Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Guest Blogger Ron Pies-- Religion & Psychotherapy: Two Armed Camps or Allies of the Soul?

Hey, I made a friend on Shrink Rap!

Dr. Ron Pies is a Professor of Psychiatry at both Tufts and S.U.N.Y. Upstate Medical University and I met him when he surfed over to read
Don't Shrink Me. Ron is the author of The Ethics of the Sages (Rowman & Littlefield) and the upcoming book, Everything Has Two Handles: The Stoic’s Guide to Happiness (to be published in Spring, 2008 by University Press of America). Ron is a prolific writer and his work includes some fiction (we like that here). Finally, he's Editor-in-Chief of Psychiatric Times. I invited Dr. Pies to be a guest blogger, and here's what he sent:

Religion and Psychotherapy: Two Armed Camps Or Allies of the Soul?

Religion did not sit well with the early psychoanalysts. Although Freud’s views evolved over the many years he spent analyzing religion, he generally explained religion as a kind of neurotic “compromise”: focused as it is on an all-powerful “Father-God”, religion allows us to admit our vulnerability in the world, while also giving us a feeling of superiority and control. We become “God’s children”, develop all kinds of rituals and prayers designed to gain God’s good will, and thereby secure our place in the scheme of things. [I am oversimplifying greatly—for those interested in Freud’s views on religion, I recommend the web site of Prof. Jurgen Braungardt, a philosopher and psychotherapist]. For Freud and most of the early psychoanalysts, religion was a sort of childish problem to be, well, outgrown—often through the aid of psychoanalysis. Modern-day critiques of religion—witness the spate of books by Daniel Dennett (Breaking the Spell), Sam Harris (The End of Faith ) and many others—also focus on the supposed “irrational” or extremist elements of religious faith.

There is some truth to these critiques of religion, but in many ways, they obscure as much as they illuminate. For no matter how many theories we devise as to how religion arose, or what “neurotic” needs it may serve, we will never succeed in refuting the basic claims of most conventional religions; i.e., that there is a “Superior Being” of some sort; that this Being created and guides the universe; and that we are all governed by universal and “God-given” moral principles. There are simply no scientific experiments that could conceivably refute these claims—for no matter how many failed attempts to “detect” such a Superior Being, it is always possible that the very next experiment would succeed. And even if religion first arose out of some neurotic need to keep “Big Daddy” happy and on our side, this does not disprove the existence of a Father or Mother (or any other) God. (Imagine a primitive tribe that had a “neurotic need” to believe in tiny, sub-microscopic particles—this would hardly serve as evidence against the existence of atoms!).

But there is a deeper and—from my perspective as a psychiatrist—more important sense in which the critics of religion have missed the proverbial boat. This involves their failure to distinguish what I would call pathological religiosity from the religious impulse. Think about it this way. Mr. A. is convinced not only that his religion is valid, but that it is the only “true faith”, and that everybody else is a “heretic”. Mr. A. is completely impervious to any attempts to challenge his beliefs, rituals, or religious practices. Any attempt to do so sends Mr. A. into fits of frothing rage, and violent fantasies of “avenging the slur against the One True Faith.” Furthermore, when Mr. A. violates his own religious commandments, he is thrown into deep bouts of self-hatred and depression.

Sound familiar? Mr. A’s relationship to his religion encapsulates, in my view, a certain type of fanaticism that has become all too familiar in our age. (Fanaticism, by the way, can exist in folks of any faith, or no faith at all—it is a psychological type, not a religious label). Mr. A’s religiosity is clearly at odds with most traditional goals of psychotherapy; namely, reducing excessive guilt and anger, broadening the individual’s perspective on life, and increasing the patient’s “cognitive flexibility”. Mr. A. would be one tough customer in psychotherapy!

Now consider Ms. B. She describes herself as “not a religiously observant” individual, but one who does attend religious services “when I’m feeling a little lost or alone.” Ms. B. is not sure she believes in an all-knowing, all-powerful God; however, she says that, “I feel like there is something out there greater than us—some kind of order or intelligence in the universe that I feel drawn to very strongly.” Ms. B. has undertaken psychotherapy in order to “help me figure out who I am, and where I’m headed—like, is there a purpose to life beyond just working and getting by?”

