Friday, July 31, 2009

Why therapists do what they do

One of the things I have noticed being in the blogosphere is the meeting ground between people who are therapists and people who are clients. It provides an interesting forum as one reads things that are written by both sides of the coin.

Although I kind of knew it already I am a bit surprised at the amount of thinking that clients sometimes do about their therapist’s and their therapy. There are sometimes endless blog posts on this topic which I read with interest. There seems to be much less written by therapists about specific clients so one could say that this is another example of how the relationship is not an equal one. It seems safe to say that generally speaking therapists are more emotionally important to clients than clients are to therapists.

I am reminded of an event that happened many years ago early in my working life that I have never forgotten. I was running a therapy group that had about 10 participants. The usual few hours one morning of the week that would go for about 6 weeks in a row. On about the third week just before the group was to start we were all sitting there and then was an exchange between a number of the group members that did not involve me. I was just sitting there listening to it.

Barrel bolt

The door of the room had the usual door knob that one would turn to open the door. I had also placed a small barrel bolt higher up the door which I also latched each time we shut the door for the group to start. The group members had about a 5 minute discussion about this barrel bolt and how I latched it before each session. Some were saying that it was there to provide a sense of safety and others said it was done for the boundary of the group and to build a sense of trust and so forth.

I said nothing and just sat there listening. Eventually it was time for the group to start, their discussion concluded and we began. The door knob latch on the door was a bit faulty. Occasionally it would just pop open and the door would swing open a few inches and I would have to get up and close it again. I had put the barrel bolt on the door to stop that from happening which is the reason why it was there.

I hate saying this but I have to because it’s true. Being a therapist at least in part is a job to earn money to live. I don’t like saying it because I have never wanted a client of mine to become just a case number and I have always worked at trying to achieve that. I think I have been successful to some degree at least.

Depending if one works in a hospital or in a private practice a therapist may see 30 clients a week. For each individual client the therapist sees another 29 each week. For each client there is a client before you and a client after you. Sometimes there are long blog posts I read about what a therapist did or said. Much conjecture and thought over what he/she meant by a certain comment, their motives for doing something and so forth. I would imagine that some of the time, the therapist hasn’t even thought about it. Like my barrel bolt on the door. It didn’t mean anything and was turned into a significant psychological undertaking by me.


Thursday, July 30, 2009

Men, women and sex - Part 2**

A recent blogger said

“If it's healthy for husbands to look at other naked women because it feels good” (end quote)

Although I didn’t actually discuss the health of it, this insightful blogger does raise a good question about the health or ill health of men looking at naked or partially naked women.

In the previous post I postulated that when post pubescent males look at naked women they feel good and that is why some of them do it. They do not usually do it compare to their wives or feel unsatisfied in their current marriage. Theoretically this would probably be seen as a Free Child piece of behaviour.

If this was all that was involved in the process then one could say that this is psychologically healthy. Or at least that there will not really be any psychological damage that should result from looking and then having the feeling.

However one can hypothesize situations where this may not be all that happens. For instance some men will have Parent ego state beliefs that say it is bad to feel like you want to look and worse to even look and then have the FC reaction. These beliefs could be based on some religious system or some other kind of value structure.

When he feels like looking the CP will get involved and tell him he is bad or sinful. In this sense there could be a state of ill health because he has two parts of his personality that is in conflict. The FC urge is not going to stop and thus this will create ongoing psychological disquiet. This could be an example of when looking at naked women would be unhealthy. He would need to come to some sort of truce between the FC want and the Parent belief if he is not to be scarred in the long term.

I must say I feel for such men as it kind of is impossible not to look. In Australia it is not uncommon for females to bath topless at the beach and to wear the ‘thong’ (no not thong you wear on your foot!). It woman is right there in front of you and one would have to be constantly looking away. I assume these men end up just never going to the beach. Even worse if one simply goes to the shopping centre in the summer time there are women dressed in all sorts of ways, some of them in quite sexualised ways. One would be constantly bending their neck so as to get such women out of the line of vision.

If our observant male is in a relationship and his partner has a problem with him looking then there will be another problem created. A relationship problem as I described in my previous post on this topic. So one could also define this as a unhealthy result from the FC want to look.

