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Question
Posted by: Questions | 2010/06/09

What type of therapy and why so messy

Hi CS
I went for therapy after I had bad PND with a psychiatrist>  I had 2 years of psychotherapy where I just spoke about anything that came to mind, we looked at a few of my dreams and I discussed some of my past. There wasn''t a chance in hell you''d catch me lying on some couch yabbering on. He was very straight and there was none of this mind game stuff that the other girl was talking about. He also put me on antidepressants - Cipramil. I got back on track and went on with my life. What kind of therapy is this because it was definitely not CBT? Is it psychoanalysis? It seemed to do the trick. Why is there such bad publicity about so many of the shrinks about boundaries, etc. I saw the Mail and Guardian had something in it the other day. I remember the one guy who was sleeping with the wife and charging the husband!! What happened to him? I was lucky but I reckon woman should go to woman shrinks and man to man. Be less chance of this sort of thing.

Have a good day.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

One thing I am clear about with regard to all forms of therapy, psychotherapy or medication, is that it shouldn't be provided routinely ( in the sense of giving the same recipe to everyone with the same sort of problem ) and that it should be based on a definite and clear diagnosis made according to generally accepted guidelines or criteria, and should be directed towards particular, clear goals, rather than being an end in itself.
What you describe doesn't sound like orthodox psychoanalysis which, though it has many different varieties is more formal and structured and demanding than what you describe. And the usual form of sessions, the theories underlying the assumptions and questions and methods, vary in each variant. What you describe, though, seems to include some of the broad principles which arise from psychoanalysis ( such as the interest in dreams and the free association type of "talk about whatever comes into your mind" session.
The absence of any sense of mind games is good. The problem with the sort of cases you mention of breach of boundaries is that when by definition people who visit a shrink are troubled and unhappy and vulnerable, for the "therapist" ( of whatever theoretical background or style ) who takes advantage of such vulnerability for his or her own benefits and purposes is, understandably, consider highly improper. Its like an ambulance-man picking the pockets of someone on the way to the hospital.
I'm not sure that men sticking to male therapists and women to women necessarily avoids such problems, though it might lessen the risk.
But the majority of therapists, of all stripes, are sincere and well-intentioned, though they may vary in how effective their chosen method has the potential of being, and in how good they are at applying that method. What is important, though not always easy to arrange, and not often discused, is to seek a good "fit" between parient and therapist - that you feel understood and understand what he/she is saying, rather than feeling uncomfortable and worried in their presence.

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Our users say:
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010/06/10

One thing I am clear about with regard to all forms of therapy, psychotherapy or medication, is that it shouldn't be provided routinely ( in the sense of giving the same recipe to everyone with the same sort of problem ) and that it should be based on a definite and clear diagnosis made according to generally accepted guidelines or criteria, and should be directed towards particular, clear goals, rather than being an end in itself.
What you describe doesn't sound like orthodox psychoanalysis which, though it has many different varieties is more formal and structured and demanding than what you describe. And the usual form of sessions, the theories underlying the assumptions and questions and methods, vary in each variant. What you describe, though, seems to include some of the broad principles which arise from psychoanalysis ( such as the interest in dreams and the free association type of "talk about whatever comes into your mind" session.
The absence of any sense of mind games is good. The problem with the sort of cases you mention of breach of boundaries is that when by definition people who visit a shrink are troubled and unhappy and vulnerable, for the "therapist" ( of whatever theoretical background or style ) who takes advantage of such vulnerability for his or her own benefits and purposes is, understandably, consider highly improper. Its like an ambulance-man picking the pockets of someone on the way to the hospital.
I'm not sure that men sticking to male therapists and women to women necessarily avoids such problems, though it might lessen the risk.
But the majority of therapists, of all stripes, are sincere and well-intentioned, though they may vary in how effective their chosen method has the potential of being, and in how good they are at applying that method. What is important, though not always easy to arrange, and not often discused, is to seek a good "fit" between parient and therapist - that you feel understood and understand what he/she is saying, rather than feeling uncomfortable and worried in their presence.

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