Ms. B.’s relationship to faith is clearly very different in tone and content from that of Mr. A. Indeed, Ms. B would find little difficulty relating to many traditional psychotherapists, all other things being equal. In fact, one type of psychotherapy, called Existential Therapy, would be nicely suited to the kind of exploration Ms. B. is seeking. She represents what I call the religious impulse—a yearning for something larger than ourselves, often manifest as a sense of awe, mystery, or ineffable bliss. (The word “religion” is probably derived from the Latin, ligare, meaning to “bind” or “connect”—as in feeling “connected” to some larger community, set of laws, or spiritual purpose). I believe Freud would be quite wrong in regarding Ms. B’s religious impulse as “neurotic” in any way. Her sense of wonder and awe is certainly not a feeling I would ever want to “outgrow.” On the contrary, Ms. B’s powerful attraction to some transcendent “order or intelligence” in the universe is quite like the feeling expressed by Albert Einstein—arguably the greatest scientist since Isaac Newton. Einstein said
"Try and penetrate with our limited means the secrets of nature, and you will find that, behind all the discernible concatenations, there remains something subtle, intangible and inexplicable. Veneration for this force beyond anything that we can comprehend is my religion. To that extent I am, in point of fact, religious.”1

Not only should psychotherapy be tolerant of this mature kind of religious impulse, its goals should be compatible with those of such a seeker. This is not to say that psychotherapy should be intolerant of more conventional or orthodox forms of faith; it is just to say that, in so far as the religious impulse veers over into pathological religiosity, its difficulties with traditional psychotherapy will multiply.

In my book, The Ethics of the Sages, I try to show how several different religious faiths hold views compatible with those of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). For example, in the Jewish tradition, we are instructed, “…do not consider yourself wicked.”

[Pirke Avot 2:18]. The rabbis believed that, while we could certainly judge our individual acts as “wicked”, we should not entirely condemn our very being. (Hence, the modern-day expression, “Hate the sin, not the sinner.”). All this is quite compatible with a type of CBT developed by Dr. Albert Ellis, known as Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT). Ellis (who died just recently) argued that, “If human beings have any intrinsic worth or value, they have it by virtue of their mere existence, their being, rather than because of anything they do to “earn” it...You are “good” or “deserving” just because you are…” 2

Similarly, in another portion of the Talmud [Pirkei Avot 2:21], we are told, “...it is not up to you to complete the task, but you are not free to desist from it...” This teaching is part of a powerful "anti-perfectionism" in Judaism. It tells us, in effect, “Don’t condemn yourself if you don’t finish everything successfully—but don’t just give up on it, either.” This is quite consonant with the position taken by Ellis and Harper: “People who lead a lazy, passive existence...are almost always (consciously or unconsciously) defending themselves against some irrational fear, especially the great fear of failure. Viewing failure with horror, they avoid certain activities that they would really like to engage in...” (A Guide to Rational Living, p. 174).

There are many such fruitful intersections between psychotherapy and various religious traditions. The values of psychotherapy—and let us be clear, there are such values—may never coincide completely with those of traditional religion; but neither do psychotherapists and the religiously faithful need to be adversaries. Though they proceed from different premises and may seek different goals, psychotherapy and religion may yet be “allies of the soul.”

Albert Einstein, Response to atheist, Alfred Kerr (1927), quoted in The Diary of a Cosmopolitan (1971)

Ellis A, Harper RA: A Guide to Rational Living; No. Hollywood, Wilshire Book Co., 1971, p. 89


Dinah said...

Lots of stuff to think about here, and I'm so glad you joined us. Psychiatry and religion have a complicated relationship on a lot of levels-- Religion is an integral part of who how many people identify themselves--spirituality might be an even better word-- and psychiatry really hasn't come up with a formal way of dealing with this (and I'm not saying it should, I'm just thinking here). Our tendency is often to just leave this out of psychotherapy. In another realm, spiritual advisors/clergy/ and now officially trained pastoral counselors often treat people using psychotherapy, and yet they are quite removed from the diagnostic and treatment concerns of psychiatric disorders. And of course, psychiatric symptoms and religious beliefs can bleed into one another in ways that get confusing even for those of us with medical training.

