Friday, March 19, 2010

Wish I could stop thinking about it

Beating a dead horse, so to speak, but this is what's on my mind, so this is what I'lll write about. The push for Behavioural Psychotherapies (particularly Dialectical Behavioural therapy) over the plethora of other psychotherapies available.

I supposed the one thing that really sticks in my craw, is the concept that my reactions ot life events is wrong, and that I need to 'fix' those reactions. The way I see it (when I'm not immersed in self loathing) is that one can have a normal reaction to a normal event or a normal reaction to an ABNORMAL event. What I endured as a child, certainly falls within the category of abnormal, my reactions to it do not. As much as I may feel like a nutter at times! So, it would follow, I believe the work needs to be done around the ABNORMAL events, processing, accepting etc and NOT my normal reactions to these events.

The second issue I have is with what is essentially the manualisation of the therapy process. Follow A, B and C to heal X issue. The reality is it is not as simple as a broken foot. When you are healing a soul, a personality, no two are the same, and thus no identical treatment plans will work for two different patients. Sure, you can use experience to inform your practice, but not to mandate it.

Both of the above, particulalry with an unskilled or overworked practitioner can quite easily lead to a "Blame the victim" mentality. It doesn't work, so you obviously don't WANT to get better. Because statistics say, you should be!

Thirdly, I have existed virtually my entire life in my mind. I have detached from my emotions to the point where I was completely numb and cut off from them. I have had many years and experience using CBT type techniques through my old psychiatrist, and yes, it did help to keep the suicidality somewhat at bay, because I was completely numb to life. I need to live in the realm of emotions and feelings too, if I am to really live. Not put them in a bucket.

I knew this process was going to be painful, but I continue to commit to it, despite the three hours its takes out of my day (one hour travel each way). There has to be a reason for that. Anyways. That's where my thoughts are at. Wish I could stop thinking on it, to be honest.


  1. I've never gotten the message from DBT that a reaction to an event is "wrong." Feelings are just there, and we have to decide how to deal with them.

  2. I applaud your commitment to see this therapy through, even though it takes so much time, and does not seem to be a perfect fit. I felt similarly about CBT as you do about DBT. CBT certainly has its good and bad points, and they are probably different for everyone. I was very glad I pushed through it, though. It's been amazingly helpful. But I agree we need to be vigilant for this possible idea that 'we aren't better because we don't want to be, or are not working hard enough.' In my case, 24 years of abuse aren't going to vanish overnight. Or in a year, or in ten. We know how hard we are working and how badly we want to heal.
    Adventures in Anxiety Land

  3. I think that the first line of your last comment really says what you need to say to the PMH people - that despite the process you are currently undertaking being painful, and maybe "slow" in their view, it's one that you are committed to. You are the one that is doing to the work and you should be able to decide what is going to work for you. Even if DBT is "perfect", if it's not something you're particularly keen on then it will never give you the same benefits. Good luck! N xx

  4. Thanks for the comments guys. I really just need to get my head straight as to what to really think is best, and what my underlying motivations are... but opinions always help!
    Peace and love to all. (And welcome to the new commenters!)

  5. I found myself nodding throughout this post. Couldn't agree more.

    Take care hun x