Other instances when looking may be a problem for the male

1. There are some men who are addicted to pornography in the same way people can be addicted to gambling or drugs. In this way the FC want to look at semi naked women could be seen as a state of ill health because in one way it would be a relapse back into the addiction. Fortunately most men are not addicts as such.

2. Looking at women in a sexual way could at times be objectifying them in the observers mind. This is probably true for some men who are in essence objectophiles and thus the looking could be seen as psychologically unhealthy.

On the other hand all men crave a secure attachment and a loving, caring relationship with a spouse. If you objectify the woman then you can’t have that. Men learn (like women too I suppose) that you can’t have a a loving and caring relationship with an object. They loose out if they objectify women.

3. Some men are misogynists and looking at women in a sexualised way could contribute to their women hating beliefs. An interesting derivative of this is what is known as the Madonna-whore complex. This man typically holds women like his wife, sister or mother with reverence. They are treated with great respect, edified and by and large seen in a non-sexual way. An example of this could Tony Soprano, the good family man who usually treated his wife and daughter with respect (the madonna).

Tony Soprano - Family man

Then as a working man he ran a strip club called Bada Bing. The other females in his life like the girlfriends, prostitutes or strippers were seen as the whores and treated with great disdain.

Tony Soprano at work - Bada Bing

Another movie example was the gangster Tony Montana in the movie Scarface (Excuse me! why are so many gangsters called Tony - Tony Soprano, Tony Montana and ‘Fat Tony’ from the Simpsons!). He treated women with little respect except for his sister who he treated like a princess.

This continued until the end of the movie when he sees her at a night club doing drugs and being lascivious with his business partner. He can’t cope with her transition from Madonna to Whore and he sets about to kill his business partner for defiling her.

Having isolated these types of instances where that natural Free Child desire to look can be unhealthy I think it is safe to say that this only accounts for a small number of men. Most men like women and want the best for their partners and wives. Their desire to look at semi naked women in magazines and so forth is not meant to be offensive to the female nor to denigrate them it just feels like a good thing to do.


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Men, women and sex**

Although I never liked the mars and venus book about men and women there are times when I think the concept is true. This became apparent a while ago when I was working with a 20 something year old woman who was having some angst about her boyfriend.

He had a habit of buying magazines that had swim suit models in them and he would read them at home. Soft porn. Then he was at one point going interstate with a group of his friends to see the football. After the game they were going out and may end up at a strip club.

She had a big problem with this and we discussed it at length. She had never mentioned to him that she had a problem with the magazines or his planned trip to the boudoir. Eventually she decided to discuss the matter with him. She asked him not to go to see the pole dancers on his football trip, he agreed and as it turned out he did not go. However in speaking with her she summed up many of the misconceptions some women have about the male psyche in this way.

Firstly it seems women differ considerably on this matter. Some women have the reaction as described above. I know other women who give their husbands a years subscription to Hustler magazine for a christmas present each year. Clearly they are not of the same view as the woman described above


As I mentioned in a previous post (generally speaking, and I know I am generalising here) for women sex and relationship are intimately intertwined. For men that can be the case but it does not have to be. Men can have sex without there being a relationship established or establishing. The most obvious example being prostitution and the fact that places like Hooters exists and magazines like Hustler can be so profitable.

Some of her misconceptions were.

1. Because he wants to look at naked women that means he wants to have sex with them.

2. Because he wants to look at naked women that means our relationship is no good.

3. Because he wants to look at naked women that means I must not be good enough for him.

4. When he looks at naked women he is comparing them to me.

Wrong!! I would argue that for most men these are not so.

Males when they turn into teenagers discover that when they look at a female who is sexually attractive it feels good. That’s it, end of story. It feels good so they look. They are not intelligent enough to think up the 4 things described above. It feels good so they look.

The male in one of his brighter moments at the Red Neck games

She now reports no angst about his swim suit model magazines.


Saturday, July 18, 2009

The expert & novice client

Is it better to see a new client who has never been to counselling before or see someone who has been counselled before?

Initially with the novice client the out come is far more unpredictable. People go to counselling for a whole variety of reasons and thus one first assess which ego state has motivated the person to attend counselling. Is it a Parent reason or are they coming because the Child ego state is in pain and wants something different.

