Best 126 of Psychotherapy quotes - MyQuotes
This reorienting is not an attempt to avoid or discount clients' pain and ongoing suffering. Rather, it is a means to help them observe, firsthand, how their chronic orienting tendencies toward reminders of the past recreate the trauma-related experience of danger and powerlessness, whereas choosing to orient to a good feeling can result in an experience of safety and mastery. As clients become able to do so the new objects of orientation often become more defined and & Goodman 1951). Rather than attention being drawn repeatedly to physical pain or traumatic activation, the good feeling becomes more prominent in the client's awareness. This exercise of reorienting toward a positive stimulus can surprise and reassure clients that they are not imprisoned indefinitely in an inner world of chronic traumatic reexperiencing, and that they have more possibilities and control than they had imagined. These orienting exercises need to be practiced again and again for mastery.
Even you, the professional helper, often mistaken for the enlightened Guru or Staretz, can become lost in your thoughts that you must be competent without fault. You may become enthralled with your identity as a professional, even the pressures of the culture of mastery that expects you to heal your clients without fail. Never mind all of the variables over which you have no control, it is up to you, according to the canons of mastery, to control the health and well-being of those for whom you provide professional care. This potentiates a furthering alienation between you and your clients. You are at risk to become, if you have not already, the one who does to your clients; to be the one the active subject acting upon the passive and receptive objects, your clients; to be the one in possession of special knowledge, technique and mastery. All of this conspires to coax or coerce you into treating your client as reduced, a mere case. Unawareness to these influences gives you little chance to consider their influence on your practice in the clinical setting, much less give attentive efforts to resist or change them.
At a first glance, medical psychology seems to have nothing to do with religion. But at its depth it provides a new, though at the same time primordial, perspective on what should be the subject matter of religion. It is both a criticism and an approval of religion. It is in and through the soul that problems of the world reveal themselves as world problems.
Unfortunately, there is no expiration date on grief
Whatever the theory, it is important to note that clinicians such as Kluft draw attention to the clinical error of insisting that all alters talk as one or that only the alter with the legal name should be validated. 'Such stances are commonly associated with therapeutic failure'.
„ I do not ask or demand for anything to be different to the way it is, and yet I know I have to play my part in making things as best I can. I learn to work in line with what is right and I try to let the world shine for all it is worth in order to be part of its light while I am alive. I know that becoming what I am will sometimes be glorious and sometimes odious and I have peace with it all, no matter what. Losing my father makes me more aware of being a child of life rather than a child of my parents. He is slightly ahead of me in the inexorable coming and going of life, but I now recognize the path and can see its end lit up in the distance. The paradox is always there: in life we are in death. It is not for us to meddle with. I cannot demand a rearrangement. And as I let myself face death, I rediscover life. [...] My leap of faith is to trust that life will give me the exact experiences that are most apt for learning to live. And sometimes such experiences will be difficult. At times they may even seem catastrophic. But in transcending them and learning from them we make them into moments of truth.
Human emotions have deep evolutionary roots, a fact that may explain their complexity and provide tools for clinical practice. The Nature of Emotions (2001)
Nita: I think I overdid the vulnerability stuff in this last letter. and that’s why I’m having an anxiety attack. Howard: With the vulnerability comes the possibility that you’ll be betrayed. Now that you’ve laid yourself wide open, I am the agent of this betrayal? It’s not my style. Nita: I’ve thought it wasn't other people’s style, too.
Although Megan "knew" she was not in danger, her body told her that she was. If sensorimotor habits are firmly entrenched, accurate cognitive interpretations may not exert much influence on changing bodily orgamzation and arousal responses. Instead, the traumatized person may experience the reality of the body rather than that of the mind. To be most effective, the sensorimotor psychotherapist works on both the cognitive and sensorimotor levels. With Megan, a purely cognitive approach might foster some change in her integrative capacity, but the change would be only momentary if the cowering response were reactivated each time she received feedback at work... However, if she is encouraged to remember to "stand tall" in the face of criticism, her body and her thoughts will be congruent with each other and with current reality.
