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Skyler

CBT vs Psychodynamic, Pros and Cons

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Skyler

Hi all.. the following conversation was started in my thread about how to manage inner fears, and Alto suggested expanding this to home of its own. I used a little cut and paste action to get it all started.. no need to rewrite the the wheel. (albeit with a coupla tweaks) ;)

 

Schuyler..

 

In movie world there are metaphorical scenes wherein we face our fears. The first 3 are from the scene wherein Luke meets Yoda in the Star Wars Trilogy, the third is from Dune Messiah.

 

 

Only what you take with you.

 

 

Fear is the mind killer.

 

I have gotten to the point where I can identify the source of my fear.. the dots are linked. I go nowhere, do nothing, without looking directly into my soul. I try to walk away, but on leaving the cave, turn around and walk back in. Pretty soon I will stay in the cave/box.

 

alexejice, on 12 April 2012 - 11:50 AM, said:

I've been thinking about fear a lot.

 

I feel like my problems boil down to it, though that's a drastic simplification. I've read of people having success doing hardcore loads of therapy, as described in Norman Doidge's book on neuroplasticity and I wonder if doing, say, the right CBT exercises (constructed properly) in massive amount can cause major rejuninative effects. These techniques are the ones he claims allows stroke patients to recover what were once thought lost function.

 

I've been too exhausted to try to work on myself in this way.

 

Schuyler.. I'm insight oriented and believe we need to explore the past to move forward. Luke Skywalker has to confront his internalized father, but I guess the video from Dune could be so construed.

 

Can CBT work? Yes.. but it's exceedingly difficult.. I think akin to learning to meditate effectively. It takes years to become really good. IMHO, most interventions cover up symptoms that only reemerge later in another guise. CBT can be very frustrating because a set of 'rational thoughts' are superimposed for the purpose of replacing those that are dysfunctional. The purpose is to make new neuronal connections, but until those connections are made, the introduced cognitions are ego alien.

 

Cbtvspsychodynamic is good site for comparing psychodynamic and CBT interventions. The strengths and weaknesses of each are summarized in a respectful tone. S

 

Pet peeve.. people who stop you in the midst of venting to say take a deep breath. Mindfulness run amok.

Barbarannamated.. EXCELLENT info, Schuyler!

"...some people feels CBT attempts to talk them out of their emotions." (paraphrasing) BINGO!! I do a very good job of talking myself out of my emotions. I need to dig to find them and identify whatever shield of rationalization or defense I've thrown up to deflect the pain, anger, etc. CBT is somewhat like antidepressants in that it doesn't get to the root of the problem. IMHO!

 

Also, CBT is pushed because it is short term and relatively cost-effective. I believe it was a study done by Kaiser that proclaimed it the gold standard of therapy. No offense meant to anyone who uses this and finds it effective. It just didn't address my issues that I began covering up from a young age.

 

I've heard that Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is somewhat of a hybrid. Does anyone have experience with that?

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Skyler

I do a very good job of talking myself out of my emotions. I need to dig to find them and identify whatever shield of rationalization or defense I've thrown up to deflect the pain, anger, etc. CBT is somewhat like antidepressants in that it doesn't get to the root of the problem. IMHO!

I lifted the following from Psych Central. Many counselors and psychologists strongly advocate CBT and its' variations. There are a vast number of empirical studies that support the efficacy of CBT (measuring changes in thoughts and feelings), and insurance companies are likely to support a time limited treatment plan that meets their criteria. DBT targets emotions, and is often used with people who have trouble modulating powerful feelings. Read below, and given your comment that you talk yourself out of emotions, see if you think it would be a fit.

 

PS.. John Grohol is a character and a half. :rolleyes:

 

What’s the Difference Between CBT and DBT?

By JOHN M. GROHOL, PSY.D.

 

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is one of the most commonly practiced forms of psychotherapy today. It’s focus is on helping people learn how their thoughts color and can actually change their feelings and behaviors. It is usually time-limited and goal-focused as practiced by most psychotherapists in the U.S. today.

 

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a specific form of cognitive-behavioral therapy. DBT seeks to build upon the foundation of CBT, to help enhance its effectiveness and address specific concerns that the founder of DBT, psychologist Marsha Linehan, saw as deficits in CBT.

 

DBT emphasizes the psychosocial aspects of treatment — how a person interacts with others in different environments and relationships. The theory behind the approach is that some people are prone to react in a more intense and out-of-the-ordinary manner toward certain emotional situations, primarily those found in romantic, family and friend relationships. DBT was originally designed to help treat people with borderline personality disorder, but is now used to treat a wide range of concerns.

 

DBT theory suggests that some people’s arousal levels in certain situations can increase far more quickly than the average person’s. This leads a person to attain a much higher level of emotional stimulation than normal, and it may take a significant amount of time to return to normal emotional arousal levels.

 

DBT differs in practice in one important way. In addition to individual, weekly psychotherapy sessions, most DBT treatment also features a weekly group therapy component. In these group sessions, people learn skills from one of four different modules: interpersonal effectiveness, distress tolerance/reality acceptance skills, emotion regulation, and mindfulness skills. A group setting is an ideal place to learn and practice these skills, because it offers a safe and supportive environment.