I'm not sure Mr. A is fanatic or symptomatic, maybe he's just reiterating what he's been taught to believe. And while many patients have issues of finding meaning that Ms. B presents with, I've never had a patient come specifically for this reason: most arrive with either specific symptoms of mental illness or marked dysfunction in ability to negotiate life, work, love.

Mostly I'm rambling. My way of saying Hi and thanks for being part of S****k Rap.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Dinah--Thanks for posting my piece, and for your comments, with which I resonate. Just two clarifications: 1. I don't believe there is any inconsistency in saying that Mr. A has a "fanatical" mind-set and acknowledging that this probably represents learned behavior--in fact, I think most extremism is imbibed from one's culture, early schooling, parental modeling, etc. 2. Re: Ms. B., she is a somewhat idealized type and I agree neither of us usually is greeted by that kind of "seeker"--I used to see mainly folks with the most severe kinds of psychiatric disturbances. Ms. B was really just an example of somebody with the "religious impulse."

By the way, I don't want to function as the "word police" on this site...so you can actually spell out "Shrink" in my presence, without fear of my taking umbrage!

Sarebear said...

So THAT's where my umbrage went! I could've used it today, as we drove through the makings of a tornado, and things were quite wet.

Yup, it's been a heck of a day.

The horizontal and upwards rain was enough to make me religious, if I wasn't already, let alone the low low low clouds screaming along at super speed in opposition of the upper clouds, spawning hellish conditions all over, as well as right on top of us (you could see how thick the fast and furious lightning bolts were because they were that close),that made us feel like God's hand was upon us.

I know I can be prone to blowing things out of proportion, but the only more blown it could've gotten was having a defined tornado drop atop us, as it was "flirting" with.

I'll skip that kind of flirting for the rest of my life, thank you, now that a couple years have been shaved off the end of it . . . .

Oh, and it's my opinion that many with such a vague and absolving religious impulse such as Mrs. B's, is actually LESS mature than more conventional religious attitudes, in SOME people's cases; in my armchair psych way, they're avoiding consequences and absolving themselves of guilt without having to deal with it or face it.

That's been my experience, although I suspect you weren't trying to start a debate about what's more/less mature, because that's completely subjective. Which is kind of why I brought it up, is to point that out. 8^D

ClinkShrink said...

My gut response is that this is just one more area where Freud was wrong and it's time to stop giving him attention. Given what we know about the protective effects of spirituality, a modern therapist would no more try to 'cure' it than they would try to 'cure' a dependence upon a helpful spouse or a high-paying job.

I would be careful about drawing parallels between spiritual practices and therapy though; this approach has led to exorcisms and other questionable things. You have to take the bad with the good.

Otherwhys said...

Clinkshrink, you rock. I was gonna say that you rule too but that might have religious undertones.

About the ads: I don't care about the companies that will shrink wrap your mother if you really wanted to have that done, but the ones for individual psychs advertising their services are a bit different.This isn't the phone book. You can do what you like, but I can see dangers.

Dino William Ramzi said...

I like terms like spirituality and seeker...

The more I blog (and comment), the more I realize the story of Blind Men and The Elephant may very well be the best description of the human experience, especially in relation to a creator. We all need one, even physics needs the Big Bang, or more precisely the catalyst to the Big Bang...

Saints have been brought before inquisitors (I'm thinking of Catherine of Siena), wars have been fought and well-intentioned people assassinated...

Ultimately, any truly religious (or spiritual) person must have enough respect for fellow humans to tolerate and not kill. The more loudly and threateningly one proclaims one's faith, the more likely one is delusional...

Anonymous said...

Dr. Pies,
I must disagree with your notion that we will never be able to prove that an almighty God who created all things doesn't exist. We can't prove it directly, but in the same way we can't prove the non-existence of fairies. Instead, we can explain things that were traditionally attributed to God / gods, such as weather phenomena or creation of the world and living things, in scientific terms. That pretty much reduces the role of God to causing the Big Bang, which would not satisfy any religious person.

I understand, though, that it wasn't the intention of the author to start a discussion on the existence of God, but about the place of religiosity in therapy.