It is so much more threatening to have something out of hand than to believe that at any moment I can stop (I started to say "This foolishness") any time I need to. When I wrote the previous letter, I had made up my mind I would show you how I could be very composed and cool and not need to ask you to listen to me nor to explain anything to me nor need any help. By telling you that all this about the multiple personalities was not really true but just put on, I could show, or so I thought, that I did not need you. Well, it would have been easier if it were put on. But the only ruse of which I'm guilty is to have pretended for so long before coming to you that nothing was wrong. Pretending that the personalities did not exist has now caused me to lose about two days. Three weeks later Sybil reaffirmed her belief in the existence of her other selves in a letter to Miss Updyke, the school nurse of undergraduate days.
Judith Lewis Herman
Underlying the attack on psychotherapy, I believe, is a recognition of the potential power of any relationship of witnessing. The consulting room is a privileged space dedicated to memory. Within that space, survivors gain the freedom to know and tell their stories. Even the most private and confidential disclosure of past abuses increases the likelihood of eventual public disclosure. And public disclosure is something that perpetrators are determined to prevent. As in the case of more overtly political crimes, perpetrators will fight tenaciously to ensure that their abuses remain unseen, unacknowledged, and consigned to oblivion. The dialectic of trauma is playing itself out once again. It is worth remembering that this is not the first time in history that those who have listened closely to trauma survivors have been subject to challenge. Nor will it be the last. In the past few years, many clinicians have had to learn to deal with the same tactics of harassment and intimidation that grassroots advocates for women, children and other oppressed groups have long endured. We, the bystanders, have had to look within ourselves to find some small portion of the courage that victims of violence must muster every day. Some attacks have been downright silly; many have been quite ugly. Though frightening, these attacks are an implicit tribute to the power of the healing relationship. They remind us that creating a protected space where survivors can speak their truth is an act of liberation. They remind us that bearing witness, even within the confines of that sanctuary, is an act of solidarity. They remind us also that moral neutrality in the conflict between victim and perpetrator is not an option. Like all other bystanders, therapists are sometimes forced to take sides. Those who stand with the victim will inevitably have to face the perpetrator's unmasked fury. For many of us, there can be no greater honor. p.246 - 247 Judith Lewis Herman, M.D. February, 1997
One of the most frightening aspects of this alleged technology is the possibility of mind control by “remote control,” that is, through such technology as microwaves and radio waves. There are many stories about this, coming primarily from survivors, although we do know from a variety of reliable websites and mainstream news that such technology is being developed, or at least the technological groundwork laid. Once again, however, we do not know whether this was in place when today's survivors were programmed. It is difficult at this point to determine how much of this is genuine, and how much comes from false beliefs deliberately induced to make survivors feel powerless, much like the “one huge and invincible cult” of whose existence survivors convinced therapists twenty years ago. I know that one of my mind control survivor clients was convinced of technological monitoring during a psychotic period several years ago, but as he healed he discarded such beliefs, along with many other bizarre ones in favor of recognizing that he had been abused by real human beings whose identity he knew. If some of this remote control it is genuine, we may need to develop technological means to combat it. However, we should not be intimidated. Even if “voices” are induced in the head by remote control rather than through alters doing jobs, survivors can learn to disobey such voices just as they do those of alters. Competent and compassionate therapy for the dissociation can help survivors to heal. Meanwhile, there are numerous survivors whose mind control is of the kind that can be treated through psychotherapy. p205-206
As I let it out, layer by layer, Dr. Driscoll helped with the bumps and valleys. He knew just how much to draw out of me and how much I could handle. He is such an expert in his profession. He told me that the guilt I was feeling was not guilt, but regret. Guilt is a good thing. It is a mechanism by which we shouldn't make the same mistake twice. If you do something questionable, then the next chance you get to do it, guilt should stop you. I had no guilt. I had regrets, many regrets, but no guilt. It took some convincing, but he prevailed. There was always a nagging in my head, that if only I had had the guts to kill Neary myself, it would have stopped him from harming others, but that was not to be as a small boy. It does hurt that, maybe, just maybe, if I had carried out one of my many plans to kill him and myself then I could have saved victims younger than I. As victims come forward from almost all the churches where he served—and some are twenty—five plus years my junior—I feel that they would have been spared, if only I hadn't chickened out as a boy. Therein lies the answer; I was a little boy, a ten—year—old boy. Other victims of Neary were as young as six.
