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Is psychology helpful?

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In general, my impression of the field of mental health is negative. What do you think of it? Has anyone ever found counseling helpful?

Really? There are now some effective -medical- treatment for depression and some forms of schizophrenia. We still do not know how to cure psychotics but we can render a significant percentage of them functional in society so they can earn their keep and not be kept in an asylum.

As to neurotics, neurosis is mostly a result of either bad thinking habits or a reaction to abusive and sometimes brutal treatment.

I doubt whether there is a medical cure for bad parenting or bad mentoring.

ruveyn1

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Since your question seems mostly to revolve around therapy:

There are some good therapists who can help people learn to introspect and deal with destructive thinking patterns.

From what I have experienced and heard from others though, a lot of therapists are a waste of time. They provide no structure and no direction or homework and going to them amounts to expensive 'venting' sessions.

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  • 2 months later...

There are a number of books on psychology written by objectivists.  There are also a number of lectures that are fairly cheap at the ayn rand book store/e store.  You have to differentiate between psychologist and psychiatrist.  Psychiatrists will try to treat you with drugs, which can be harmful.  A psychologist won't harm you if you ignore what they have to say.

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does anyone have any advice on finding a competent therapist? a lot of the ones listed on the internet for my area look like outright crackpots, have dubious credentisls, including education in semenaries, advertising wierd looking theraputic approaches including "equine" therapy, "east-west meditation," "transpersonal" therapy and all kids of other whackjobbery, and some making clear that they hold far left political views.

Edited by iflyboats
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I've had two sessions with a therapist who offers cognitive behavioral therapy, specifically rational-emotive behavioral therapy, and he seemed somewhat reasonable, but he recommended a book to me titled "Overcoing Destructives Beliefs, Feelings and Behaviors" by Albert Ellis which contains the following passages:

 

Although I was formerly in the logical positive camp, I now consider myself largely a postmodernings and constructionist. Some of my main beliefs about humans and the word in which we live include the following:

 

1. Perhaps some kind of indubitable objective reality or thing in itself exists, but we seem to apprehend or know it only though our falliable, personal-social, different and changing, human perceptions. We do not have any absolute certainty about what reality is or what it will be - despite our often being strongly convinced that we do.

 

2. Our views of what is good or bad, what is right or wrong, what is moral or immora are, as George Kelly (1955) pointed out, largely personal-social constructions. Kelly held that the identification of universiveral truth is an impossible task and that all thical belifs have a constructionist nature.

 

4. People are importantly influenced or conditioned by their cultural rearing. Their behaviors are amazingly multicultural and there is no conclusiove evidence that their diverse cultures are right or wrong, better or worse than others.

 

There are several other statements, but those ones jump out at me as being particularly irrational.

 

do you think I've gotten mixed up with a crackpot? Even if these aren't particularly important components of his belief system, I have reservations about someone who would give them any credibility.

Edited by iflyboats
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It's hard to say - it depends on why he recommended that book. There are books I'd recommend, for instance, that have principles I'd disagree with, but that doesn't mean I believe all of it. For the most part, what you can get out of what you quoted is that it's okay to be wrong, which admitting is one way to get over destructive emotions. Presuming that is related to the problem you're seeing a psychologist, at least.

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I've had two sessions with a therapist who offers cognitive behavioral therapy, specifically rational-emotive behavioral therapy, and he seemed somewhat reasonable, but he recommended a book to me titled "Overcoing Destructives Beliefs, Feelings and Behaviors" by Albert Ellis which contains the following passages:

 

 

There are several other statements, but those ones jump out at me as being particularly irrational.

 

do you think I've gotten mixed up with a crackpot? Even if these aren't particularly important components of his belief system, I have reservations about someone who would give them any credibility.

Ok, so you have some reservations. Do you have a better alternative? Or are you just planning on going without therapy you need, until you find the perfect person?

I think you should go with this guy, see if it works. If it doesn't, you can still find someone better later.

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