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New Yorker: What Happens When We Decide Everyone Else Is a Narcissist.

If ‘toxic self-absorption’ is indeed the new American disease, then it will be important to remember that no one has immunity.” There is nothing more damaging and wrong than involuntary psychoanalysis. Over each other. Even over politicians. Any psychologist will tell you decent analysis is a time consuming, intricate process. Generalizations are prone to bias. An individual with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology ruined my opportunity to be fluent for decades. ‘60’s. I admit I’m a bit unreasonable and immovable over this, given my own experiences. I don’t think I’m alone. Read James Hillman. Where is moving locations as a therapy in modern psychology? Exactly. Not everyone benefits from the modern SSRI -> endless talk therapy route.

08/18/16 • 02:59 PM • GeneralPoliticsPsychology • (7) Comments


I have been on modern meds for, well, a long time, and yet I don’t recall the last talk therapy session. Yes I check in with my doctor but they just ask how I’m doing and if I’ve noted any side effects (*cough* upset tummy *cough*).

I used to see a shrink who sat and wrote down copious notes about the previous week as I related it but he never said much back except to generate more talk by me. One day I asked him to give me some advice or feedback and he recommended I read some book about how to let yourself be happy. I got my primary care physician to take over the prescribing the next week.

Posted by BillSaysThis on 08/19/16 at 06:56 AM

Sorry, lost my train of thought in the anger. But my point is I’m not sure there are so many practitioners of talk therapy these days, as opposed to the Woody Allen stereotype, and instead I’m seeing more of what I have personally experienced.

Posted by BillSaysThis on 08/19/16 at 06:57 AM

I may be wrong - these theories change - but the major benefit of SSRIs these days is to ‘soften up’ the recipient, so they are more amenable to change. The mood brightening aspect helps, of course, but it puts a patient in a better state to accept modifications of behavior. So it’s a good fit for talk therapy.

Problem is, it seems to be used as a never-ending profit center, rather than generating real change. Hillman’s argument was that psychologists need to get out of the office, engage their patients, even *live* with them, like the medicine-people of old, to actually heal their patients.

I would have liked to see a discussion between Hillman and Tony Robbins. Robbins repeatedly says that people can make a change in an instant - it’s the preparation, the courage to make that change, that takes ten years. What if someone/something could shortcut that preparation? And this is what I saw with friends and their therapists in NYC (where having a therapist was considered a must-have, at least in the 90’s). They would talk about their issues *endlessly*, going over the same stuff week after week, as if talking about it would keep a lid on it and make their lives manageable.

One coworker, I still remember ... she’s the one I know that Hillman’s “moving locations” solution would have worked immediately, and saved her the escalation in drugs that nearly ruined her life.

Posted by Garret P Vreeland on 08/19/16 at 08:39 AM

“it seems to be used as a never-ending profit center, rather than generating real change.”

Several years ago I tried to wean myself off the meds (under doctor care/advisement). That did not go well—perhaps because as you say the drug is intended to make one more amenable to change rather than changing the patient directly. But with them I do get to sleep at night. Most nights at a reasonable hour…

Posted by BillSaysThis on 08/19/16 at 08:48 AM

A psychologist once shared with a friend the concept of “the rain barrel”. When one’s rain barrel (brain) gets too full of work, stress, anxiety, etc. it starts to overflow, and that’s when bad things happen. One has to balance lifestyle with enjoyable, destressing pursuits. Turn off the electronics and remember how to just ‘be’.

I think that is hardest for me, these days. Sometimes I can’t tell you what really makes me happy. I mean giddily happy to counterbalance life, economy, work, personal. I suspect that’s why I go back to old favorite books. Escape.

Posted by Garret P Vreeland on 08/19/16 at 10:01 AM

That may be one source of distress, and definitely resonates for me with regard to some folks I know, but does nothing for body chemistry-based issues. There’s just no way my problems are lifestyle related.

Posted by BillSaysThis on 08/19/16 at 10:43 AM

May not be applicable in your case, but I offer it in case it might give you another vector to work from. A lot of research being done between meditation/brain training and the limbic system. And a lot of quackery. So beware.

Posted by Garret P Vreeland on 08/19/16 at 11:18 AM


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