 

Both CBT and DBT can incorporate exploring an individual’s past or history, to help an individual better understand how it may have impacted their current situation. However, discussion of one’s past is not a focus in either form of therapy....

 

Whether cognitive-behavior therapy or dialectical behavior therapy is right for you is a determination best made in conjunction with an experienced therapist. Both types of psychotherapy have strong research backing and have been proven to help a person with a wide range of mental health concerns.

Edited by Schuyler
edited to conform to fair use

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Altostrata

Very interesting. Thanks, Schuyler.

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Barbarannamated

Psychodynamic therapy it is ;)

'Emotional regulation' is what got me here -

 

Thanks Schuyler - you're awesome :)

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alexjuice

Changing beliefs, which are distinct from thoughts, is what I work towards. I don't spend a lot of time thinking to myself, "I am not good enough." or whatever. But I isolate responses that indicate I believe this (or i am otherwise irrational) and from this I get the starting point.

 

In the case of withdrawal techniques targeting emotional responses would, IMO, prove more helpful than techniques targeting thinking errors like Burns speaks of. But if I could go back in time, I absolutely would work social anxiety CBT program but moot is that.

 

As I've said before, my oiginal issue, social anxiety, represents about 5% of my present problem. The techniques I've found helpful, I write of them mainly out of frustration that I took a different path that led to here.

 

I haven't found any group, I've been in more than one of multiple modalities, helpful in dealing with severe w/d consequences because I don't know anyone facilitating a group in my city who acknowledges severe protracted withdrawal. And, it is an almost impossible subject to bring up as most of the other group members a on some med or another and s'more % of those are adamant that there medications is safe AND has literally saved their life.

 

But I still like groups because I am familiar with them and they are comforting in a way since I've done a lot of group therapy and support groups or whatever.

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alexjuice

I use the phrase CBT very liberally. I should probably not capitalize it since I'm referring more to somethng very broad, what might be referred to as changes achieved from repetitive drilling. I looked at Schuyler's link and the top CBT book is by Dr. Burns. I worked that book in rehab and I found it unhelpful so I'm not thinking of burns when I write CBT. My hunch, and its not like this hunch is original to me, is that repetitive behavior, especially with reward, can result in 'cognitive' changes -- neurological changes. Neurons that fire together, wire together type of stuff. I'm like those who are libertarians (small l) towards CBT. I have had some succes with certain methods but it takes a lot of time and discipline which pose problems since my withdrawal has been so topsy turvy.

 

During the good windows of my w/d I have worked a CBT program and have been very satisfied with the results.

 

DBT I am familiar with since I did an 8 week inpatient curriculum based on it in the psych hospital. Most of my peers, like myself, had attempted suicide. Unlike me they were mostly diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. In my history as a patient, "emotional regulation" or dysrgulaton is a phrase ive only heard psychiatrists and counselor's use In referring to individuals diagnosed borderline. I found DBT techniques surprisingly elementary. I am not a person who gets very emotional, I don't care for explosive conflict or drawing attention to myself, so maybe I am not really the therapy's target.

 

As an aside, it was occasionally challenging living with mostly borderline folks for two months. A lot of the emotional outbursts resulted in stuff foreign to me. As someone with social anxiety i do not like confrontation nor did i ever have issues with self harm. Many of my peers sometimes had moments -- screaming, crying, slicing off hair, cutting and burning themselves and just breaking things generally. Though most of the time things were peaceful, the outbursts, when they happened, were extreme. The staff didn't know what to make of me (except that I didn't have borrline personality disorder) and there was discussion if I was Iin the right unit. There were a whole bunch of units but no better fit, so I stayed in DBT. I still remember this DBT thing, the DEAR MAN acronym, which we covered over and over and over.

 

I still keep in facebook contact with several from the clinic and they with others so I am sorta up to date on how things have gone. In my opinion the DBT groups and lectures had no effect on any of us.

 

I've done a lot of therapy therapy. I think that therapy is really hit or miss. 90% miss based on the analysts, psychologists and counselors i have known and worked with. It was a therapist who referred me to my shrink and also a psychologist who played a major enabling role during my 20s. He told me I was crazy, that i couldnt be expected to make appointments or achieve a normal life, that id need therapy in addition to medication for the rest of my life. This main psychologist was hugely influential since i had little contact with other adults during this period and he made a lot of money -- halfway to six figures easily -- from our 5+ yr relationship. Firing him was the first good decision of my adult life.

 

I think one issue is that I have worked with a host of professionals and have endlessly discussed my life and my family of origin. Sadly, I have endlessly thought about these things independently. It's been unusual for a professional to come up with an interpretation I'd not yet considered and, frequently, they go down a road to nowhere. I've seen a lot of counselors in different settings and I can think of 1 really insightful observation made by one of them, 1 minor but original and insightful analysis on a second occasion, a few dozen times the professional espoused nonsense in disagreement with the conditions on the planet earth as they are generally understood in this century and over 100 hundred times where a professional offered some insight that disagreed with a critical fact from my history, my sharing of which escaped his or her recollection.

 

I confess I may not have a fair minded opinion of psychologists. They do tend to be very empathetic compared to the whole of humanity and some people have told me that getting affirmed about how tough their troubles feel is their favorite thing about talk therapy.

