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Discussion Starter #1
So I went to a local bar after work for a couple drinks during happy hour.

So there is a group of 3 women and 2 men setting down next to me. I can overhear there whole conversation. Turns out they are all mental health therapist who just got off work and are having a drink after work like I am.

So I hear them talking and one of the male therapist says that he "hates his job and he just lies to people all day" and that" he is tired of telling P they are not P's." (P meaning word for female vagina). Then the other guy says basically "pretty much all mental health issue boil down to being cowards". He said "fear of flying your just a P when it comes to flying. Getting bullied your just a P when it comes to fighting and fear of public speaking your just a P when it some to being judged by others." The the other guy say he just wants "to scream at people when he is giving them therapy to just ****ing do it" "Face your fear." "even if it dosent work out you will feel better about yourself for trying and the only way to get over stuff is to expose yourself to it." But that people are "to big of p's to face their fears"

One of the women jumped it and said that was wrong and that their "brains just did not develope right". Then she asked the guy with a smile in a joking manner "if he was absent the day they taught in school the amygdala was the fear center of the brain and that it was damaged in these people". The guy says " thats just what they want us to tell people to make them feel better about themselves". "Make P's feel better about being P's and make them believe its not their fault."

The other guy says the drug industry has convinced people "they have chemical imbalances to rip them off for money when they are really just the P word."


So basically over hearing this make me never want to trust therapist again. Not sure if this is how all therpaist feel. Not going to hold it against people to much if they are just got off work and blowing off a little steam at a bar and having fun but this conversation upset me. If therapists dont really believe what they tell us and the phara industry is just ripping us off for money where do we go for help?

Not in therapy now but was in my 20's. I got some benefit out of CBT therapy but now it makes me think they were just lying to me.

Anyway what do you think?
 

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Stoicism / ACT / CFT
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I think that the opinions of some individual therapists does very little to overturn the considerable weight of scientific evidence for many therapies. It's largely inconsequential what therapists believe (other than that they might suck at being therapists because of it). It's most certainly not what all therapists feel.

I would have been tempted to suggest to them that it would be highly surprising if therapist skill, compassion and enthusiasm wasn't a significant factor in delivering efficacious therapy, which is why they might be struggling so much with poor outcomes.
 

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8800 blue lick road
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Someone here said they caught their own therapist saying stuff like that on Facebook too. But yeah it does make it seem like a farce. I can't imagine it working if you know what your therapist thinks about you really. People like that should probably lose their jobs. They should be doing something else instead since they have the wrong personality type.

I think I might have actually gone off on that guy haha (especially if I'd been drinking,) when I'm pissed off my anxiety ironically improves. You ****ing wot m8. Maybe that's his secret plan all along make people want to punch him in his face, no/minimal anxiety (around him at least.)

Anyway suffice to say my reaction to him as a mentally unstable person is why he needs to be doing something else as a job. edit: just realised there's two of these guys but they're interchangeable *******s to me anyway.

But on a less aggressive note I imagine if you open up to someone about really vulnerable stuff and then find out they think that that would be really soul destroying for a lot of people.

edit: Also I would expect a lot of people with the 'wrong personality' type, psychopaths etc to be employed in that field because it will attract abusive people much like teaching, working in care homes etc does. It selects for caring people but it also selects for sadists and people who just want to **** with people. Another thing is if you have a kind of 'man up competitive personality type' you should be employed in some job that rewards/requires it and not a job where it's incredibly counter productive.

I'm not saying this is exactly the same but I'm just going to leave it here:

Hindley's father had served with the Parachute Regiment and had been stationed in North Africa, Cyprus and Italy during the Second World War.[19] He had been known in the army as a "hard man" and he expected his daughter to be equally tough; he taught her to fight and insisted that she "stick up for herself". When Hindley was 8, a local boy scratched her cheeks, drawing blood. She burst into tears and ran to her father, who threatened to "leather" her if she did not retaliate; Hindley found the boy and knocked him down with a series of punches. As she wrote later, "at eight years old I'd scored my first victory".[20] Malcolm MacCulloch, professor of forensic psychiatry at Cardiff University, has written that Hindley's "relationship with her father brutalised her ... She was not only used to violence in the home but rewarded for it outside. When this happens at a young age, it can distort a person's reaction to such situations for life."[21]
This all feeds into the culture.
 

