In Therapy Forever? Enough Already

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2009
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   Posted 4/22/2012 6:26 PM (GMT -6)   
There is an article in today's New York Times (Sunday Review section) that I thought some of you might be interested in.  It offers an interesting perspective, from a psychotherapist and author, on the appropriate duration of therapy.  It is linked below.

Living Well
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Date Joined Feb 2011
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   Posted 4/22/2012 9:16 PM (GMT -6)   
Can we comment on the opinion piece?

1. Schizophrenia is often easily treated with medication and sufferers often require much less therapy than Anxiety and Depression sufferers.

2. Anxiety and Depression are very serious illnesses with complex interplay between nature and nurture, physical, psychological and emotional - even spiritual. Depression is one of the leading causes of disability and death - and I feel the illness deserves a lot more respect than what this psychologist gives it. Anxiety is also a debilitating, horrific illness and it too deserve the standing of a serious illness. (I do realise there are shades and grades and different etiology in these illnesses).

3. I have a very different perspective about therapy than what this psychologist does. I see that therapy can be a legitimate personal growth tool for people who want to be the best people they can be, achieve the most they can with their lives, and feel the best they can within themselves.... personal growth is an ongoing journey without an end point throughout the lifespan to me.

4. Sure there is bad therapy, but I think there is probably more people who need it who aren't engaged in it than the other way around. I see therapy as tapping into our capacity to transform ourselves as people - and that is all we have control of, in changing our lives, so why not learn the tools?

5. Could be a thinly veiled advertisement for his services? ie "My colleagues are crap, I accept that, I'm really good thou - my clients don't even need a full session". I'm not saying he is saying that, it just could come across that way.

6. The mentally ill often need to see both pdocs and tdocs. Often there is room for both professions to understand what the other profession does. Sounds simple but both can be guilty of not realising that they are equal partners in a treatment team and that working together with the client will usually bring much better outcomes. I think insultated consulting is no good for either profession.

I'm really happy for people to disagree with me as I understand we all have such diverse experiences and perceptions. Thanks for posting medved, I enjoyed reading it.

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Date Joined Jul 2009
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   Posted 4/22/2012 11:13 PM (GMT -6)   
The entire point of that article is that if someone has been seeing any particular therapist for a fairly long time and it is not doing them any good they should seriously consider finding a new one.

In addition to finding a new therapist someone should also consider finding or trying other forms of therapy if the one they are doing is not working for them.

This of course makes the assumption that the patient is not obstructing the process for some reason.

Like in any profession there are good therapist and bad ones, and also there is the "click" factor. You can find a really good professional and simply just don't click with them well enough to have a productive relationship.
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Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 1100
   Posted 4/23/2012 11:03 AM (GMT -6)   
Living Well - I found your comments interesting. That is mostly why I posted the article -- to see what people think about it. I am not sure what I think. I guess my view is that therapy/counseling should serve each person's needs/wants, and that those will differ considerably among individuals. Some will want discrete, shorter-term assistance. Others, ongoing, longer-term guidance/help/treatment. Maybe others on and off, over years. It is a personal service, so it should serve the needs of the consumer/patient. My own preference is to "identify the problem and its cause, obtain treatment, and move on." So I would prefer not to be in long-term therapy or on medications for any longer than needed. I guess that is consistent with my general approach to problem solving. But I can certainly appreciate that others would want/need a different approach. And, of course, depression and anxiety differ quite a bit from one person to another.

Living Well
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Date Joined Feb 2011
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   Posted 4/23/2012 3:37 PM (GMT -6)   
Absolutely medved, totally get where you are coming from x

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Date Joined Apr 2012
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   Posted 4/24/2012 10:41 AM (GMT -6)   
I have to agree with Jim regarding the overall feeling I get from the article.  Yes, these illness are serious and debilitating. We have to remember that are thousands of people out there NOT getting help and a large percentage that are getting help do nothing that is suggested.
Perhaps that is the purpose of the article, to educate. LW I see you viewpoints cleary. I don't believe this is where the author of the article was coming from.
Can you imagine how frustrating that must be for a "good" clinical care giver at any level?
Remember you can lead a horse to water but you can not make him drink.  You can only pray he gets thirsty enough.
Kabir says: "Student tell me, what is God? He is the breath inside the breath". from the poem Breath.

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Post Edited (BnotAfraid) : 4/24/2012 9:49:29 AM (GMT-6)

New Member

Date Joined May 2012
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 5/14/2012 11:26 PM (GMT -6)   
what do u mean when you say depression can be spiritual?
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