I think that it's vital to be able to distinguish between a spiritual problem and a psychological problem. Psychologists should leave spiritual problems to be solved by religious guides and vice versa. The problem is that, at least in Poland, where I went to university, therapists are not trained to tell a difference between the two. For example; where does religiosity end and pathology starts in intense feelings of guilt with religious content? A psychotherapist will always treat it as a psychological issue, whereas a clergyman will always treat it as a religious problem, and that shouldn't be the case. I think that there should be far more dialogue between psychiatry and religions in order for both parties to deepen the understanding of each-other and, in result, serve people better.
No matter what I, as a therapist, think of religions, there is far too many religious people in the world to ignore this part of their reality or treat it with less importance than any other problem area. As long as it serves its psychological purpose, like fulfilling the social needs and need of transcendence, there is definitely no reason to pathologize it.


PS: I don’t think anyone remembers, but in the first comment I posted about a year ago I mentioned that I was in Canada waiting for my status to clear before I can work in the field of psychology (or work at all, for that matter). Well, I got my work permit yesterday (yay!). Wish me luck with my job hunt. I also wanted to thank all the Shrinkrappers for the blog. Even though I was too shy to post comments, I’ve read it every day and it kept me thinking psychology even though I was away from my beloved field. Thank you Dinah, Clink and Roy! ^_^

Jayme said...

Sprituality, I believe, is a key component of most, if not all, psychiatric crises. It is also a key to recovery. But it is taboo in psychotherapy. Strange. I was in psychotherapy for 10 years, and we did all the typical therapuetic things. But when I discovered my own spirituality through a spiritual community I resonated with, it was the beginning of the end for our sessions. She simply could not get past how bizarre my beliefs were compared to her own traditional beliefs. My beliefs were so outside the box, they could sound psychotic to the average person. But those beliefs were my key to recovery -- without her. It just befuddles me why she could be so threatened by my beliefs. I mean, they really helped me much more than all those years of psychotherapy. Aren't psychotherapists supposed to be objective?

Roy said...

Nice post, Ron. The last couple commenters made me think that the meaning one attributes to one's problem has a lot to do with the potential solutions entertained. If you are angry at God for taking your spouse, you could see it as a personal problem (your emotion of anger) which a secular therapist may help with, or you could see it as challenge to your faith and seek someone in the spiritual community. The same exact problem can be handled differently, and both can be "right"... the "rightness" depends on the framework within which we choose to view our problem.

Sarebear, wasn't umbrage a crayon color? Ah, yes, burnt umbrage. Look under the fridge. Or maybe under the s**k.

Roy said...

Oh, and Congrats, Eva!! That's great news. And thank you for your kind words. Join in anytime, please.

Anonymous said...

I really was hoping to make the umbrage puns... no one ever gives me a chance.

Sarebear: Wishing you beautiful skies.

Eva: Congratulations! And as Roy has already said, Thanks for the kind words.

Clink or Roy: which ever one of you added links to the post--thank you, what would I do without you two? Albert Ellis would also thank you if he could...

Dr. Pies-- hmmm, once you've written a letter to the editor (any editor) discussing how a word is demeaning, then come on and drew parallels between that term ("s****k") and despicable racial slurs (I won't go there), well, I figured that the term evokes some type of emotional aversion for you, and while it just doesn't have that power for me, I thought I'd respect your feelings here. Oh, and I suppose there's an element of playful teasing. Don't worry about word police, and please don't get upset and jump off any umbrages.

I suppose if we talked about Shrink Wrap instead of S****k Rap we could wrap this whole discussion up neatly.

Rach said...

DINAH made a PUN!!
Dinah Made a PUN!

Take that Roy!

ClinkShrink said...

Thanks Otherwhys and Eva for the kind words.

To everyone else: Please don't feed the punsters. I'm bad enough.

Sarebear said...

Clink, I've now got two earworms in my head (not the Star Trek II: Wrath of Kham variety, ewwwww . . .) thanks to you . . . .

I'm Bad, Michael Jackson (She's bad, she's bad, you know she's really Bad . . . )

And the title theme to Cops, changed a bit . . . Bad girls, bad girls . . . .

If we don't feed the punsters, who will? hee hee.

Anonymous said...