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alien monk
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it's too much to relate to a person or animal as a whole being while exploiting them and being exploited yourself. narrow how you see them to a unit of production. people are trapped in jobs that they need for their own survival. they have to protect themselves. I think that's how it functions. if every customer service person not only has to smile but also care about the people they serve, it's too much. instead see them as only 2 dimensional beings, hate them for not conforming to the expected standard. if every therapist had to take their inability to really help X number of patients seriously and feel it, that's too much. farmers cant care about their animals as animals, just as units of production.

but yeah avoid all systems of exploitation as far as possible. something something late stage capitalism something something.
 

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Those two guys should no longer be practising; I'm sure their clients can feel they are only there for the money. At least one woman expressed a desire to genuinely help people. I think peer support groups and The Samaritans ( phone volunteers ) are better than paid "professionals."
 

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Stoicism / ACT / CFT
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I think as well it's worth pointing out here, that there are very very very different levels of training expected of "therapists". The word can be used interchangeably especially when in different parts of the world.

Here in the UK, you have "counsellor" that isn't a protected title, which means anyone can claim to be one. Psychotherapist, technically not protected, though some variations might be. CBT therapist (or other more specific version), highly likely to be protected, psychologist (definitely protected, although I have run across a woman who claimed to be one, but actually wasn't).

Point being, and here's where things might differ and some people might slip through the cracks (and some might anyway, because people gonna people).

1. Psychologist. Requires 3 year undergrad degree or 1 year conversion course. Also requires a PhD (3 years), which requires typically a stint as an assistant psychologist (which is **** pay, and super competitive). Or it requires a few years as a psychological wellbeing practitioner, then the PhD. As part of the course, and part of ongoing practice, psychologists need to see psychologists, and a huge emphasis on self reflection.

The upshot is, if you get a psychologist, you know they give enough of a **** to wade through a lot of stuff in order to get there, and its even hard to do it academically (you need, 2:1 and so on). Very very hard, and someone isn't going to be in it for the money, not really.

2. CBT therapist. Not even that easy. You can get in via a degree like social work (again, this isn't not giving a **** territory), or other professions that include 2 years psychological wellbeing practitioner (I cant get interviews for those roles even with my psych degree, they are so competitive). Then a years MSc funded diploma, then you can get in. Its technically possible someone could be in this for the money and not give a ****, but its not too likely.

3. Counsellor. You could find someone utterly arse here, ill be honest. Same with therapist. Most counsellors have had 3 years of training though but I still don't rate them from personal experience.

It sounds a bit like the OP might have listened to the equivalent of a low intensity CBT therapist, or psychological wellbeing practitioner. Those I could very much see having this kind of attitude because their jobs are low level, and quick turnover, and they don't actually require much knowledge of psychology, and their training isn't so much on the compassionate elements of the job. I went on a date with a girl from my course doing this training, and she didn't know **** about **** lol. They are just trained in really basic ****, but get given patients that are way too difficult (cos NHS).

If you see a counselling psychologist, a psychologist, or a high intensity CBT therapist, for the most part they do give a ****, and likely wouldn't refer to patients in those terms.

It's also worth pointing out, that for my peer support job interviews, on 2/3 interviews I have been asked "if someone referred to a patient in a derogatory way, what would you do?" - They want tact, typically, but also someone who will not let it pass. In no way is this kind of thing acceptable, not in the NHS anyway (care is often poor for mental health, but a large amount of that is a lack of funding).
 

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Failure's Art
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You should have covertly recorded these guys and then posted it on social media and Youtube. Maybe someone could have identified them and gotten them fired or even better got their licenses to practice revoked.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Someone here said they caught their own therapist saying stuff like that on Facebook too.
That would be really stupid of the therapist posting something like this on facebook. Anyone could just take a screenshot of it and get them fired.