Its easier to work out the motives of

some clients than others

The person needs some ability and willingness for introspection. For instance some people enter counselling with a change others contract. “How can I make my husband love me”, is a change others contract and it can’t work because the husband is not there. The wife needs to be willing to look at herself and how she contributes to the presenting problem because she can do something about that. Thus she needs to be willing to be introspective. If they are not then the counselling probably will be short lived. It seems more likely that a person who has had counselling before will be willing to be introspective and thus will not leave after just one session.

The expert client will know what to expect at least to some degree and has a willingness to seek change of a psychological nature. This of course is a good thing but it can also be a bad thing. The client knows what to expect and will have played out in their mind what will happen in the session coming up. This is not a good thing and reduces the impact of the counselling.

Clients come in all shapes and sizes

As I have said before you need to keep the client on the left foot. If the session goes as the client expected then their Free Child is not being touched or shaken up. For more see this Video. The therapist needs to ‘touch’ the Free Child of the client at least once in every session. With the novice client this is easier to do because they don’t know what is going to happen.

At times I will ask an expert client after they have presented their contract, “What do you expect to happen now?”. At the end if a client reports that the session did not go as expected then that is a good sign. If it goes as expected they probably have done the therapy in Conforming Child which is by and large ineffectual.

Do it different

With the client discussed in the previous post she knew what clients are suppose to do and say because she had some considerable experience as a client before. This shows another problem for the experienced client where the therapy starts to become part of the problem. This is inevitable for the ongoing (expert) client and not for the novice client. If a client says something like, “And I think I suck at therapy, so it just confirms my feelings that I'm a loser”, the therapy is being used to support the feelings of not OKness.

As I said before this is inevitable and not a condemnation of the client. If I was a client I would be doing the same as well. With the expert client one needs to be doing therapy with them and making sure the therapy is not supporting the problem. Freud discovered this a hundred years ago and coined the term, “The transference neurosis” to describe it.

I had a client recently say to me, “I’m trying to work out why you gave me that homework”. To which I responded, “Stop trying to work why I am doing it and just do it”. I will tell him why next week. Unfortunately sometimes I have forgotten by then. He had been saying how he felt bad towards his ex-fiance who dumped him in bad circumstances. I told him to ring her up and just have a conversation with her. Not telling her off or expressing anger at her. Just a catch up call to find out what she had been doing in the last few years as she had played a major part of his life. He agreed to, so I will find out next week if he did.


Or I get bulimic clients to contract to throw up at least once this week. Or get clients who have panic attacks to have one in front of me right now. Or I get clients to do drive byes of those who have spurned their affections in the past. I don’t do this to be unexpected but to disempower the problem being presented but they are also contracts that the client is not usually expecting. This is more necessary for the expert than novice client. The problem is, the unexpected then becomes expected. But that is another post and I can’t let all my trade secrets out of the bag.

With experienced clients one can sometimes get the comment, “You are so much better than my previous therapist”. That immediately gets the alarm bells ringing because (yes you guessed it) how long will it be until they are saying that about me to their next therapist. Also, of course one never besmirches a previous therapist or therapy with a client. That is a most unwise thing to introduce into the therapeutic relationship.

However by far the main advantage that the expert client has over the novice client is the relational. As we know the main factor in psychological change comes from the relationship the client has with the therapist. The novice client obviously can’t benefit from this whereas the expert client can.


Friday, July 17, 2009

Dynamics of human ownership

What I like about doing relational psychotherapy is one can think about self all day long. I don't have to focus on the client but on myself and my narcissism can bask in all its glory.

This type of therapy is described above. The client does and says various things (1) and the therapist has his unconscious and automatic reactions to that(2). In this type of therapy the therapists focuses on his own reactions to the client rather than observing the client directly(3). The therapist observes the client through his own unconscious and intuitive reactions hence my comment about the therapist spending his working hours gazing at his own navel rather than observing the client.

However I am really missing the point of this post. I had an interesting unconscious reaction to a client recently. This woman came to see me for the first time a few months ago. I had met her before at various workshop, meetings and so forth. I knew she had seen a number of therapists before so she was by no means a novice client or a person who had never been counselled before.