I really liked this post. I have spent some time on inpatient wards (on both sides of the key), and have seen how spirituality and religion can either heal or harm. I think a practioner should be expected to have a minimal degree of multicultural sensitivity. I have seen religious idealogy superimposed on psychotic delusions, and similar beliefs heal the emotionally disturbed.
Of course, the "line" becomes a very blurry grey area.
However I have seen emotional harm to patients by non-clergy members of some religions. Many lay persons still believe that mental illness (symptoms as a result of sin) could be cured by
religious observations only. And in some situations, the mentally ill could be abused in such a way.
I have had a recent experience of bring under the care of a devotely Christian Doctor who felt my PTSD/PD issues could be cured by "inner healing." As a non-Christian, you can imagine my reaction to the interaction. It was so absurb, that when I told my friends and family during visiting hours they beleived me to be psychotic.
I am SO glad my Jewish psychologist was acutely sensitive to how this interaction affected me.

Alison Cummins said...

Some of the commenters here remind me of a listserv from the missionary school I attended in Africa. A member wrote about her concern for a friend who (from her description) was apparently psychotic. She understood what was happening to her friend in terms of abandoning her faith and family, and wanted advice on drawing her back into the circle. At about the same time, another poster wrote in speculating that Andrea Yates was a victim of demonic posession.

Interestingly, when I and other members proposed disease models to understand the friend and Andrea Yates, both posters (and the list in general, apparently - no flame wars were generated) were quite open to it. They were not educated about psychiatry or psychology and had only a religious framework to use for interpreting the world, so that is what they used. When offered an alternative framework they were fully prepared to entertain it.

This doesn't always happen. Another poster was twisting himself in all kinds of knots trying to figure out the best thing for his son, who was deaf and a candidate for cochlear implants. If he went ahead with the cochlear implants, then he was betraying a lack of faith in God, who would therefore withhold healing from his son. If he used any kind of alternative healing and his son seemed to improve, it might be false, demonic healing and not real healing, which are very difficult to distinguish. If he relied exclusively on prayer and refused all interventions, including teaching his son sign languages, was he truly being the best father possible?

This poor fellow understood deafness both as punishment for sin to be lifted by faith in divine grace, and as a medical condition. He didn't know how to choose between the two. I had no advice for him. (Well, I did, but I didn't offer it as it would not be credible coming from a non-Christian.)

I think this guy was stuck with a difficult combination of a fairly inflexible, rationalistic personality; a restricted (religious) education; and an exclusive, punitive community. While this all adds up to a whole lot of unnecessary pain, I'm not sure where one could start with this. Perhaps tag-teaming by a psychologist to reinforce his faith in his own judgement, and a new spiritual adviser who could help him manage his guilt in a more productive way?

Ron P said...

Thanks to all of you smart and compassionate souls who posted responses to my piece! I can't answer each individually, but I did want to express my appreciation for your thoughtful feedback. --Best, Ron Pies

Alison Cummins said...

(Oh - and just to make it clear - the missionary school I attended in Africa was mostly for the children of missionaries. The listserv members are all Westerners - American, Canadian, Australian, British, Italian.)

FooFoo5 said...

I was expecting something totally different when I saw the title of this piece by Dr. Pies. Having spent considerable time among the persistently mentally ill, it seemed to me a given that "religious delusion" was, in fact, an unchallenged diagnostic criterion (you may recall such classics as the 3 Christs of Ypsilanti. Unfortunately, any expression of spiritual or religious belief, marked or not, was, and in some cases continues, to be contextualized as delusional. ClinkShrink makes an excellent point in noting what we now know are the "protective" dimensions of spirituality. I always ask inmates preparing to parole their "spiritual history" and if they have "supportive influences," which includes affiliation with spiritual groups.

Nevertheless, the unanswered question in my mind is what, exactly, constitutes "pathological religion." It was not hard to accept the Chief of Psychiatry at a military hospital stating that "flying a plane into the World Trade Center is religious delusion," but if I may borrow Dinah's phrase, "reiterating what he's been taught to believe," I would point out the life of St. Xenia of Petersburg (and the recent film Ostorov ) that depict what Russian Orthodox Christians believe the greatest of piety expressed as "foolishness."

