want their help, so it was a waste of both time and money. For both parties, especially when others out there wanted the help! I did get through it all in the end though.

    It doesn't matter who the person is offerring the help to the person who requires it, they can't help them if that person won't let them!
     
  11. tehuti88
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    tehuti88 Contributing Member

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    Do psychologists help in those worst cases?

    Sometimes yes, sometimes no.

    Do they involve themselves in problems that should not bother them?

    Sometimes yes, sometimes no.

    Do people who go there just make a big jazz about small problems, in general?

    Sometimes yes, sometimes no.

    Can psychological treatment get people to talk about their problems if they really don't want to be helped in the first place?

    Sometimes yes, sometimes no.

    Does it just save some lifes but make them a torture afterwards?

    Sometimes yes, sometimes no.

    Therapy is different for everyone. There are no generalizations. There are some good patients and some lousy therapists, and some lousy patients and some great therapists. Some people therapy makes worse, some people it helps, some people it's rather neutral. Even if somebody has a lousy therapeutic experience, they can still have a good one, and vice-versa. I've had a great psychologist, a couple of okay psychiatrists, a lousy psychologist, and right now a psychologist I'm still judging.
     
  12. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    That's not what a psychologist does, a good one anyway, who has studied Rogers techniques and theories. They discuss the situation with you, ask questions to gather information, help you to figure out how you are feeling and help you to figure out what you need to do. They offer possible strategies, but only give advise in the sense I suspect you thinking if they know you are ready to hear it.

    Having done cognitive behavioural therapy, I can tell you than when a person has gone through a process that is centred on what they are ready for and what their needs are, it works.

    Here's the wiki on Rogers http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Person-centered_psychotherapy
     
  13. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    A psychologist is a trained guide. Psychological therapy does not work unless the client is an active participant in the healing process.

    Some guides are better than others, and some can sell a recalcitreant client in the benefits of putting in the effort to heal.

    Therapy is not something that is done to you.
     
  14. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    The biggest problem with mental health treatment is the failure of the three major disciplines to properly assess their own limitations. For example, a clinical psychologist may treat a person for depression that stems from severe family dysfunction. While the psychologist "treats" the patient, a clinical social worker would be far more inclined to get involved in the entire family dynamic and "fix the patient" by fixing the family. This might even lead to career or vocational counseling for a parent who is distressed by job dissatisfaction. Ultimately, the social worker will be far more effective than most psychologists when the primary cause is group or societal in nature.

    Another example is biochemical caused behavior. If a person suffers depression from a hormone or brain-chemical imbalance, then a psychiatrist can solve the problem with a simple prescription that a psychologist can not provide. Antidepressant medications are miracle drugs for some people. Same thing goes for certain psychoses. A person suffering a manic-depressive psychosis is virtually symptom free and fully functional while the patient takes lithium pills and maintains a desired blood chemical level. Hence, the best mental health professional for that condition is a psychiatrist.

    When I ran a mental health clinic many years ago, I was responsible for routing patients into the best treatment mode for their problems. We offered psychiatrists, psychologists and clinical social workers...they all had their place. By the way, one of our psychologists practiced a Rogerian approach while another used classic Franz Pearls style Gestalt therapy. These two approaches are dramatically different and it was my job to decide on the initial match between patient and therapist. On several occasions, I used combinations...for example, I put a man suffering a manic-depressive psychosis into drug treatment with one of our psychiatrists, while assigning a clinical social worker to work with him and his family on stresses and residual anger that carried over from his recent psychotic behavior.

    Another interesting case - we had a man with severe epilepsy whose grand mal seizures became uncontrollable by drugs offered from both psychiatrists and neurologists. I directed this patient into a biofeedback program (it was experimental at the time) with one of our clinical psychologists. He made a 100% improvement and was able to terminate a heavy regimen of barbiturates and anti-Parkinsonian meds. This same psychologist went on to develop fantastic cure rates for sufferers of severe migraine headache and limited success with hyperactive children...all these people were helped by clinical a psychologist without relying on any medications, only the biofeedback training.