 

Lastly, my issue has rarely been depression. My initial problem was anxiety and then, many know my story already, my problem became side effects and later after effects. The only times I've felt really depressed were in withdrawal and while on high doses of an atypical antipsychotics when I rarely left the couch from exhaustion. So the CBT stuff I've had success with, and have heard of others having success with, is that specifically constructed for anxiety issues -- social, agoraphobia, particular phobias, etc. Thres actually a fairly well known academic running a CBT anxiety disorder lab at the U not far from me.

 

I would really like to get back on my CBT program and devote 2+ hrs/day to it for 60 days and see where I am. But the hardest part is sticking with it. it's like practicing shooting free throws. If you shoot 1000 a day, eventually you can just make em from muscle memory. Or so I foresee extrapolating from the results I've seen from the work I've done.

 

Have others had bad experiences with CBT? Or good experiences with DBT or weekly therapy or anything else?

 

Alex

 

Edit: I just read the posted article after writing the above. Ive done a CBT group. CBT techniques that work for me are really basic, done alone or with a trainer and done again and again. I like groups but they've never been helpful for me beyond 'processing' ... Processing is fascinating since I'm interested in people and frustrating, since I am interested in solutions to specific problems.

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Skyler

Psychodynamic therapy it is ;)

'Emotional regulation' is what got me here -

 

Thanks Schuyler - you're awesome :)

 

Hey Barb, when you look for someone who is psychodynamic or psychoanalytic (not pdocs anymore), get references if possible. See Alex cautionary narrative above. Also, therapists now are usually CBT, so when you call, ask what insight approach they use. The 'pickings' are probably somewhat better in the San Francisco area, so some there in might be able to give you tips on how to identify said. The CBTvspsychodynamic link is maintained by a San Fran. psychoanalytically trained therapist (not meaning to contact her her, but I was bemused to read of her location. And she might respond to an email, you never know).

 

I would really like to get back on my CBT program and devote 2+ hrs/day to it for 60 days and see where I am. But the hardest part is sticking with it. it's like practicing shooting free throws. If you shoot 1000 a day, eventually you can just make em from muscle memory. Or so I foresee extrapolating from the results I've seen from the work I've done.

CBT is very difficult. The amount of time you are devoting sounds not so far off. You are rewiring the connections in your brain. This is also why meditation is effective IMHO. Associating new memories and behaviors with old cognitions (being simplistic here).

 

Alex.. use CBT with caps. The way you use the practices is the way they are best implemented. I'm sorry to hear you had such bad experiences with insight work and therapy in general. Miserable is an understatement.

 

 

 

S

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Baxter

Hi all.. the following conversation was started in my thread about how to manage inner fears, and Alto suggested expanding this to home of its own. I used a little cut and paste action to get it all started.. no need to rewrite the the wheel. (albeit with a coupla tweaks) ;)

 

Schuyler..

 

Can CBT work? Yes.. but it's exceedingly difficult.. I think akin to learning to meditate effectively. It takes years to become really good. IMHO, most interventions cover up symptoms that only reemerge later in another guise. CBT can be very frustrating because a set of 'rational thoughts' are superimposed for the purpose of replacing those that are dysfunctional. The purpose is to make new neuronal connections, but until those connections are made, the introduced cognitions are ego alien.

 

 

I've heard that Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is somewhat of a hybrid. Does anyone have experience with that?

 

Two things that came to mind when I read through this very interesting thread:

 

First, you already "know" how to meditate. It does not take years to become "really good" at it because it is not a skill.

 

Second, in my experience, DBT addresses concerns and values in a way that CBT, which always seemed to be mechanical, does not. IF you focus on your values, and determine to adjust your thoughts to live in more accord with them, you have a better chance of staying the course, learning something, changing your day-to-day.

 

Just my two cents.

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Skyler

First, you already "know" how to meditate. It does not take years to become "really good" at it because it is not a skill.

Just my two cents.

 

Hi Baxter.. just wonder what you think of the following comments on meditation. They were extrapolated from a talk about meditation given by Master Hsuan Hua:

 

Meditation

The only significant state that's real is the one before a single thought occurs; though even that can be illusory at times.

 

Meditation deals with contacting the 'consciousness' within you. Your consciousness by its very nature is peaceful, calm and rejuvenating.

 

Meditation is a state of no mind.

 

Meditation is a journey into your true self. Techniques are just simple ways to help you understand your true nature - self. Consciousness is ‘Self’.

 

To meditate properly, you need to relax and lead a simpler and less demanding life. This so physical and mental exhaustion are kept to a minimum. In order to do this, you need to include three aids; deep breathing, deep relaxation, and deep contraction. Stress-reduction, relaxation, and better health are a positive outcome, not the goal. The aids are important because the focus of meditation is on the whole being.

 

Deep breathing ensures an optimum supply of oxygen to all body parts and makes us more energetic throughout the day. Deep relaxation helps us relax every cell in the body,thus helping us to rejuvenate. Deep contraction exercises make our body flexible and fit.

 

We perform everyday activities in the Beta state of mind. The Alpha state of mind is just below Beta, and meditation happens when you are able to remain in Alpha, the state of absolute calm. Your whole inner being becomes peaceful.