Most people are smart enough to be A holes in a way where its tough for them to get caught. If I had called their employer they could have just denied it or say i was drunk and misunderstood or something. Although not smart of them talking that was in public either.

The big problem as far as I am concerned is not what they say but what they think. If they think this kind of stuff they really think about their clients and they dont even believe what they tell us then how are we supposed to believe it.
 

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That would be really stupid of the therapist posting something like this on facebook. Anyone could just take a screenshot of it and get them fired.

Most people are smart enough to be A holes in a way where its tough for them to get caught. If I had called their employer they could have just denied it or say i was drunk and misunderstood or something. Although not smart of them talking that was in public either.

The big problem as far as I am concerned is not what they say but what they think. If they think this kind of stuff they really think about their clients and they dont even believe what they tell us then how are we supposed to believe it.
Yeah I know the problem is you can't guarantee that people aren't thinking that. I actually think AI therapists in the future could be better for this reason. They already have some apps like that, but they still have a long way to go.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I think as well it's worth pointing out here, that there are very very very different levels of training expected of "therapists". The word can be used interchangeably especially when in different parts of the world.
In the state I am in where this occurs they have to have a Master Degree.

Maryland Counselor Education Requirements Master's degree or higher in professional counseling or related field from an accredited educational institution, with a minimum of 60 graduate semester hours in specific coursework, including completion of an alcohol and drug counseling course and supervised field experience.

They all appeared to be in their late 20's or early 30's so most likely they were not out of school very long.
 

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bipolar
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There's a lot of incompetence in the mental health system. It would take me pages to tell you all the experiences I've had with them - anywhere from mental health nurses right up to psychiatrists.

I remember one psychiatrist I actually saw for several years telling me a little anecdote once - about when he started his training. Another psych apparently said something along the lines of all you have to do is if someone has an eating disorder, tell them to eat. That he would even think it was appropriate to tell me - one of his patients - that, was astounding. But after spending a lot of time in the mental health system nothing would surprise me anymore.

Many are incompetent (to put it politely) and should be in therapy themselves - or at least just have the decency to stay at home (like me) and watch dvd's. I'm sure there must be some good ones out there - I'm afraid I don't have the energy to look for them anymore.
 

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he is tired of telling P they are not P's." (P meaning word for female vagina). Then the other guy says basically "pretty much all mental health issue boil down to being cowards". He said "fear of flying your just a P when it comes to flying. Getting bullied your just a P when it comes to fighting and fear of public speaking your just a P when it some to being judged by others." The the other guy say he just wants "to scream at people when he is giving them therapy to just ****ing do it" "Face your fear." "even if it dosent work out you will feel better about yourself for trying and the only way to get over stuff is to expose yourself to it." But that people are "to big of p's to face their fears"
Well, fear is the main reason many people get messed up. They're not wrong in that sense. But being afraid isn't the same as being a coward. "Coward" is a particular way of framing the problem, sort of like saying, "pretty much all physical health issues boil down to being weak". That would be true, too. Weak immune system, weak heart, weak bones. But framing medicine as some kind of scam to take advantage of weak people would sound strange to most people, even though the analogies are equivalent.

The problem here seems to be that the therapists you overheard don't yet appreciate the involuntary nature of psychological processes, which follow laws just like physical processes. People can't just decide to overcome their fears any more than they can just decide to overcome having a weak immune system. "Just expose yourself to germs. Even if it doesn't work out, and you catch COVID-19, you'll feel better about yourself for trying, and the only way to get over stuff is to expose yourself to it." Frankly, this kind of thinking is asinine. And it's just as asinine when applied to psychological disorders. Ofc, it's also possible that the therapists were just blowing off steam and talking facetiously but take it more seriously when they're actually dealing with clients. But I wouldn't want them for my therapist.

Psychological problems are serious problems; a negative (dysfunctional, irrational) belief can infect you just like a virus can. And it will operate in your thinking with the same kind of involuntary force that physical viruses have.

