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SUFFERING SMARTER IS DUMB

The following excerpt is from the self help
psychology book, Be Your Own Therapist.


There is a process that unfortunately happens with too much regularity in some therapies. Emphasis on insight often results in insight becoming the therapeutic goal. Such a goal often just leads to rational explanations of my lousy behavior or my stressed-out condition. "I do this or am distressed by that because I was abused by Dad. Of course I am distressed by that. Of course I do that." My insight may be valid, for Dad's abuse may be the original trauma or learning that fostered today's problems. And yes, I would always agree that the reaction I just had (or the action I just took) was exactly right for me based upon my entire life history. I then need to ask a most unpopular question, "Do I want to act or react the same way next time?". Such a question implies that change is very possible, and my first reaction may often be disbelief that such change is possible. (See Chapter 8.)


The majority of us can be dreadfully inhumane if we are following directions from a person in authority.

The bright focus on insight all too often causes a shadow to be cast over the more appropriate therapeutic goals of not being stressed that way anymore and not acting that way anymore. Understanding distress or the etiology of lousy behavior is often just a step along the path toward changing actions and relieving distress. Those who stay with insight usually have many insights but are still suffering with the difficulties that originally propelled them into therapy. I call this "suffering smarter," but it does seem dumb.


While the psychoanalytic path is known for its emphasis on insight, it is not the only path where clients sometimes fall into the "suffering smarter" trap. Intellectual clients and therapists seem to be the ones most prone to "suffering smarter." By clinging to insight, intellectual techniques often avoid necessary (1)upset feelings, (2)unwanted impulses and (3)distasteful confusion. It is a trap that can affect almost any therapy. This implies that you, the buyer, must beware. If your insights are not leading to behavior change or to now feeling OK about situations that used to be bothersome, then you are likely to be "suffering smarter." You need to evaluate what is happening in your therapy.

Next Excerpt  

More Excerpts This Chapter
   RECOMMENDED GOAL OF THERAPY: INNER PEACE
   DON'T GIVE ALL YOUR PERSONAL POWER TO A THERAPIST
   THERAPISTS WILL DISAGREE WITH THESE WORDS
   FINDING A THERAPIST - SETTING THERAPY GOALS
   LIFE IS LUMPY
   CHANGES, SELF-GROWTH AND THERAPY DON'T ALWAYS TICKLE
   VENTILATION IS NOT ENOUGH
   SUFFERING SMARTER IS DUMB
   EACH THERAPY HAS ITS OWN LIMITS
   ALL PEOPLE DO NOT HAVE THE SAME MOTIVATIONS
   FEELINGS
   THERAPISTS IN THERAPY
   LEMON THERAPISTS
   OUR SOCIETY IS ON THE RIGHT TRACK
   MISSING FROM THIS BOOK
   YOUR PERFECT THERAPY


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Psychology of Sex Education - Psychological Sexual Health Care
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