 

Advantages of Meditating:

It develops insight into the unconscious connections between thoughts, attitudes, perceptions, feelings, body states, and behaviors.

 

We learn to accept things as they are and be content with what we have. Feelings of jealousy, greed, anger, and anxiety start to disappear.

 

Meditation increases concentration, self-esteem, spontaneity, creativity, and awareness.

 

Meditation lowers blood pressure, slows the heart rate, in effect, acts as a ‘stress buster’.

 

Your ability to solve problems will improve, the way you look at life will get better, you will see the larger picture, and you will be able to ignore petty issues.

 

It is doubtful that you will be able to achieve elightenment. We are so entangled in day-to-day life that the possibility of getting to a 'desire-less state ' is virtually impossible. Not to mention that the mere desire for enlightenment would rule this out.

 

What Meditation is Not:

Meditation is not concentration. Meditation is just one form of concentration. With Meditation you remain aware of the moment without choosing anything to concentrate upon. Concentration is important for learning meditation, however it is not meditation.

 

Meditation is not relaxation. When you meditate, relaxation is a natural outcome. Relaxation is not a goal.

 

Meditation is not a religious practice. Meditation is a quality of our existence. When you are aware of your true ‘self’ and do anything with awareness, it becomes meditation. Meditation is not a ritual, demanding sitting in a specific posture, chanting a mantra, or doing exercise in a particular pose. It takes time and real effort to learn meditation, but once you understand it, it is actually fun.

 

Meditation is not self-hypnosis. In Meditation we maintain an awareness of here-and-now and stay conscious of the process. In hypnosis, we enter into a state of semi-conscious and are unaware of the moment.

 

Meditation is not thinking. Meditation transcends thought, and we realize we are more than just our body and mind. We have awareness independent of thoughts. This awareness is what meditation is about.

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alexjuice

Two things that came to mind when I read through this very interesting thread:

 

First, you already "know" how to meditate. It does not take years to become "really good" at it because it is not a skill.

 

Second, in my experience, DBT addresses concerns and values in a way that CBT, which always seemed to be mechanical, does not. IF you focus on your values, and determine to adjust your thoughts to live in more accord with them, you have a better chance of staying the course, learning something, changing your day-to-day.

 

Just my two cents.

 

Thanks for weighing in Baxter. Hope you are doing well.

 

The shame for me, and many of us, was ending up on medication which changed everything.

 

Hard to say, now, what would have been or would be a good way to deal with problematic feelings. I'm not the brain I once was.

 

Alex

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alexjuice

CBT is very difficult. The amount of time you are devoting sounds not so far off. You are rewiring the connections in your brain. This is also why meditation is effective IMHO. Associating new memories and behaviors with old cognitions (being simplistic here).

 

Alex.. use CBT with caps. The way you use the practices is the way they are best implemented. I'm sorry to hear you had such bad experiences with insight work and therapy in general. Miserable is an understatement.

 

S

 

Well, this is what I'd like to do, devote time to CBT, that is. It's very unlikely to actually happen, partially cause its hard to maintain that commitment because of ongoing issues.

 

Alex

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alexjuice

I would like to add, on DBT, that my only experience with it was in a psychiatric clinic. Our lessons largely focused on keeping perspective, especially when feeling wronged. But really the subtext was always don't try to kill yourself because you are feeling overwhelmed. Logical since 50+% of us arrived after a suicide attempt, but maybe not fully representative of how DBT therapies are employed more generally.

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Barbarannamated

" The only significant state that's real is the one before a single thought occurs; though even that can be illusory at times"

 

THAT'S what I can't find - that instinctive gut response/reaction/feeling before my mind takes over-

Maybe I do need a lobotomy :o

 

Excellent info Schuyler and great discussion -

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Skyler

Mindfulness (the Western tradition. The marriage of CBT and meditation)

 

Mindfulness is centered on the relaxation response and the techniques of deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and visualization. The relaxation response is a physical state of deep rest that changes the physical and emotional responses to stress (e.g., decreases in heart rate, blood pressure, rate of breathing, and muscle tension). Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is often used in conjunction with the relaxation response.

 

How can Mindfulness Help You?

 

Reduce anxiety and stress

Promote quality Sleep

Increased energy

Greater self-confidence

Improved concentration

Prevention of stress-related illnesses.

Increased body awareness

 

How do I practice Mindfulness?

 

Mindfulness involves the repetition of a sound, word, phrase prayer, or movement, and the passive setting aside of intruding thoughts and returning to the repetition.

 

* Start by practicing mindfulness of breath (diaphragmatic * breathing)

* Progress to mindfulness of the body (progressive muscle relaxation)

* Then move on to mindfulness of thoughts

 

Basic Techniques

 

1) Breathing exercises to relax your mind and body.

2) Progressive Muscle Relaxation scripts to reduce excess muscle tension.

3) Guided imagery meditation.

4) Mindful Meditation to reduce stress and anxiety.

 

Everyday activities can be employed, and the relaxation response can be elicited by repetitive prayer, tai chi, jogging or even knitting.

 

Guided Meditation Scripts can be used to help relax the mind or body. Scripts that use metaphor help you distance yourself from an almost constant stream of thoughts. The Leaves in the Stream metaphor is used as an exercise to help you stand back and observe our thoughts rather than get caught up in them.