    The problem I see in the mental health profession is far too many "professionals" fail to understand their own limitations and they become involved in unproductive sessions...yes, the almighty dollar obviously has some influence in their judgment about which patients they can reasonably treat. Sad, but true.
     
  15. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ...a good one often can... a poor one can make things worse or just waste time and money..

    ...if you mean in problems that should not bother the patient, of course they do, since that's what their main purpose is, to alleviate the discomfort/suffering/harmful behavior of those who come to them for therapy... but the therapists do not 'involve themselves' in anything... they treat the patients, to help them develop the ability to deal with their problems, period...

    ...some do and most don't...

    ... a good therapist most often can... sometimes can't...

    ...sure, a good therapist can save a lot of lives with successful treatment... and some whose lives are saved may still be in distress, but the therapist is not the one who makes the patient's life 'a torture'... continuing therapy can help reduce it, especially if it leads to the patient changing whatever it is in his/her life that makes it 'torture'...

    ...i've availed myself of good therapists' help in certain difficult times of my life, and had some of my children helped, as well... i've also seen first-hand, the damage that a therapist who's been seduced by monetary bribes from someone who wants to pervert the treatment can do to a client...

    ...so, like just about anything in life, when it's done well, it can be a great help and when it's not, can do great harm...
     
  16. Anđeo.čuvar
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    This depends on both the psychologist and the patient.

    That's exactly what a good psychologist does not do. Hopefully none do anymore, it's a disgrace to the profession.
     
  17. Evil Ferret of Randomness
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    Evil Ferret of Randomness Member

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    I'm a future Psychiatrist, you'll see it in my writing, so I'll be glad to answer these questions with an extreme bias! XP
    Kidding, kidding!


    Do psychologists help in those worst cases?

    A psychologist can help in nearly any case the same way a firefighter can help in instances where there is a fire. A psychologist helps by getting those suffering from certain problems to realize those problems and think about them differently. They also get the patient to change behaviors and the way they think so that they are more capable of coping/solving said problems and being normal member of society.


    Do they involve themselves in problems that should not bother them?

    I don't quite understand the question. What isn't supposed to bother the Therapist? NOTHING should bother a Therapist when it comes to their patient, or they shouldn't have that patient. A psychologist/therapist should approach their patient with the least amount of bias and maximum amount of objectivity possible.
    However, if you mean do Psychologists put their noses where they don't belong, the answer is, in most cases, a no. Psychologists pursue what is relevant to the patient, not random things. Though, to the patient, such things may seem rather random, obscure, and unimportant.


    Do people who go there just make a big jazz about small problems, in general?

    There will be people who go to a Psychologist and make a big deal out of small things. However, they are small things to those who don't have those problems. Take phobias for example. Some people fear water more than they do death. It is a HUGE deal to them, but something we would laugh at. Should they not go to therapy for it?


    Can psychological treatment get people to talk about their problems if they really don't want to be helped in the first place?

    No. Freudian theory, though it is normally bull****, is correct bout a few things. One of them is that you can't change what doesn't want to be changed. Unless someone wants to be helped, you can't help them. This doesn't mean they won't talk about their problems, it simply means they won't head the Therapists' advice.


    Does it just save some lifes but make them a torture afterwards?

    All life is cursed with pain and suffering, with torture. The problem with a question like this is it is way to broad, and many, MANY, views could be taken with it. In my OPINION, no, it doesn't. Psychology doesn't save lives at all. It tries to take someone incapable of being a productive member of society and make them capable of being a productive member. This, obviously, involves helping that person with whatever problems they may be facing, which also involves helping the person get over there Disorders.
    That doesn't help, does it?
    Another way to state it is... well... If life isn't worth living, a person kills him or herself, while if the pains and stresses of life don't out weigh the positives of Living, the person will continue to live, no matter what human intervention one puts in place on said individual.
    I still don't think I answered it properly, but, like I said, this is an EXTREMELY dificult question that I don't quite understand.
     