Jayme's question, "Aren't psychotherapists supposed to be objective?" is stark. I'll bet your cardiologist wouldn't think twice about your "out of the box" beliefs as long as your blood pressure remained normal. This is the beauty of clinical "evidence." In psychiatry, sometimes you have no choice but to "let it bleed" and be confused, I suppose.

Awesome post & discussion. Even if I keep coming in last!

Anonymous said...

Profitable cognitive behavior techniques employed by psychotherapists (psychologists) in Greece in order to extend indefinitely the length of therapy (Taken from A. Beck and distorted in a Greek style).


1. Spotting the negative thought (cognitive error), for instance, examining if the therapy followed is a cognitive behavior therapy or a charlatan therapy. Writing it down. In case such a spotting of the negative thought is not producing any results, the therapist asks the patient to discuss about negative thoughts related to obesity, even if the patient is not oversized at all.

2. Giving to the patient a page with a childish outline and drawings and explanation of the usual negative thoughts, which doesnʼt make any sense at all, probably because the person who drafted it, was in a mental disarray. Discussing about the patients inability to understand what in the hell all these mean. The therapist is assuring the patient that 99% of his patient understand the meaning of the particular page and cooperating fully, writing down their negative thoughts. In addition the //Established Authority// uses them.

3. The therapist is proposing the patient to start reading books (bibliotherapy). However the recommended books describe a cognitive therapy which is totally different from the followed one at this time. The patient is understanding that he has a lot of negative thoughts. He is writing them down. He is presenting them to the therapist. The therapist feels embarrashed. (“I told you that with a difficulty I extract one single negative thought from my patients and you already brought me so many!”). The therapist forgets what he told about 99% understand at once and cooperating fully with the therapist analyzing their negative thoughts.

4. The therapist makes remarks to the patient about putting the negative thoughts in one column, while using other columns for the assumptions, intermediate core beliefs, reinforcing events, alternative suggestions, how he feels after his own suggestions. Spending a whole session on trying to explain to the patient the fact that the word “core” in core beliefs is translated into Greek with “nuclear”, “nuclear beliefs” and not core beliefs, as the ignorants believe. This is supported by two arguments. First it is translated in such a way in the Eginiteion Psychiatric Hospital, where disagreement is not favored (May be,as part of the decentralization program, the Eginiteion Psychiatric Hospital assuming the task of keeping and elaborating the Greek Language, replacing the Academy of Athens). The second is that it is translated in such a way in the Divryʼs English-Greek dictionary, written by George Konstantopoulos from the village of Divry in the mountain Parnassos.

5. Without analyzing and elaborating the produced and stored negative thoughts, the therapist asks the patient to look for some more. The patientʼs list is continually rejected by the therapist with the recommendation to make the columns more and more stylish.

6. Self disclosures of the therapist, so that the patient can grasp them and write them down as an exercise. He has to challenge his own thoughts, and write down how he feels about doing all the work himself. The therapist asks the patient no to take any more pictures with his digital camera because she has put cream in her face and is glistening.

7. At the request of the patient, discussion is being made about Judith Beck and her book “Cognitive Therapy, Basics and Beyond”, relating to the need for structuring the sessions, need for extracting some conclusions at the end of the session, bridging with the previous session, need for resuming at the end, realizing what the patient understood and what he didnʼt, about the process followed in order to arrive to a negative thought, intermediate belief, core belief etc. After having completed approximately 65 hours of sessions the patient realized from the words of his therapist that all these are not absolute. (“Yes, there are some colleagues of mine that follow this strict procedure. However it is written (where?) the patient is tired out of this, and in fact all my patients have come begging me, imploring me to talk freely, because they canʼt sand the structuring of the session. An as I am interested in their welfare, I donʼt structure my sessions”). A therapist that respects himself never reads the following http://www.primarypsychiatry.com/asp...?articleid=332

8. Discussing about any other therapies that the patient is aware of and related to the cognitive and behavior therapy model, which might give the patient ideas that he is being cheated by his therapist.

9. Discovering that in the dossier kept by the therapist there are numerous negative thoughts given by the patient which have not been elaborated for months. The therapist can disarm the patient by saying “the structure and the time used during the therapy is your responsibility. You shouldnʼt produce so many ideas during the session, Ha, ha ha, look how I smile like a “Spontaneous Child”!”