When clients are hyperaroused or overwhelmed emotionally, voluntarily narrowing their field of consciousness allows them to assimilate a limited amount of incoming information, thereby optimizing the chance for successful integration. For example, as one client began to report her traumatic experience, her arousal escalated: Her heart started to race, she felt afraid and restless, and had trouble thinking. She was asked to stop talking and thinking about the trauma, to inhibit the images, thoughts, and emotions that were coming up, and orient instead to her physical sensation until her arousal returned to the window of tolerance. With the help of her therapist, she focused on her body and described how her legs felt, the phyisical feeling of anxiety in her chest, and the beating of her heart. These physical experiences gradually subsided, and only then was she encouraged to return to the narrative.
One of my teachers at the psychoanalytic institute where I trained used to say, only half humorously, that 'the most important prerequisite for a vocation as a psychotherapist is a depressed mother'; based on my history, I think that a suffering but inaccessible father and a damaged sibling should be added to the list of qualifications.
There are a great number of ego defenses, and the combinations and circumstances in which we use them reflect on our personality. Indeed, one could go so far as to argue that the self is nothing but the sum of its ego defenses, which are constantly shaping, upholding, protecting, and repairing it. The self is like a cracked mask that is in constant need of being pieced together. But behind the mask there is nobody at home.
Irvin D. Yalom
Someone's got to do some more research, but I would really like to know: when a CBT therapist really gets distressed, who does he go see?
[S]urely the mysterious inner world of the psyche as such still offers an important forum where religions can meet, leaving their dogmas at the door, and pursue together the elusive quest for a common humanity that transcends religious differences.
It wasn't a sign of weakness to tell what happened to me. I feel guilt no longer, only regret. The other emotions are coming around too. How much further do I need to go? I'm not sure, but there is comfort in the fact that I am in the hands of expert guides, both in the doctor's office and at home with Sue.
What daily life is like for “a multiple” Imagine that you have periods of “lost time.” You may find writings or drawings which you must have done, but do not remember producing. Perhaps you find child-sized clothing or toys in your home but have no children. You might also hear voices or babies crying in your head. Imagine that you can never predict when you will be able to have certain knowledge or social skills, and your emotions and your energy level seem to change at the drop of a hat, and for no apparent reason. You cannot understand why you feel what you feel, and, if you are in therapy, you cannot explore those feelings when asked. Your life feels disjointed and often confusing. It is a frightening experience. It feels out of control, and you probably think you are going crazy. That is what it is like to be multiple, and all of it is experienced by the ANPs. A multiple may also experience very concrete problems, even life-threatening ones.
To psychotherapists, I say, don't just leave us abandoned because you think you don't know enough to help us, or because the world doesn't believe in what we went through, or because our trauma is too awful to hear about.
Every client presents a practitioner with a novel and unique problem to solve. A therapist has to be a general problem-solver, and part of this expertise is grounded in an experimental style of reasoning originally developed for scientific purposes.
I wish I had a magic wand to make things better, but therapy doesn't work that way.
Irvin D. Yalom
I must assume that knowing is better than not know, venturing better than not venturing; and that magic and illusion, however rich, however alluring, ultimately weaken the human spirit. I take with deep seriousness Thomas Hardy's words, 'If a way to the Better there be, it exacts a full look at the Worst.
We are all the product of our past and have to live with our memories and personality they cannot be erased.
Asa Don Brown
Perfectionists are not all negative, miserable, unhappy and over controlling individuals
The reinterpretation and eventual eradication of the concept of right and wrong are that belated objectives of nearly all Psychotherapy
The most important study is the practical and sincere study of one’s self: Know Thyself. It is more important to know the truth about one's self than trying to find out the truth about heaven and hell." —Sepideh Irvani, PsyD
Although false memory psychologists point to therapy sessions as the setting in which people commonly determine that they forgot, and then remembered, abuse. Elliott (1997) found that the majority of people who had forgotten a traumatic event and then remembered it identified the trigger as some form of media presentation, such as a film or a television show. Psychotherapy was the least common trigger for remembering trauma." KNOWING AND NOT KNOWING ABOUT TRAUMA: IMPLICATIONS FOR THERAPY
Theirs was the eternal youth of an alternating self, a youth with the constant although unfulfilled promise of growing up
Effective psychotherapy works because the therapist continues to grow as a person and as a healer.
[W]hat would be more reliable than the East and the West? Perhaps a concept of the world, the universe, or the cosmos. Our age can be characterized by the growing consciousness of the world as a whole. Our historical era is in essence cosmological.
