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Does professional therapy really help anyone?

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Does professional therapy really help anyone?

Postby Scepcop » 17 Aug 2009, 00:36

Hi all,
You've all heard the phrase "go get help" when someone wants to put you down. It's not really advice, but a judgment on you that you have mental issues or problems.

But what I don't get is, what's the point of actually going to a professional therapist or shrink? What does it accomplish?

When you go to one, they don't actually DO anything to help you or solve your problems. All they do is ask open ended questions and listen to you, then paraphrase what you say, and ask more questions. When the session is over, they simply make another appointment for next week, and repeat the same thing again. Gee whiz, you don't even have to be a trained psychologist to know anything to engage in such open ended listening and conversation skill.

So what is the point? Nothing gets accomplished or solved. It's like talking to a tree almost.

I know cause I've gone to different shrinks before. When I was 10 or 11, I asked one of them about what this is supposed to accomplish. He said to me "Well what do you want me to do?" and I thought, well duh, isn't that YOUR job to know what to do?! It seemed all so stupid and pointless.

Anyhow, some shrinks I've met are actually very wise, understanding, and have great people skills. They are able to see the big picture in a person's life. They size up a person or situation very well and quickly, with great insight.

But many simply suck. They are very judgmental, closed minded, and act like robots programmed to quickly judge and label you. It's like they are following a rehearsed script. Some may even get a power trip off of having the power to label anyone insane that they want.

I even had one debating me about things he knew nothing about. He dismissed whatever I said that he didn't like, even if it was 100 percent true and provable. What an idiot. We were not on the same page about anything.

However, when I see therapy on TV though, it seems like they are actually doing something and practicing various forms of textbook therapies. For example, they'll do free association word games (say one word and you say the first word that comes to your mind) to find out what's in your subconscious. For phobias they try to desensitive the patient by exposing him/her to what he/she fears, whether it be heights or snakes, etc. And for those with post traumatic stress syndrome, they use a new treatment called REM Treatment, where they alter your REM eye movements to lessen the trauma. And of course, there is the classic psychoanalysis treatments based on Freud's theories as well. I've read about these treatments in psychology textbooks too.

But then how come therapists in real life don't do anything to treat you like they do in the movies and in textbooks? They just talk and talk and if necessary, prescribe medication.

Did I go to all the wrong shrinks? Is there something I'm missing here?

Any other experiences here with shrinks? Do they really help anyone? If so, how?

Isn't their job to provide you with coping skills only? That's what one told me.
“Devotion to the truth is the hallmark of morality; there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking.” - Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
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Re: Does professional therapy really help anyone?

Postby brett » 17 Aug 2009, 02:07

oh sh*t scepcop - don't get me started - i agreed to see one for "grief counselling " when my late wife passed away - six sessions of being talked AT - not a word i said was listened too and i got asked all sorts of dumb questions about my life that had sod all to do with how i was feeling at the time - and how to cope with the grief i am STILL suffering some 3 years later :x

and what REALLY really PISSES ME OFF is this idea that you should ONLY grieve for about 12 months - then flip a big switch and "move on " with your life , forgetting the person you have lost in effect - some dickhead even suggested i was holding my self back recently and should go find someone new - frik i nearly hit him !! - i loved my wife dearly - i miss her EVERY DAY !! - and would feel i was betraying her if i found another woman - ok some will say i am wrong to think like this - but that's how i do think and no poxy psychologist will ever alter that !!

bloody mind meddlers !! - folks if you take may advice keep well away from them !! - they talk crap on the whole - as scepcop says , do nothing
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Re: Does professional therapy really help anyone?

Postby Scepcop » 17 Aug 2009, 02:14

It sounds like the one you had was too religious about following rules. They are supposed to be guidelines, not rules that apply to everyone.

Did you try another therapist? I heard of that rule, it's outlined in a book about dealing with loss of a loved one. It's a good book though, but not meant to be followed religiously.

But there is a tendency with judgmental Americans, I've noticed, where they tell you to just "move on" like you can just flip a light switch and forget the pain. It doesn't work that way. It's a pity that most people are so judgmental.

Maybe you can go to George Anderson to contact her spirit? I heard he's very good and gets amazing hits that are not possible with any tricks. He is undebunked. But there is a long waiting list to see him, and he's probably pricey. I don't get why they charge so much that only the rich can afford them. What kind of spirituality is that?
“Devotion to the truth is the hallmark of morality; there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking.” - Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
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Re: Does professional therapy really help anyone?

Postby NinjaPuppy » 17 Aug 2009, 03:01

OK, here's my unqualified $.02.

IMO, listening to people's problems for a living can't be the best possible thing that a person can want to do with their life. Then you've got those who REALLY need some big time help with issues that require a team of shrinks to get to the bottom of or even begin to diagnose.

In every profession you have certain unknown percentages of people who get into the job for many different reasons. To name a few: money, ego, family pressure, picking something of interest.

Any profession when the person considers it 'a calling' or real desire to be in that field will always become better at it than someone who thought they wanted to do that but found out later that it's not their 'calling' or have some sort of desire. As time passes it no longer is considered a career, it becomes a paycheck.