10. The patient could eventually contact thought email another cognitive behavior therapist, an ex cop, and receive the following answer: “In the cognitive behavior therapy there is always a structure, professionalism, and a clear timetable. The word “clear timetable” sounds like a bell in the patientʼs mind. He contacts his therapist.

11. The therapist could eventually send an SMS message to the patient asking him not to ask for a “clear timetable”, because he has been diagnosed as “borderline” (the diagnosis is sent though SMS) and there is a lot, a lot of work be done. The differences between psychologists/therapists from psychiatrists/ therapists is that the psychologist have a low self esteem and a disguised mental handicap. In Greece the majority of the mental patients are women. The majority of psychologists/therapists are also women. That means that a mentally handicapped woman would make an option, either continue to be a mental patient for the rest of her life, or become a psychotherapist. With psychiatrists we see something different. They have clinical experience in clinics and hospitals, while the psychologists have little or nothing. The //Established Authority// offers them supervised sessions that end in a few months with the therapist saying “We have now concluded our therapy, Good-by!”)

12. The therapist, without following the method described by Judith Beck, for moving from negative thoughts, to intermediate beliefs and core beliefs, could eventually throw to the patientʼs face whatever “nuclear” beliefs (what Americans call “core beliefs”) the patient should have (yes! Should have!) by virtue of the diagnosis of borderline personality disorder being already made. That means that in Greece first the therapist makes the diagnosis –usually at the bank when waiting for a bank loan- and afterwards looks for the “nuclear” beliefs that the patient was supposed to have. The diagnosis should be what the therapist has presented in her //Established Authority// as a difficult case, with imaginary behavior of her patients and has received with a general applause from the participants in the meeting. The patient is not entitled to disagree. If he objects the “nuclear” belief “the world is hostile and dangerous” he has to live with it. The therapist is never mistaken, especially if the patientʼs objection can make the therapist loose his diploma from the //Established Authority//.

13. The patient could contact by email another therapist. She might answer “you should go back to your therapist and discuss again the issue with him. You shouldnʼt break the relationship”. If you go to another one, the first thing to discuss in the disagreement with your previous therapist.

14. The patient could eventually visit another therapist (male) who is the boyfriend of the previous female therapist and one of the supervisors of the //Established Authority//. The established practice requires every cognitive therapist to contact every colleague of his or hers to find out whether the patient has escaped from them and seeks therapy elsewhere. When a patient escapes therapy, he is treated in a way resembling neutrality of foreign ships during a war blockade. They give description not only of his name, but also of his face, his height, weight, hair etc, so that they exclude that the escapee uses a false identity. The supervisor, after collecting the fees of two visits (2X70=140 Euros, or $ 100) could say to the patient:
THERAPIST (male): I canʼt accept you for therapy because I shall be treating your wife in the same time.
PATIENT: No, my wife has told you that she doesnʼt like to initiate therapy with you.
THERAPIST: But she might change her mind!
PATIENT: So you donʼt accept me?
THERAPIST: You should go back to your previous therapist.
The therapist can disguise herself when rejects an escaped patient by saying “I noticed that you eat meat more than twice a week. I know a therapist that is suited for you. There is no point of discussing other problems. I donʼt want to hear anymore. Go!” (Something similar happened to me!)

15. The reason for such a procedure followed is obvious: Solidarity is the key for the survival of the incompetent professionals. A therapist should never accept anybody who has undervalued the colleagueʼs opinion.

16. The therapist can accept the patientʼs proposal for a cognitive behavior therapy through email. In the cost of one hour e-mail session the patient is charged for 40 minutes that are required for receiving the message and 40 more for sending the answer, because the therapistʼs laptop is very slow and will be replaced later in May. The messages include material totally depleted of cognitive behavior material , for instance “ I should teach you how to remember names. For Mike Goof, you should remember Mikey and Gooffy.”

