Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Face Of Therapy

     Sorry, but most psychotherapists aren't going to tell addicts to just enlarge their spiritual life, take some right action, and then send them on their way. And, uh, have you ever met an active alcoholic or a drug addict? It sounds like this: blah blah blah blah-blah blah blah blah-blah-blah...

     Probably the very last thing an addict needs is to be talking incessantly about their addiction and depression, whether sober and miserable or active and manic. By digging into our past and finding even more problems, more reasons and more stuff to blame, it distracts us and ultimately delays our recovery. We don't become empowered by blaming our problems on some trauma in our lives, thereby recusing ourselves of ownership and responsibility. We become empowered by moving on from the past, blaming nothing and no one, and getting our asses off the therapy couch and taking action - rigorous action.

     Therapists (especially psychiatrists) have little understanding about the nature of the illness of addiction, and thus have no ability or tools to help us, but at the same time think we need therapy. We can liken their industry to corporate advertising or marketing, where we're told that we need some product to be okay and live a good life. They have us believe that there is some profound, deep-seated, complicated and devious reason for all of our problems.

     Why go there?

     Putting a spotlight on ourselves and our feelings and delicately placing our lives up on a pedestal is the last thing we need to get better. On the contrary, we need to STOP talking so much and get over ourselves. We need to get outside of ourselves. In fact, the solution is the opposite of self-focus, which defines psychotherapy. So much inward focus is selfish, and selfishness is our #1 problem. Selfishness is the one and only thing preventing us from getting better. And there is without a doubt way too much me, me, me involved in therapy.

     I'm curious, where are they getting their information, from the textbooks (i.e. status quo, secular propaganda) of prestigious colleges and universities? I learned more from a couple of junkies and the Big Book than I did in 10 years of psychotherapy, blabbing on and on about a bunch of nonsense. Just like the actions we take, the thoughts and feelings we have are 100% caused by us and therefore 100% our fault. We give birth to them and we own them. We choose how we respond to life events, even when someone else has wronged us.

     Growing up isn't about looking backwards. It's about shutting up, taking action, and looking forwards. Therapists should do one thing and one thing only: Tell us to stop coming. In the time it takes for an addict or alcoholic to figure out his entire psychological condition, he may very well overdose and die. Talking every week for an hour (sorry, I mean 55 minutes) isn't going to do much good if you wind up dead on the floor. Needless to say, it's our prerogative if we want to pay somebody to be our friend and listen to us. We all need to be heard. But hey, why not save the money and go get a couple of good friends?  

God, teach me that it's not all about me. Teach me that action, not talking, is the solution...

2 comments:

  1. I'm not sure how I feel about this - I completely agree with you 100% about how there are times when one can be accountable for all of their consequences, their actions and anything that led to their own choice to use, but not all therapists are pushing that there is a deeper meaning and using business to make money off of someone who needs the help. I'm currently a part time therapist at a private practice and I also work full time at a drug and alcohol rehab in PA. I have been working wth addicts for over 10 years, and to be frank, my job and my purpose is to be someone who is there to listen and support - not to change, force change on someone and make someone get sober unless they are willing to. I feel like there is also help out there aside from the 12 steps, and when they are put together this can be a beautiful, yet small and minute part of the recovery process. I choose to see some clients for almost next to nothing, because my goal is to make sure that they are able to have a sounding board, and someone who is always there.. I'm a bit shocked.

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