The big problem as far as I am concerned is not what they say but what they think. If they think this kind of stuff they really think about their clients and they dont even believe what they tell us then how are we supposed to believe it.
So, as far as your question goes, it seems like we need to distinguish between "how can we believe what therapists tell us about ourselves?" from "how can we believe what therapists tell us about therapy?" From your post, I'm not sure which you mean, and maybe you mean both. I don't want to make the post too long, so I'll only address the latter.

Is therapy effective? Can you get better just by talking to someone? I think there are two possibilities here: either our interactions with other people are efficacious, or they're not efficacious. Either being treated poorly by another person can have a negative impact on a person's mental health, or it can't. If it can, then being treated well by another person can have a positive impact on a person's mental health, in which case therapy can work, in principle. If it can't, then therapy is useless.

So far as I can see, you have to believe one or the other. You either have to believe that being treated poorly can create psychological problems and that therefore therapy can help or that being treated poorly doesn't create psychological problems and that therefore therapy doesn't help. It seems logically inconsistent to me to believe that people can mess you up but that people can't make you better. This is like arguing that you can boil water, but once you do, you'll never freeze it.

Psychological problems are, ofc, extremely difficult to correct. Many people have not found any benefit in therapy. But that doesn't mean that it doesn't help some of the people some of the time and that it's all just bunk. A good relationship with a good therapist can absolutely help someone, just like a bad relationship with a bad parent can absolutely mess them up. Much easier to break a dish than to put it back together, ofc.
 

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experimental sincerity
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I feel it's a bit unfair to generalise from some crappy therapists to the whole profession. There are many excellent and compassionate therapists out there. Being able to empathise is a core skill and a therapist is not supposed to continue if they're unable to do that. So these people you encountered can't even get their ABCs right.

It's not easy being a therapist. Even those who get the empathy right and genuinely want to help people, will often suffer from narcissism and try to fix their client's life. Many don't even realise they are getting it wrong. It can take years, even for very intelligent and empathetic people.

As patients...hopefully we can afford to pick our therapists. If we don't establish a connection within the first session and my therapist doesn't make me feel like we're on equal footing, I'd move on.
 

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bipolar
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I feel it's a bit unfair to generalise from some crappy therapists to the whole profession. There are many excellent and compassionate therapists out there. Being able to empathise is a core skill and a therapist is not supposed to continue if they're unable to do that. So these people you encountered can't even get their ABCs right.

It's not easy being a therapist. Even those who get the empathy right and genuinely want to help people, will often suffer from narcissism and try to fix their client's life. Many don't even realise they are getting it wrong. It can take years, even for very intelligent and empathetic people.

As patients...hopefully we can afford to pick our therapists. If we don't establish a connection within the first session and my therapist doesn't make me feel like we're on equal footing, I'd move on.
That's probably right - I'm very jaded. Actually I have had a couple of good people. The last psychologist was a lovely guy - older (late 60's), very smart (Phd in psychology) professional, warm, compassionate etc.

I just disagreed with a few things he was saying - nothing all that major really, and I certainly didn't have a problem with him. (unlike some of the shrinks - who could be rude, condescending or just downright strange.)

The psychiatrist I had before this last one was okay - but he retired. He was also older. Nice guy - lots of experience. So, you're right - they're not all bad. You just need to be selective - perhaps not quite as selective as I am though.
 

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customusertitle
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This is just my negative experience. Not a generalization.
Also, I don't hate men. I know it's mental illness.
Plus therapists are probably just worse where I am than most other places.

disclaimers out of the way:

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I've never been able to open up to male therapists because part of SA is very gender biased (I'm much more fearful of men).

I sort of always imagined some internal monologue they'd have like the one you posted.
So it kind of sucks that it sort of reinforced that :roll

I think I only ever trusted my first female therapist (she was just an assistance / trainee). The main psychaitrist was really weird and probably a narcissit and I couldn't open up to him at all. I felt his assistant was empathetic though and she was also my sister's friend (sort of), so she was a little personally invested maybe. I also had a 'therapeutic crush' on her. (I'm coining that term I guess = caring so much about what your therapist thinks of you you decide to make progress just to impress them).