 

Eastern traditions than married to CBT.

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Skyler

Don't know what happened.. I did the final edit, and voila, the bottom part disappeared and I ran out of time. :excl:

 

Other scripts are more direct, and can involve progressive muscle relaxation.

 

Where does Mindfulness come from?

 

Herbert Benson, a physiologist at Harvard University, was instrumental in bringing the practice of Transcendental Meditation to the mental health community. Dr. Benson subsequently adopted some of the principles from TM and incorporated them into his own approach, known as the relaxation response. Benson was involved in studying the relationship between behavior and blood pressure, when he was approached by practitioners of TM who were interested in having their ability to control blood pressure assessed.

 

As a result of his studies, Benson concluded that the physiological changes were part of a generalized and integrated response. These changes appeared to be the opposite of the commonly-known "fight-or-flight," or stress, response and Dr. Benson labeled it the "relaxation response." By extracting four elements, he tried to eliminate religious and philosophic overtones of TM, and to minimize the need for complicated and time-consuming instruction.

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Altostrata

My therapist, who's a long-time Zen meditator, says mindfulness enables us to catch that instant before we react, slow down, and stay calm. She recommends meditation because it gives you skills in slowing down your thoughts and reactions.

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Barbarannamated

I'm searching for the original link to the CBT vs. Psychodynamic info/website. The more I delve into that, I recognize myself as the "psychodynamic case". The choice of case studies caught my attention and held a mirror up in a not-pleasant way: I've struggled with being late all my life. Everywhere - getting to school, church, doc appointments, meetings, etc. I've read so much about it, tried all of the "tricks", but still continue to be 5-10 minutes late for almost everything (I have very few places to be anymore, so not as pronounced). I realize it's easy to assume that I dont value others' time and ive explored that in depth and it just doesnt fit how I believe I feel. I highly respect others (most of them) and have felt for a long time that it was more of a subconscious self-sabotaging. The guilt when I interfere with someone else's schedule stays with me for days or weeks. It seems so simple, especially when it's a matter of no more than 15 minutes. Get up earlier, leave earlier, etc. I can get up 3 hours early, no problem. I'm still late. It was attributed to ADD [ya know, the variant with no hyperactivity or problems in school or concentration or attention - SARCASM]…

 

Other things that resonated with me:

- curiosity / inquisitive nature - I've said that curiosity keeps me alive. I still have too much to learn.

- feelings precede thoughts - that initial 3 second "gut feeling" that ive learned to tune out with perfection. I do understand that it's a circle and thoughts do then produce feelings.

 

Sorry if im posting in wrong place.

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Skyler

I'm searching for the original link to the CBT vs. Psychodynamic info/website.

You lost the link, or are sorting thru the website?.. here is the link for cbtvspsychodynamic

 

I've struggled with being late all my life. Everywhere - getting to school, church, doc appointments, meetings, etc. I've read so much about it, tried all of the "tricks", but still continue to be 5-10 minutes late for almost everything (I have very few places to be anymore, so not as pronounced). I've have felt for a long time that it was more of a subconscious self-sabotaging. The guilt when I interfere with someone else's schedule stays with me for days or weeks.

There is a repetition compulsion to repeat the pattern at work. You feel guilty so you are creating situations that will reinforce the guilt for the purpose of perpetuating same. It's deeply rooted.. but you know this part. There is also a reason you are using tardiness in particular.. but that is more than for here.

 

Other things that resonated with me:

- curiosity / inquisitive nature - I've said that curiosity keeps me alive. I still have too much to learn.

- feelings precede thoughts - that initial 3 second "gut feeling" that ive learned to tune out with perfection. I do understand that it's a circle and thoughts do then produce feelings.

One of your defense mechanisms is intellectualization. "The feelings that precede thoughts", stuff just keeps coming up. The thoughts and feelings, (both because we cannot make sense out of feelings without using words) are preconscious and you are aggravated because you cannot get a grip on them. No circle. You are just trying to impose a thought thing again here. Many say mindfulness can help, and from what Alto said above, it has helped her with this sort of issue. I've always found mindfulness makes me space out when trying to grip unconscious thoughts, but this is me.

 

ACH.. k, nailed. BACK to work for me.

ISCH! Speaking of repetition. I see more, and this is the motivator, but enuf for this medium. ~S

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Barbarannamated

Interesting about that instant before i react.... when it's been appropriate anger/hurt, I think myself out of feeling and of the reasons other person didn't intend to hurt or dismiss me.

 

Intellectualization is my one vestige of control.... Feeling hurts...

 

I dont like guilt, but it's familiar...

 

Analyze... avoid... ACK!

 

I dont like this looking at myself stuff. :o

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Barbarannamated

I sure do relate to this exerpt from description of book "When the Body Says No: Exploring the Stress-Disease Connection" mentioned in Gianna's Beyond Meds blog today:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/0470923350/ref=aw_d_detail?pd=1

 

"Emotions like anger share with our immune system the role of defending our boundaries. When we repress emotions, we may also suppress our immune defenses. In some people, these defenses may go awry, destroying the body rather than protecting it. Dr. Maté explores the reason why, despite a rapidly accumulating body of evidence about the mind-body unity, most physicians continue to treat physical symptoms rather than persons–– and why we must understand the mind-body link in order to take an active role in our overall health."

