I love being a psychotherapist. It's the only job I know of where the client does the work and I get paid for it.
That brings to mind an old joke ..... "What's the difference between a neurotic, a psychotic and a psychotherapist? The neurotic builds castles in the air, the psychotic lives in them, and the psychotherapist collects the rent!" That works for me!
The truth is, I don't like diagnoses. They're labels that limit and psychopathologize problematic thoughts, feelings and behaviors which in most cases would have a better chance of being overcome or healed if they were just called what they are - problems. Another reason is, once you name something you get to keep it.
For example, a dog or kitty follows you home. You'll probably feed it. You might decide to bring it inside and even take it to the vet to get it checked out. But that doesn't mean you've gotten attached to it or made a commitment to keep it. Yet. But go ahead and give it a name and KABAM! Instantly it's yours. Forever. Done deal. You name it, you claim it.
Same thing happens when you go to your friendly neighborhood shrinkologist. Shrinkerbell pries out of you everything that's ever bothered you and everything you think could possibly be wrong with you. Then, as though talking about all that negative garbage you've just dredged up and spewed out hasn't made you feel bad enough and like a real mental case, what does Shrinkerdoodle want you to do? Talk about your mother! Oh boy, now you're really caught by the short ones!
That's when the fun begins - for the shrinks, anyway. They take every problem, experience, feeling and symptom you've revealed and what do they do? Do they start helping you think your way through, showing you how to see things differently - maybe even realize there's nothing wrong with you and that your problems are understandable? Hell, no! The first thing they do is stick you with a diagnosis! That means you're sick and they've got names for all the things wrong with you. Which means... let's all say it together - You name it, you claim it!
They take lots of complicated sounding labels and put them on all your stuff - big stuff, little stuff, old stuff, new stuff, significant and no big deal stuff. But now it's not stuff anymore - it's "mental disorders." Isn't that lovely? You felt like crap before, and now that you know you've got mental disorders, how do you feel? Now that they've named them, not only are they yours and you get to keep them, they're you and you get to be them. See how easy that was? Identity crisis solved! You're sick and you've got a diagnosis to prove it and guess what? Now you can start taking medication. Wowza! Is there no end to your good fortune?
The Shrinkifyer turns to the Holy Bible of Psychobabble - The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) - created and published by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) to get these life-limiting labels. Every single mental health diagnosis must come from this omnipotent tome, which is edited regularly by a sacrosanct board with the power of a Psychiatric Vatican. This is the reference book that tells your therapist exactly what's wrong with you and what to call your laundry list of problems. And that's what you're going to have to live with for the rest of your life... or until you wise up and decide to ditch that diagnosis.
Do you REALLY THINK you've got a mental disorder? I'll bet you don't. Being screwed up and a product of normally dysfunctional people called "parents" is not an illness. It's part of being a card-carrying member of the human race. Of course you've got baggage and problems; you've got emotional aches and pains - it's called GROWTH. Are you really willing to let yourself be defined by those labels some shrinkologist stuck you with? I don't think so!
There's nothing you can't overcome or heal if you start changing how you think about things ... and if you Ditch That Diagnosis!
Ditch That Diagnosis
Don't Tell Me Who You Are
You'd think by now I'd have gotten used to hearing clients tell me they want to be free of pain and problems and have the happiness they've always yearned for - and then stubbornly refuse to let go of the thoughts and behavior patterns that created their pain and problems in the first place.
It seems the idea that they might need to make some major life changes within themselves in order to have their outer lives change kicks up all sorts of resistances. They want a new, happy life but they want to stay the same as they've always been. You know the definition of insanity, don't you? Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome. Have I made my point?
These clients don't want to accept the fact that giving birth to anything, especially themselves, just can't be done without a little work and sometimes a lot of screaming.
They'd rather cling to often mistaken and outworn beliefs about who they think they are - instead of defining and becoming the free, happy person they want to be.
I'm telling you, these clients don't just cling to their limitations, they get downright defensive at the suggestion they might need to give them up. And they argue for them. Well, guess what happens when you argue for your limitations... you get to keep them!
Remember... You've always got your limitations to fall back on if the thought of freedom makes you too uncomfortable.
So they find all sorts of excuses to justify their limiting thoughts, behaviors and resistances. I can't tell you how many times I hear, "This is who I am..." or "I'm the kind of person who..." Oh yeah? And how's that working for you?
One I hear so often from clients whose emotions are totally out of control is they insist, "I'm just a very passionate person." Maybe so, but right now, you're also off the wall!
Don't tell me it's your personality, your horoscope, your diet, or your mother. It's all about you and it's all up to you. I don't care if you are a triple Virgo, that's no excuse for being a control freak. Maybe you do have a chemical imbalance from your childhood illnesses and your current crappy diet, but that doesn't let you off the hook. And don't tell me what a spiritual person you are and how often you meditate and go to yoga.....What do you want to do about it?
I'll tell you what you can do about it..... Don't tell me who you are. Tell me who you want to be!
You're depressed...You've gained weight...Your face broke out...Your relationships are crappy...Your kid's out of control...You're cranky, worried, confused...You're constipated...
You can't sleep...Work sucks... Finances suck more...Your back's in knots... And, you've got gas.
You want to know if you're crazy or if everyone else is. You want to know why life seems
so difficult and why you feel so blocked up. Well, it's really quite simple. You've got Communipation. You might not know it, but there are only two things that cause every other problem in all of our lives... Communication and Elimination.
And the two work together, as you'll soon see. But for starters, let's just admit that most of us have no idea what we're really thinking or feeling most, if not all, of the time. We don't know the first thing about how to talk honestly with ourselves, and we certainly don't know how to
do it with anyone else.
Even though we seem to know this on some deeper level of awareness, we just keep denying it and hiding it under an ever-expanding pile of unadulterated BS that we try to pass off as authentic thoughts, feelings and emotions.
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Amy Taylor, LMHC
ARE YOU "COMMUNIPATED?"
So what's wrong with you is not that you're nuts - even though you might certainly seem that way. What's wrong with you
is that you're essentially 'full of shit' (clinical terminology). You're Communipated. And that's treatable with some good, honest,
truth enemas that can clear your pipes of toxins and open the flow of authentic, positive communication.
If you believe what Freud had to say (and he suffered constipation his whole life - which speaks volumes about his theories!),
most of our emotional and interpersonal problems started somewhere around 18 months of age, when we were forced to control
our bowels during toilet training. As a result, we developed personalities that were either anal retentive (emotionally constipated
control freaks) or anal explosive (out of control and spewing all kinds of verbal and emotional diarrhea). If we start our lives
fixated on our anal sphincter, is it any wonder we end up with hemorrhoids?
Still don't see a connection between Communication and Elimination? Try paying attention to some of the things you, me, and
every one else says - and how we look when we say those things. Haven't you noticed that the person who says, "Do I look like a
give a shit?" usually looks like they really need to take one? Or how about when we say someone dumped on us (as in "taken a
dump") and how shat upon we feel when they do?
Okay, so you finally got it! Good, so what's the solution? Cut the crap! Get real. Get on BS alert and start asking yourself what
you're really feeling about things. Then let your thinking and talking move from there. Think, feel and speak more from your
heart and don't let that head/bowel connection crap on your life anymore. Now's the time. Just do it. Shit or get off the pot!
Integrative Psychotherapy & Holistic Energy Healing