Just like in the search for a life partner, you have to kiss a lot of frog before you find a prince/princess. It should be one of the easier things we as human can do yet the current divorce rate is like 50%. If over half of us aren't capable to pick another human we can live with and understand, how can we be expected to find someone from the limited gene pool of psyciatric candidates?

If you don't feel comfortable with any professional you are dealing with you owe it to yourself to keep on looking until you do find someone that makes you comfortable. Of course when it comes to mental health you're already admitting to yourself that you think you may have a reason for needing this help and of course not many want to hear the hard core explanations for that reason. If you try at least 3 different shrinks and they keep telling you the same thing, you may want to start to pay attention. If all three of them tell you nothing (and some of them do that because they really just hate their job and are counting billable hours) then you need to keep looking. It's a numbers game.
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Re: Does professional therapy really help anyone?

Postby brett » 17 Aug 2009, 05:29

yea thanks guys - actually i have a tame psychic /medium ( although she gets annoyed with me for calling her either ) who lives 300 miles away in Birmingham - we met on a website we both visit - and she has become a good friend - we talk most day via web cam - and she has passed on stuff to me from my late wife that has amazed me - not BS generalities - but good solid stuff that she had NO WAY of knowing , as until last august we had not met in person and she had not been to my home - so not a case of picking up clues or cold reading - and believe me if i thought for one moment she was bullshitting - i would never talk to her again and she knows that - but she has come out with personal stuff that ONLY me the wife and my doctor would know - bodily markings and such - and we have not been THAT close if you get my meaning as she is happily married and i respect the sanctity of marriage !!

she even told me something about one of the wife's former friends that i did not know - but I asked about one day - boy , her jaw dropped like a cartoon figure and she confirmed what that it was correct - frightened her i think :lol: - and my medium has NEVER even met this other lady !! + again it was not something that she COULD have known as it concerned a scar on her body - my late wife knew about it but obviously never told me as it was a "girlie " type thing - you know the ones females tend to ONLY talk amongst themselves about :o - and i have sure as heck never seen this woman naked :lol: :lol:

so quite impressive , and she only channels messages for friends -not for money or anything else

so i DO honestly believe there IS some sort of continuance after death - and it gives me some small comfort :D
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Re: Does professional therapy really help anyone?

Postby Scepcop » 17 Aug 2009, 13:35

Brett, you might find this one interesting.

http://metgat.gaia.com/blog/2009/7/no-n ... fter-death
“Devotion to the truth is the hallmark of morality; there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking.” - Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
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Re: Does professional therapy really help anyone?

Postby BunnyWarrior » 08 Mar 2012, 04:06

I know this is an older post..however i have been reading extensively in the area of psychology to try to help myself.

The following is just my opinion

From the amount of material i have read, and pros and cons..i can say that the role of Psychotherapist seems TO ME, to have come about because of the severe lack of community in american society in particular, but western civilization as a whole..this result has been accelerated in the last 50 years by the extreme corporatization of the US where Americans are little more than human resource/ consumers caught in a artificial harvesting machine that eats their lives, and with no one to talk problems through with..say severe alienation.
(even the family has eroded to the point where family members don't spend much time together)

My personal belief is that the actual artificial structure of our civilization is what is CAUSING "mental illness".
or mental and emotional disturbances if you will.


There was an article in one of the popular psychology magazine i read months ago, i will try to find it, that reported that people did just as well talking to an untrained sympathetic person as they did a therapist.

Back in my grandparents time, people actually DID pull together. Not to be a chauvinist, but the women at home were the social networking of its day, not some disembodied words on a computer screen, but real face to face people...now we just sit in darkened rooms staring at the tv or computer screens; , or work in closed cubicles...how is that healthy to the body or the mind?

We live in the most unnatural artificial environment to ever develop on planet earth for humans and we wonder why we have record suicide rates, depression and addiction problems.
I don't think it is much of a mystery.
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Re: Does professional therapy really help anyone?

Postby Craig Browning » 09 Mar 2012, 06:50

DAMN YOU, BUNNY -- GET OUT OF MY HEAD! :lol:

I think your summation is 110% on the mark. I'd go a bit further to point out how all the chemicals and processing of our food, the pollution levels in the air and water, etc. are just as responsible for our failing physical health.

I have MS and the biggest running theory behind what causes it is geographic; the typical patient lived in cold climates where heavy industry existed that release a very high level of metals into the air and likewise the water & food supply. Those that had major trauma to the spine and cranium in life but especially their latter years, would stimulate the MS effect by way of chemical release into the blood stream, etc. This explains another factor tied to MS and that is why so many don't start showing major ails until their early 40s and 50s though they may have had minor indicators when quite young (I've always had problems with my legs, as an example, but it wasn't until I broke my neck in 98 that I started having really heavy exacerbations).

I so wish there was a way to make all the money monger go away so the rest of us could clean-up the world, nurse it back to health and start doing things the responsible way. It may seem to be a harder way of living, but that's just because we're all spoiled children, presently. ;)
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