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Skyler

I sure do relate to this exerpt from description of book "When the Body Says No: Exploring the Stress-Disease Connection" mentioned in Gianna's Beyond Meds blog today:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/0470923350/ref=aw_d_detail?pd=1

 

"Emotions like anger share with our immune system the role of defending our boundaries. When we repress emotions, we may also suppress our immune defenses. In some people, these defenses may go awry, destroying the body rather than protecting it. Dr. Maté explores the reason why, despite a rapidly accumulating body of evidence about the mind-body unity, most physicians continue to treat physical symptoms rather than persons–– and why we must understand the mind-body link in order to take an active role in our overall health."

 

Most physicians do not pay attention to what patients say because they are not paid to listen, (not to mention that in most cases they are just not good at it.!) Trying to get them to go against the grain can be akin to banging your head against the wall for all the 'headway' you make. Posted Image

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JanCarol

Skyler posted (ages ago, I know) an article which claimed:

 

Mindfulness involves the repetition of a sound, word, phrase prayer, or movement, and the passive setting aside of intruding thoughts and returning to the repetition.

 

and

 

 

Where does Mindfulness come from?

 

Herbert Benson, a physiologist at Harvard University, was instrumental in bringing the practice of Transcendental Meditation to the mental health community. Dr. Benson subsequently adopted some of the principles from TM and incorporated them into his own approach, known as the relaxation response. Benson was involved in studying the relationship between behavior and blood pressure, when he was approached by practitioners of TM who were interested in having their ability to control blood pressure assessed.

 

As a result of his studies, Benson concluded that the physiological changes were part of a generalized and integrated response. These changes appeared to be the opposite of the commonly-known "fight-or-flight," or stress, response and Dr. Benson labeled it the "relaxation response." By extracting four elements, he tried to eliminate religious and philosophic overtones of TM, and to minimize the need for complicated and time-consuming instruction. 

 

Oh dear.  I'm afraid you've triggered my TM soapbox....

 

As a former practitioner of TM, and an indirect abusee of the cult of TM (to be distinguished from the practice) I firmly disagree on a number of counts.

 

Mindfulness is about awareness of thought and feeling; mantra repetition is a religious practice designed to drive the thoughts and feelings out of the mind.  For me, the comparison is someone who has taught themselves to be non-reactive in the face of challenges (mindfulness) or someone who closes their eyes, plugs their ears, and chants, "La-la-la-la-la."  (TM/mantra)

 

The TM practice CAN have positive benefits, I know.  I am seduced by them every time I sit down to meditate (but it's coupled with a heavy load of trauma for me, so I don't go there, even though there is probably no harm in it).  The relaxation response is awesome.  I believe you can skip right over alpha and go into theta and delta, smoothing those brainwaves right down.

 

Yes, this can be shown on an EEG as "synchonization" of brainwaves, but it is really a form of self-hypnosis, of religious trance, and there is nothing "mindful" about it.  What it is instead, is entrainment, or even mass hypnosis, when done in concert (and you are supposed to practice at the same times of day as everyone else, ideally).  I would even go so far as to call it "mindlessness."

 

When regularly practiced, you become more susceptible to suggestion and indoctrination into the cult of TM (as distinguished from the practice of TM).  The TM practice is like a "feeder team" for the TM cult, and while not all practitioners go there, they can end up doing "advanced techniques" - which are harmful guinea pig style experiments in how to part a human with his/her free will and income for the rest of his/her life.  Further into the cult, you must change your diet (to mostly carbs, leaving you more vulnerable and susceptible to suggestion and entrainment), build your house with the doors and beds facing east, listen to the right raga at the right time of day, wear jyotish stones and pay for ceremonies to "smooth your karma."

 

 These ceremonies are performed by "Pandits" who are, effectively, unpaid slaves (on a religious visa) who perform Vedic chants in accordance with the Jyotish and requests paid for by TM cultists.  The ceremonies are the Hindu equivalent of medieval Catholic "Indulgences," whereby your afterlife is improved by spending great sums of money.

 

In my personal life, I found myself spacing out a lot more, bumping into walls, running my car up over curbs because I was "thinking" upon some Maharishi-ism (i.e., spacing out), and would even go so far as to say that excess practice could induce dissociation,

 

Additionally, the mantras are religious in origin, regardless of what the TM instructor has been instructed to tell you.  You are chanting to a deity, when you "say" your mantra, even if you never speak it aloud (as also instructed). 

 

The studies?  Well, come on now.  We know how statistics can be used to do the studies?  Nearly all positive studies about TM, brain waves, and the mysterious thing called "coherence" - are done by TM conflicted interests.  I could dig deeper and find the studies done independently which state otherwise, but it's been a couple of years since I was reading this.  Off the top of my head, the film, "David Wants to Fly," by a young German film student, gives an excellent account of this, as well as the religious and cultic aspects of TM.

 

For a TM'r to claim to have "invented" "mindfulness" is an example of these kind of exaggerated TM based claims.  It does great disservice to practitioners of Hindu, Buddhist and Taoist meditation, ancient practices which, in their own native languages, have described "mindfulness" in great, scientific detail for centuries, even millenia.