  18. ScHaLl
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    ScHaLl Senior Member

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    The question is meant as in, somebody struggles with their will to life and eventually see a psychological therapist who can prevent them from killing themselves, but not get them rid of their problem, because it's so deep within, it can't be solved. Thus, they do live their life on, but because of that problem that's still there, they aren't happy about it.
     
  19. Evil Ferret of Randomness
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    Evil Ferret of Randomness Member

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    If there is a problem so 'deep within' that it can't be solved, then it is unconscious, or medical in nature. If it is medical, then drugs, obviously, will have to do. Clinical Depression, which I am a sufferer of, requires medication to solve the problem because it is often times medical. Luckily, unlike twenty or so years ago, Anti-Depressants due help to solve the problem, as long as there is therapy involved with it.
    If it is Unconscious, then I'm unsure as to what has to be done to solve the problem, or if the problem is even solvable. I'm not a Freudian, Neo-Freudian, ect., and so, that isn't my field of expertise. Sorry.
     
  20. ScHaLl
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    ScHaLl Senior Member

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    Well, my own point of view is very similar to what has been stated. The client needs to be open towards the therapy and it's necessary that he wants a change.
    Also that it works for some, doesn't work for others. Generalisation is the wrong way to go, I guess.
     
  21. Evil Ferret of Randomness
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    Part of the 'works SOMETIMES' bit is that there are many, many different types of therapy, which accompany the different theories. Such as, some people would respond better the Rodger's therapy, simply because he was kind, gentle, and included a lot of fluff. Others would prefer Behaviorists simply because of the theory itself. But, yes, generalization isn't good simply because psychology all together is supposed to be very case by case.
     
  22. Carmina
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    Carmina Contributing Member Contributor

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    Therapy in conjunction with medication can help people with very serious mental problems. Often one has to go with the other. Therapy alone might not be enough. Medication alone might treat the symptoms but doesn't do anything about he cause.
    A therapist's job is to help the patient with what the patient brings up or with serious issues that the therapist feels needs addressed. A therapist shouldn't "involve themselves". They need to remain detached and impartial. Their job is not to get personally involved in the patient problems but to help the patient solve them themselves.
    That is all relative isn't it? What might be a small problem to one person might be a huge deal to someone with an anxiety disorder of clinical depression.
    No. If someone doesn't want help, therapy isn't going to work. The patient has to do most of the work in therapy. If they are unwilling...nothing will be accomplished.
    That is certainly not the point. The idea isn't to stop someone from killing themselves and then move on. If there are deep seeded traumas, a good therapist will help the patient deal with that, learn coping skills, put the past in perspective, and learn how to live a full life in the now. The therapist can't take away the suffering, no. But, they are there to help the patient work through it and hopefully past it.

    I have done the therapy route a few times in my life starting with my suicide attempt when I was 14. It helped put things in perspective and helped me through a hard time. I did it again in college when my anxiety and OCD were really starting to impact my life. The therapy was not just "tell me about your problems" but was tasks and assignments to make me challenge my anxiety and learn to cope and work through it to do difficult things. It was behavior modification therapy not just chatting. After I lost my insurance upon graduation, I didn't go for a number of years. Then, in 2006, I had a nervous breakdown. After that, therapy helped me get into living a regular life again. Again, it wasn't just talking, it was assignments and hard work. Therapy along with medication has allowed me to live a "normal" life that otherwise would not have been possible for me. I am not saying that therapy can help everyone. There are some problems that really need medication and even institutionalization. I am not saying that there aren't people who go crying to a therapist for things they could probably deal with on their own. But, for me and for a lot of other people I know, it has been an important step towards healing.
     

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