17. Judith Beck says in her book Cognitive therapy, Basics and beyond that “when there is a negative thought that is true –related to a fact –the therapist, instead of challenging the thought, should concentrate on how to help the patient solve the problem”. This is very embarrassing for the therapist because he or she has learned in the //Established Authority// only a photocopied textbook of 90 pages that includes all the cognitive therapy and no-one has ever heard of Judith Beck in his life. The usual symptoms treated by the cognitive therapist is “Oh my God I canʼt wake up at 7,00 in the morning”, “I canʼt stop eating”, “My boyfriend the supervisor doesnʼt like me” etc. They are unable to deal with real human problems.

18. The therapist has the ultimate argument that present to the patient after completing about 70 hours of therapy: Since you are not pleased by my approach (nice word!) you should go to another therapist. Of course at the same time the therapist undermines all attempts of the escaped patient to be admitted to therapy by another therapist, as described above. If the patient asks the therapist for a recommendation the therapist might claim that she came to Greece after a lengthy stay in Madagascar for studies and doesnʼt know any other therapist

19. Therapists should never feel bad when they are dealing with patientʼs negative thoughts in such a way. By using the above procedure the patient shall forget the initial cause that brought him to therapy (it could be a sort of homeopathy treatment). When the patient ceases to feel indignant of his therapist, that means he is close to the end of therapy.

20. Generally speaking, the cognitive behavior therapist must be Spontaneous Child, free from any feeling of guilt, loved by his friends and colleagues, that would examine everything with a smile and would never keep bad thought in his/her mind.

ALFA VITA Y2K said...

[b]"For Freud and most of the early psychoanalysts, religion was a sort of childish problem to be, well, outgrown—often through the aid of psychoanalysis."[/b]

I am not insulting the poor Freud,it is just a serious statement, but Freud was just an idiot himself, who was born in a disfunctional half Jewish family himself.

All his pseudo scientifical discoveries were written only becouse he was mesmerised by his crazy Judaists parents, and obviously had a very unhappy childhood due to the fact that his mentally unstable parents provoked a psychological suggestion that everything depends purely on thinking processes, without ever able to understand that his mind was physically damaged in first place.

And therefore he was really unable to understand nothing by himslef correctly about anything concerning how really human psyche is and how it should work in naturally growen and rised people.

Becouse of his blatant idiocy which remained forever written and signed in time, everybody today unfortunately believes that psychologists are a bunch of wrongly self educated wackos that are independent and parallel to the real Psychiatry as science.

Religion is not really a silly - childish problem. reliigon is exactly a product pof a really damaged mind of somebody in an absolute unconscius state.

Reigion is also the only couse of what th eworld is today, a huge wasteland of criminals, terrorists, prostiututes and all other unimmaginable kind of crazy people who strongly believe to be on the right side ony becouse they are against something else, pretending that Roman - Jewish Catholic religion is their imaginary center of normality.

First of all you probably should tell everybody, that no matter what happens it is always happened becouse of the Roman Catholic religion, which is based on a book, written by a mad men who stole their ideas from other cultures and bits of scientiphical knwoledge from ancient Greek Psychology.

If you still were unable to understand why any good Psychiatrist should warn people about the huge danger of Religion, is these points of the great original brainless mistakes that brought the world to the never ending Apokalipse - Epidemy of madness that we all live today in.

These mistakes are enlisted below:

The religion states as the only truth about acting wrong is due to human nature, and not madness.

The religion states that everybody against religion is not a normal person, and therefore must die or to be put in prison and tortured, including any scientist(psychiatrist - psychologist). Which actually made Psycholgy disappear for centuries.

The religion put every normal scientifical word that has to deal with huiman mind and psyche with a normal logic meaning, in an absurd language that nobody is obviously able to understand

Becosue of the obvious mental deficiency of reliogious freaks, every institution, like schools and police, were teached not ot let people think and choose, but only obey and fear the authority, producing a social degenratopn in people's minds that become unable ot live as nature was menat to be, in a conscius way.

As a result todays society is not driven by natural selection and evolution laws. But only by random wishes of competetely inept and crazy people who are not even able to understand that they are mentally abnormal. Today we have Criminals, Terrorists, Homosexuals, Prostitutes and even more other degenerated people treated as some kind pf social groups instead of unconscius and dangerous degenrates to be puit in Lunatic Asylums. Only becouse of some degenerated freaks that built the vatican in th ecenter of Rome and are untouchable in terms of Jurisdiction of Psychiatric Social Security services.