She ended up leaving the clinic and I was assigned to a really bad male therapist (didn't have a medical degree, but not really my issue, he just looked depressed and fake all the time) I stopped going.

I later went to another clinic. (I'd become self-aware of my bias at that point, so I wouldn't even try male psychiatrists, especially after trying one 'really good one' and feeling like it was the worst session I've ever had and his judgements were written all over his face I hated him). The main psychiatrist was an old-ish woman. She was okay. She had three assistants. one of them was also a younger psychiatrist / med school graduate that I also developed a kind of therapeutic crush on, though it was a lot milder. The second one was a guy (hated the days he was the one available). The third one was a girl but not a psychiatrist. She was also okay.

The young psychiatrist also ended up leaving obviously, since if you're good enough you wouldn't just work at this job forever. And it feels like a pattern really. I kept going for a while, then stopped.

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I was a lot less dysfunctional back then, so I don't think I'd be able to trust anyone now. I'd just make them frustrated and I can tell when they're clueless since they start asking open ended questions like "what do you want then?"

Also, I've become a lot more sensitive to professional lies. I'm not really sure stuff like CBT or group therapy can be done without them lying. (probably it can, but it requires a lot of self-awareness from the therapist and awareness of the language they use).
 

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@Myosr

(I'm coining that term I guess = caring so much about what your therapist thinks of you you decide to make progress just to impress them).
I was doing the same thing with one of my therapists. I think eventually not long before our last session she pointed out she can't make me do things because she's not my boss, because I seemed uncomfortable. I think she wanted me to be more enthusiastic about certain things, I did try to bring up my motivation issues once but she changed the subject since that wasn't the focus of the therapy. Anyway I don't exactly care about most things.
 

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experimental sincerity
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That's probably right - I'm very jaded. Actually I have had a couple of good people. The last psychologist was a lovely guy - older (late 60's), very smart (Phd in psychology) professional, warm, compassionate etc.

I just disagreed with a few things he was saying - nothing all that major really, and I certainly didn't have a problem with him. (unlike some of the shrinks - who could be rude, condescending or just downright strange.)

The psychiatrist I had before this last one was okay - but he retired. He was also older. Nice guy - lots of experience. So, you're right - they're not all bad. You just need to be selective - perhaps not quite as selective as I am though.
Oh, I lose faith all the time. I've only had two therapists (not counting group therapy), one was rubbish and one was great. I also know a guy who happens to be a therapist, and boy, do I feel sorry for his patients. If he likes a person, he clings, lies and wheedles; if he doesn't, he's rude and disrespectful.

But then, there was that one good guy (also older - 60s/70s). And I know other people who've had good therapists. So...it's just a lottery with bad odds.
 

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Therapists are a pill pushing scam. Big pharma has to sell their products after all. Id say the same for therapy, but some of it can be beneficial since it makes you take pro-active steps to get better.

But no one will ever make me believe therapists are there to help you. Sure, maybe there's good therapist who mean well but good luck finding one in your neck of the wood.
 

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Ideally, a therapist should be like a doctor: it shouldn't matter whether they like you or not, as long as they skillfully employ their tools to help you create positive change in your [mental] health. But certainly the fear of being judged by them is a big reason I avoid them. That, and the fear that they'd tell me to do things I'm afraid of.
 

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Stoicism / ACT / CFT
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Ideally, a therapist should be like a doctor: it shouldn't matter whether they like you or not, as long as they skillfully employ their tools to help you create positive change in your [mental] health.
I think good ones do exactly this. I feel like my psychologist likes me, in fact, I think she is very fond of me. But then, because she is a good psychologist, that's exactly what she would make me feel haha, even if she detested me.

I think a skilled psychologist, at least, a counselling psychologist should be able to not only help you progress, but make you feel they like you even if they dont. It is, I think, an art form that isn't necessarily learned with CBT therapists, though, since there is less focus on active listening. But I think that the positive effects of feeling liked, validated and listened to, will assist any therapy.
 
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