Therapists -- in particular those professionals who attempt to contribute to mental well-being -- range from counselors and advisors to therapeutists, psychologists, psychiatrists, and of course, shrinks. There are also, distinctly, physical therapists (such as a massage therapist) who contribute to the physical body’s well being.
Those therapists who are into the mental arena are curiously connected by a commonality of both wanting to genuinely provide aid and comfort to others, and in many, many cases themselves in need -- initially at least -- of some therapy themselves. This latter analogy even seems to correlate with the degree of education; i.e., the greater the education, the greater the degree of initial madness in the practitioner. For example, psychiatrists (who are also medical doctors and receive by far the greatest amount of formal training) are inevitably the craziest of the lot (said lot being pretty crazy), while licensed counselors and advisors seem comparatively sane.
This is not to suggest that counselors, for example, are crazier than the average person on the street. Probably not. But counselors recognize the need to improve themselves, and thus often go into the field in order to figure it all out. The average individual may not even try to figure it out, and go blissfully into the night, still crazy as a bed bug. Others may opt to improve themselves without the benefit (and/or detriment) of a more formal education as a nut cracker.
Psychiatrists, on the other hand, and psychologists to a lesser extent, are the recipients of a massive formal educational blitzkrieg, and thus are truly mad as a hatter -- especially after reading this article. The pinnacle of madness, of course, is usually according to that rare breed, the psychoceramists -- those psychos who work exclusively with crack(ed) pots.
The various methodologies of therapists is an intriguing study in itself. This we would not want to touch with a ten foot electric shock prod. There is, however, an additional commonality among therapists: a progressive sliding scale of the invasive nature of the attempted assistance. For example:
1) At the lowest level of invasive assistance is the listener, a friendly ear. These people are often not licensed, possibly only friends, and if they’re relatively enlightened, do not offer anything but a smiling, understanding, and compassionate smiling response. They almost never “should on people” (or “shouldn’t on people), but instead offer an unconditional support -- even while cringing at their friend’s apparent idiocity.
2) At a slightly higher level, there are the nudgers, those who gently suggest new ways of looking at things, or alternative interpretations of traumatic events. This is still at the friendship level, although more of these types are paid for their services.
3) One step higher, and we reach a greater level of encouragement in terms of one advisor attempting to move their friend/client into changing their attitude. The counselor or advisor (even friend) at this level has typically reached a point of not really wanting to listen to their friend/client beating up on themselves anymore, and they elect to begin to practice “tough love”. “Get ye over it” is pretty much at this level.
4) At the fourth level, however, manipulation enters the picture. This is when the therapist begins using techniques to move the patient/client/crazed-loonie in the direction in which the therapist in their alleged greater wisdom believe would be better for all. [Not necessarily the best for the patient, but for everyone.] Such techniques include a degree of deception in that the therapist no longer discusses in stark detail what they are doing -- except when the therapist(s) meet their friends after hours for drinks and want to have a few good laughs. (There are few if any friends-of-the-patient at this level).
5) Going beyond the slight manipulation stage, we encounter trickery, calculated deception, and unscrupulous exploitation of a situation or person. This is where we find the therapists with the “god-complex” -- the inexplicable idea that the therapists knows all, sees all, and should be accorded all power and knowledge. At this level, the assumption is that the therapist knows far better than the patient/client, and that the wishes and desires of the latter are entirely discounted and ignored by the supremer being of the former.
6) The ultimate and most hideous stage is the therapist with the power of the law or State with which to dictate the future of the patient. This includes involuntary incarceration in any type of mental institution, the administering of mind-altering drugs at will of the therapists (and often against the wishes of the patient), the usurpation of patient rights, and the entry into the realm of Drug Enforcers, Drug Pushers, and the Politics of Health. This is the stable of the Fifth Horseman of the Apocalypse.
Levels four through six provide the opportunity for the administration of such drugs as Ritalin, et al -- although prescribing the drugs are still limited to the higher level of crazy doctors. Levels five and six constitute the therapists control freaks -- those whose anal retentive attitudes are often (but not always) unleashed without mercy. This is the level where the title of “Therapists” is rewritten as “The Rapists”.
A brilliantly conceived example of the latter is depicted in the book and movie, The Lathe of Heaven, where a half-witted psychiatrist on the public doll discovers a patient with truly amazing powers (which of course are interpreted as his being psychotic). The doctor then begins to manipulate the situation to his considerable benefit (in terms of wealth, power, and status), and in the interim the world finds itself in increasingly serious do-do. Happily, the doctor finally completes his own journey toward total madness, the patient with a lover/lawyer escapes the legal clutches, and a happy ending ensues.
There do exist within the world cases where some individuals are dependent upon others to a substantial degree. Infants and small children immediately come to mind, but these dependents have, ideally (but not always), parents and/or other adults who genuinely have their best interests at heart. The same is often not true for adults who are best described as dependents and/or patients. For these latter individuals, one can only hope for their therapists to be individuals who constantly and continually examine their own motivations and agendas in order to ensure that what is being done for the patient is based on what is therapy for the patient and not merely to the benefit of the therapist.
Keep in mind that many therapists (at every level) are seriously constrained by the State laws which rule -- and which because of their hideous, rights-stomping, and grotesque Father Knows Best attitude -- have clearly been forced upon society. Such imposition is often by stupid politicians [pardon the redundancy], aided and abetted by the top of the crazy chain, psychiatrists and psychologists. [And you thought they were mad about this article before! Just wait until Adam Sandler and Jack Nicholson do their gig in 2003! Keep in mind that Mr. Nicholson first became a star in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, was lobotomized in that movie, and is now a psychiatrist in Anger Management. Just as we said, the crazier they are, the more likely they evolve into psychiatrists.]
One of the greatest horrors of the world are those individuals who think they know better about what is best for someone else. Not limited to therapists, such monsters abound in any and all aspects of life. The idea that someone might have superior knowledge about a situation -- more so than someone else -- is simply reality. That’s life.
But the extrapolation of possessing superior knowledge (or wisdom) to having superior ability to direct, coerce, or force another person’s actions, is in most cases an unwarranted extension of logic, and a clear violation of the latter’s unalienable and inviolate free will. If such invasive activity is restricted to true dependents, then it can be tolerated -- but only so far as to assist that same dependent to be able to reach the point where they can be truly independent in their own right. This implies, in effect, that you attempt to prevent the dependent from encountering situations and events which would result in death, maiming, or other injury which would lessen their ability to make choices later in life.
Ultimately, if one is to truly honor another’s free will -- their ability to choose their own poison, so to speak -- then one can only serve as an example. Any and all other methods of manipulation, including physical restraint, are a violation of the other’s free will. The process of deciding when another should be treated as a dependent is, of course, the major test. But if the sole beneficiary of any action, treatment, or manipulation is the dependent, then there is the potential for a justifiably invasive action. Such justification is, of course, dependent upon the therapist, parent, or loco parentis continually examining their actions, and simultaneously not basing their judgments on what is best for the therapist (including adhering to many of the Neanderthal laws of the State).
As for those therapists who are now really incensed, enraged, or angry about the contents of this essay...
Would you like to talk about it?
How does this make you feel?
Do you have an unreasonable urge to strike out against someone? The author?
Why do you suppose that is?
Does this situation remind you of anything in your childhood? Maybe a past life?
Does this raise any fears in you?
So, why do you suppose this is triggering your emotions?
What are your reactions to the following ink blot figure?
What is your reaction to my suggesting for you to: Get ye over it?
Really? Hmmmmm... Verrrrrrry interesting. (Scribble, scribble.)
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