Besides stage magic props and settings, ritually abusing groups use technology, such as that described by Katz and Fotheringham. Military/political groups have the most sophisticated technologies, and much training or programming is now done with virtual reality equipment. Movies and holograms are used to deceive a child into believing in things that are unreal. When a client says to you “I don't know if it's real; how can it be real?” remember that there are several options, not just two: (1) It happened just as s/he remembers; (2) it did not happen at all; (3) something happened, but due to technology and/or trickery it was not what s/he thinks it was; (4) the thought that the memory must be unreal is itself a program, as described in Chapter Twelve, “Maybe I made it up." p55
This was truly to be a radical milestone: the world’s first-ever marathon nude psychotherapy session for criminal psychopaths. Elliott’s raw, naked, LSD-fueled sessions lasted for epic eleven day stretches. The psychopaths spent every waking moment journeying to their darkest corners in an attempt to get better. There were no distractions—no television, no clothes, no clocks, no calendars, only a perpetual discussion (at least one hundred hours every week) of their feelings. When they got hungry, they sucked food through straws that protruded through the walls. As during Paul Bindrim’s own nude psychotherapy sessions, the patients were encouraged to go to their rawest emotional places by screaming and clawing at the walls and confessing fantasies of forbidden sexual longing for one another...
Maybe I needed that somebody else could cry over my pain, to become able to cry over it myself. Nobody ever cried or was moved when I suffered as a child. (Lisa)
Bowlby's conviction that attachment needs continue throughout life and are not outgrown has important implications for psychotherapy. It means that the therapist inevitably becomes an important attachment figure for the patient, and that this is not necessarily best seen as a 'regression' to infantile dependence (the developmental 'train' going into reverse), but rather the activation of attachment needs that have been previously suppressed. Heinz Kohut (1977) has based his 'self psychology' on a similar perspective. He describes 'selfobject needs' that continue from infancy throughout life and comprise an individual's need for empathic responsiveness from parents, friends, lovers, spouses (and therapists). This responsiveness brings a sense of aliveness and meaning, security and self-esteem to a person's existence. Its lack leads to narcissistic disturbances of personality characterised by the desperate search for selfobjects - for example, idealisation of the therapist or the development of an erotic transference. When, as they inevitably will, these prove inadequate (as did the original environment), the person responds with 'narcissistic rage' and disappointment, which, in the absence of an adequate 'selfobject' cannot be dealt with in a productive way.
Judith Lewis Herman
...some patients resist the diagnosis of a post-traumatic disorder. They may feel stigmatized by any psychiatric diagnosis or wish to deny their condition out of a sense of pride. Some people feel that acknowledging psychological harm grants a moral victory to the perpetrator, in a way that acknowledging physical harm does not.
Secondary structural dissociation involves one ANP and more than one EP. Examples of secondary structural dissociation are complex PTSD, complex forms of acute stress disorder, complex dissociative amnesia, complex somatoform disorders, some forms of trauma-relayed personality disorders, such as borderline personality disorder, and dissociative disorder not otherwise specified (DDNOS).. Secondary structural dissociation is characterized by divideness of two or more defensive subsystems. For example, there may be different EPs that are devoted to flight, fight or freeze, total submission, and so on. (Van der Hart et al., 2004). Gail, a patient of mine, does not have a personality disorder, but describes herself as a "changed person." She survived a horrific car accident that killed several others, and in which she was the driver. Someone not knowing her history might see her as a relatively normal, somewhat anxious and stiff person (ANP). It would not occur to this observer that only a year before, Gail had been a different person: fun-loving, spontaneous, flexible, and untroubled by frightening nightmares and constant anxiety. Fortunately, Gail has been willing to pay attention to her EPs; she has been able to put the process of integration in motion; and she has been able to heal. p134
Judith Lewis Herman
The mental health system is filled with survivors of prolonged, repeated childhood trauma. This is true even though most people who have been abused in childhood never come to psychiatric attention. To the extent that these people recover, they do so on their own. While only a small minority of survivors, usually those with the most severe abuse histories, eventually become psychiatric patients, many or even most psychiatric patients are survivors of childhood abuse. The data on this point are beyond contention. On careful questioning, 50-60 percent of psychiatric inpatients and 40-60 percent of outpatients report childhood histories of physical or sexual abuse or both. In one study of psychiatric emergency room patients, 70 percent had abuse histories. Thus abuse in childhood appears to be one of the main factors that lead a person to seek psychiatric treatment as an adult.