 

The benefits?  Well, it's always good to have relaxation response, and I can believe that people in withdrawal would want to close off his/her senses to the commotion; that blocking thoughts and feelings could be useful.  But is it worth $1200?  Here's what you are paying for when you sign up for TM:

 

  1. A religious ceremony which puts you in alignment with a false lineage.  (Maharishi was never given the mantle of Gurudev, and may have even killed the guru himself.)
  1. A religious ceremony (puja) which helps to put you in a hypnotic state which makes you receptive to the mantra, entrains you towards the mantra.
  1. A Hindu mantra, which you have been told is "specific to you" but which really is only one of 8-12 mantras that everybody gets, based on your birthday and sex. 
  1. A practice, a way to use that mantra which will take you away from "all that" at will, and keep you away from it all, over time.

 

Now, I can give you that for a lot less than $1200 (sometimes 'on special' for $600), even if I have to make up the ritual aspects of the service.  The benefit of having me do it for you - is that I would make up the ritual and the mantra to fit your beliefs, not inject some exotic Hindu practice.  (note, this is not an offer to teach ANY practice, just a comparison if I were to teach it).  Additionally, I would never ask you to buy aromatic oils, expensive supplements, redesign the architecture of your house, sell you "advanced techniques," invite you to move to a community, sell you expensive astrological readings, gemstones, or ceremonies.  I would just teach the technique, and help you "implant" it in your mind.  AND I would give you choices about what you wish to invoke in the process.

 

Sorry, Skyler, it's my TM soapbox, nothing against you, but I also believe it is very important that people know the difference between TM and mindfulness.

 

Any time you see a technique touted, ask yourself, "who gets the profits from this technique?"  The more a technique is "secret" or "occult" or "restricted" (i.e., you can only learn it from "certified instructors," etc.) - the more I become suspicious.  It is usually a "gateway technique."   :o

 

This is slightly off topic, but mindfulness is a vital component of DBT, and can be useful in CBT - and it is a VITAL practice for recovery, whether from withdrawal, excessive emotional expression, or even substance abuse.  TM and mantra work is not mindfulness, not even close. :ph34r:

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Skyler

Yes it was a long time ago JC.. and I'm not into either TM, CBT or mindfulness. The quotes above were part of an ongoing commentary, not meant to stand alone in isolation.  My orientation is psychodynamic and that method gets lost in the ubiquitous discussions about CBT and Mindfulness...  the purpose of what I posted was a response to the sadness I feel when it languishes because there is an exclusive focus on the latter two.  I will not be participating in this discussion further at this time and hope you will understand.

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JanCarol

Thanks, Skyler.

 

I tend to be a bit more "inner life" oriented, myself.  What images, signals, dreams, messages, pain:  what are they telling me about my direction of growth?  Sometimes pain is important and can prune away the unnecessary stuff.  Sometimes dreams, emotions and images help us work out the trauma and grief in a way that CBT and mindfulness just ignore.  I DON'T HAVE a therapist to help me with this, I believe they are out there, but rare.

 

My comments were not directed at you - it looked like you were quoting an article, they didn't seem like your words directly.  But it seems like a TM written article and I had to challenge that.

 

I have experience in CBT and DBT.  Though I haven't taken DBT personally, I have loved ones who went through the program and I helped them with their modules and skills.  CBT, for me, falls flat - while it challenges the negative thoughts - it does not address the source of those thoughts.  When I "test" for cognitive skills, I find I'm a "balanced individual" - and yet, I still have the ruminations, inner critical voices, and hammers of failure.  Perhaps there is something to those, and just "training them away" doesn't feel realistic to me.  My years of meditation have taught me that "I am not my thoughts," so when I have the thoughts, I don't identify with them.  I don't feel the need to DO anything about them, either, so CBT falls flat.

 

DBT does address the emotional component, and they are loosening the rules.  It used to be that you had to attend a group, you had to commit to 80% attendance, if you missed more than 3 sessions, you were booted out and had to re-apply.  Sometimes the group wasn't in your city, and you had to find transport and commit to a group that you could not attend.  Now, it seems that you can have individual therapy, teaching specific skills from the DBT skill set, which might apply more directly to the individual, and it is not controlled by the original model, but can be more personal, specialized.

 

My loved ones who attended DBT had severe problems with self harm.  (please when discussing self harm, just call it "self harm" rather than graphically describing the actual behaviour.  It can be triggering.)  

 

As I went through the modules with them, I was stricken by the number of acronyms and memorization of patterns it required.  This was supposed to help with emotions?  In some ways, the techniques were very basic, but were also surrounded by all of these complex acronyms, like the DEAR MAN thing.  If I was at my cognitive best, I would get very annoyed at the acronyms, and feel that they overrode the practice significantly.

 

My friends who self harmed found better solutions in other ways:  distance running.  SAFE (Self Abuse Finally Ends, based on the "Bodily Harm" book by Wendy Lader), yoga, and - psychodynamic, especially in the case of severe traumas causing the dissociation which always seems to happen before a self harm event.

 

Mindfulness, CBT, DBT, and now ACT seem to me like "flavour of the month" methods.  There are benefits to all of them, and as they run the "clinical trials" on them, they all seem to provide some relief.  What I like about ACT is its focus on relationships, and it doesn't seem to be so heavily acronym / jargon based as DBT.

 

But if someone is having emotional regulation problems, or tend to stir up dramas in their life to facilitate change - I always recommend DBT as a matter of course.  There is an excellent free program online, if you have the discipline to do it:  http://www.dbtselfhelp.com/

 

I wonder what R.D. Laing would think of these new "behaviourally based" techniques?   ;)

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Skyler

Mindfulness, CBT, DBT, and now ACT seem to me like "flavour of the month" methods.  

 

I wonder what R.D. Laing would think of these new "behaviourally based" techniques?   ;)

 

All I know is the way they strike me.  I don't think change can be lasting unless the source of thoughts is explored. Some therapists who use those modalities are more nuanced however. With psychodynamic, the client sets the agenda, and the client therapist relationship is a focus of therapy.  The term 'behavioral health' makes me shudder, and I think of Huxley.  

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compsports

 

Mindfulness, CBT, DBT, and now ACT seem to me like "flavour of the month" methods.  

 

I wonder what R.D. Laing would think of these new "behaviourally based" techniques?   ;)

 

All I know is the way they strike me.  I don't think change can be lasting unless the source of thoughts is explored. Some therapists who use those modalities are more nuanced however. With psychodynamic, the client sets the agenda, and the client therapist relationship is a focus of therapy.  The term 'behavioral health' makes me shudder, and I think of Huxley.  

 

Totally agree with both of you.

 

By the way, CBT-I is touted as the drug free solution no matter what in sleep medicine.    They keep touting the high effectiveness rates but I honestly haven't seen evidence that support this.

 

And Skyler, the term, behavioral  sleep medicine is very popular in the field.  I despise it with a passion for obvious reasons.

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JanCarol

Skyler:  

 

 

 The term 'behavioral health' makes me shudder, and I think of Huxley.  

 

OK one last off topic.  In my home town in Indiana, they changed the name of the Mental Health Centre to "The Center for Behavioural Health."  But what did we call it?  "The Center for Behaving Yourself."  Yes.  Huxley.  Very Brave New World.  (I also think that the name "consumers" is darned revelatory, as well.  At least "patients" had something to wait for.....and "clients" could be in control of their destiny.....but "consumers"?)

 

It's all linguistics - and that, to me, sums up a lot of CBT.  Certainly, it is good to look at and work on, but at some point - there is a "beyond that."  

 

Speaking of linguistics, is there a relationship between CBT and NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming)?

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Skyler
(I also think that the name "consumers" is darned revelatory, as well.  At least "patients" had something to wait for.....and "clients" could be in control of their destiny.....but "consumers"?)

 

It's all linguistics - and that, to me, sums up a lot of CBT.  Certainly, it is good to look at and work on, but at some point - there is a "beyond that."  

 

Speaking of linguistics, is there a relationship between CBT and NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming)?

 

I am told using the term consumers is no longer acceptable...   mercifully, they are once again 'clients'.  At least this is so in my location.

 

Would depend on who you talk to..  but linguistics mean the study of language which is a conscious process.  Take a look at this definition and see what you think.

 

"Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) is an approach to communication, personal development, and psychotherapy created by Richard Bandler and John Grinder in California in the 1970s. Its creators claim a connection between the neurological processes ("neuro"), language ("linguistic") and behavioral patterns learned through experience ("programming") and that these can be changed to achieve specific goals in life.

 

The balance of scientific evidence reveals NLP to be a largely discredited pseudoscience. Scientific reviews show it contains numerous factual errors, and fails to produce the results asserted by Bandler & Grinder"

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Skyler

Totally agree with both of you.

 

 

By the way, CBT-I is touted as the drug free solution no matter what in sleep medicine.    They keep touting the high effectiveness rates but I honestly haven't seen evidence that support this.

 

And Skyler, the term, behavioral  sleep medicine is very popular in the field.  I despise it with a passion for obvious reasons.

 

 

Many people do have poor sleep hygiene, but churning thoughts and worries are the main drivers.  Mental health and psychology are now driven by insurance companies and Big Pharma. The main driver of the first is whatever muzzles us most cheaply, while the latter is whatever costs in the most.

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Hangingon

I found DBT an effective therapy BEFORE protracted withdrawal.... Now nothing seems to work for me.

Looking into EEG neurofeedback to help balance the brain and my OVERACTIVE. (Read intense) amygdmala FEAR centre

I read somewhere that no amount of drugs,supplements or therapy are helpful for the protracted withdrawal :(

I can attest to this and still looking for something to help,me deal with/ get over this paralyzingly fear.

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Skyler

I found DBT an effective therapy BEFORE protracted withdrawal.... Now nothing seems to work for me.

Looking into EEG neurofeedback to help balance the brain and my OVERACTIVE. (Read intense) amygdmala FEAR centre

I read somewhere that no amount of drugs,supplements or therapy are helpful for the protracted withdrawal :(

I can attest to this and still looking for something to help,me deal with/ get over this paralyzingly fear.

 

Supportive therapy from a good therapist might be helpful.. the problem is finding someone who will take your withdrawal experience into account and discount your experience for some reason.

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