Asa Don Brown
There is no greater grief, than when a parent losses a child.
Asa Don Brown
The loss of my child broke my spirit.
Psychotherapy works for the treatment of depression, and the benefits are substantial. In head-to-head comparisons, in which the short-term effects of psychotherapy and antidepressants are pitted against each other, psychotherapy works as well as medication. This is true regardless of how depressed the person is to begin with. Psychotherapy looks even better when its long-term effectiveness is assessed. Formerly depressed patients are far more likely to relapse and become depressed again after treatment with antidepressants than they are after psychotherapy. As a result, psychotherapy is significantly more effective than medication when measured some time after treatment has ended, and the more time that has passed since the end of treatment, the larger the difference between drugs and psychotherapy.
Can a therapist make me not want to get pregnant? Can a therapist undo the trouble with my eggs, my hormones, and whatever else isn't working? I can't help it, but it feels like an insult for the doctor to send me there. Like telling people with cancer they can think themselves healthy if they try hard enough to visualize their immune cells as little sharks gobbling up the tumor. It's just blaming the victim.
The "apparently normal personality" - the alter you view as "the client" You should not assume that the adult who function in the world, or who presents to you, week after week, is the "real" person, and the other personalities are less real. The client who comes to therapy is not "the" person; there are other personalities to meet and work with. When DID was still officially called MPD, the "person" who lived life on the outside was known as the "host" personality, and the other parts were known as alters. These terms, unfortunately, implied that all the parts other than the host were guests, and therefore of less importance than the host. They were somehow secondary. The currently favored theory of structural dissociation (Nijenhuis & Den Boer, 2009; van der Hart, Nijenhuis, & Steele, 2006), which more accurately describes the way personality systems operate, instead distinguishes between two kinds of states: the apparently normal personality, or ANP, and the emotional personality, or EP, both of which could include a number of parts. p21
The world doesn't usually affect us directly. It's what we do with it. It's the filters that we put on it. That's the foundation of certainly most pop-psychology, and of a lot of psychotherapy, cognitive therapy. So that, I think, is the greatest truth.
To make matters worse, everyone she talks to has a different opinion about the nature of his problem and what she should do about it. Her clergyperson may tell her, “Love heals all difficulties. Give him your heart fully, and he will find the spirit of God.” Her therapist speaks a different language, saying, “He triggers strong reactions in you because he reminds you of your father, and you set things off in him because of his relationship with his mother. You each need to work on not pushing each other’s buttons.” A recovering alcoholic friend tells her, “He’s a rage addict. He controls you because he is terrified of his own fears. You need to get him into a twelve-step program.” Her brother may say to her, “He’s a good guy. I know he loses his temper with you sometimes—he does have a short fuse—but you’re no prize yourself with that mouth of yours. You two need to work it out, for the good of the children.” And then, to crown her increasing confusion, she may hear from her mother, or her child’s schoolteacher, or her best friend: “He’s mean and crazy, and he’ll never change. All he wants is to hurt you. Leave him now before he does something even worse.” All of these people are trying to help, and they are all talking about the same abuser. But he looks different from each angle of view.
Some survivors have found small metallic “implants” in their teeth or ears, and believe these were designed to monitor their location or to broadcast their words or thoughts to the abusers. Such technology has been developed recently for keeping task of animals or persons with dementia. But to what extent it was used years ago by mind controllers is unknown at this point. At least some of it may be similar to the “bombs” in the stomach, a trick to convince survivors that their abusers monitor them continuously. The presence of an object does not mean it is capable of collecting complex information and sending it back to abusers, or even sending them signals, for twenty or more years as some survivors believe. As with other apparently bizarre beliefs of our survivor clients, we must acknowledge that something happened, and remain open both to the possibility that there was such technology and the possibility that it is yet another deception to convince survivors they cannot escape the grip of their abusers. p205
There thus appears to be an inverse correlation between recovery and psychotherapy; the more psychotherapy, the smaller the recovery rate.
All you need is one safe anchor to keep you grounded when the rest of your life spins out of control
In bottom-up approaches [to processing trauma], the body's sensation and movement are the entry points and changes in sensorimotor experience are used to support self-regulation, memory processing, and success in daily life. Meaning and understanding emerge from new experiences rather than the other way around. Through bottom-up interventions, a shift in the somatic sense of self in turn affects the linguistic sense of self.