One of my first reactions to her was one of disquiet. I felt she was presenting as a client and for some reason I felt dislike of this. I found her interesting but there was something about her that I didn’t like. This troubled me for a while because I could not understand why. Everyone who seeks my counsel presents as a client but there was something different here. The words that kept coming into my mind was, “She is being a client”. I felt that she was not being ‘real’ with me in that sense. I was getting all the right words that clients say as she knew them well. It was like there was a bit missing.

I did not say anything to her at the time but I have since expressed to her my original disquiet in reaction to her. Her response to this was one of relief. She stated that her husband had at one point said a similar sort of thing to her.

The Pitts. Being real?

This led to an interesting discussion about her relationship with her mother when she was a child. Here is a list of the usual parenting styles that one hears clients report.

The authoritarian parent which uses mainly Critical Parent ego state.

The smothering or doting parent who uses mainly the Rescuing Parent ego state.

The permissive Parent who does not use any Parent ego state and relates to the child as its friend or associate.

The Adult ego state parent which is ‘parenting by the book’. When mother has to discipline the child she consults the expert’s book on discipline, or when she has to do toilet training or deal with adolescent rebellion she gets out the parenting manual and follows the expert’s plan.

The healthy parenting style is to use mainly a combination of Nurturing Parent and Adult ego state.

However she presented a bit of a different one. She stated that her mother parented her as though she owned her. Like one would own a dog or a race horse. One is caring and kind to it and looks after it but you also own it. So one could sell it or give it away as a present, not that her mother would have attempted to do that but that is what ownership also entails. The parenting style was one of ownership. An interesting notion. She was properly fed and housed and so forth but was never seen as human and daughter but rather seen as a ‘thing’ that mother owned.

This could explain my disquiet about her. When she came to therapy she knew how to be a client but did not know how to be ‘human’ and my Child ego state reacted to that. In her relationship with me she presented herself as case #325 and I reacted to that but did not know why at the time.

Of course humans can own other humans, that has happened throughout history. Baring the moral objections to humans owning other humans it was interesting to see the psychological fallout of a person who has lived in a relationship where she was owned at least psychologically. That played itself out in the therapeutic relationship with me and I got to experience a relationship where the other party had a background of relationships where she felt she had been owned.

Slave girls with Jabba the Hut

I like this type of therapy where I can spend all day thinking about myself and my reactions to people. However in this instance it also allowed her (us) to discover and discuss something that she had never before addressed.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Nanny state - Part 2

I have been working with this guy for some time now and about 2 months ago the police appeared on his door step and removed all his computer equipment on the suspicion that there was child porn on it. He had been a vigourous customer of internet pornography but was sure there was no child porn accessed.

However as one can imagine this disturbed him greatly. And he has had to live with this hanging over his head for a few months. Most stressful indeed. He contacted the police a number of times to find how it was going and could he have his computers back. Each time he was basically told they were still looking into it.

Last week two police officers came to his house to return his computers and apologised. Now I have had other clients who have had their computers removed for similar reasons and the police do not treat you like that in such circumstances. This treatment was most unusual. They apologised and stated to him that there were no illegal images at all on his computer.

Furthermore they explained to him that in Australia there were now new laws in place where internet service providers had to flag certain searches, words and websites. When someone accessed these they were required by law to inform the police of what had been accessed and by whom. As far as child porn goes the net put in place was much too wide and they were getting reports being made of completely legal websites and searches, and then they left.

Holley Molley!! BTW his ISP is Bigpond which is the same as mine. About 2 years ago I wrote a blog post on the hijab and I got a couple of responses from some White Supremacists. Now I certainly am not of the same views as these people. However I have never met such people with these views before and I went to have a look at their websites to see what they say, how they think and operate.

Would this have resulted in my name being sent by Bigpond to some policing body? Is my name on some police file somewhere? If I am surfing the net and at some point end up at an “Osama is a great guy” website will my name be passed on then. Others than myself occasionally use my computer, so what have they been doing on it?



Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Nanny state

In the last post myself and a few others have been banging on about how western societies are for ever evolving more and more into nanny states like with CCTV in the UK. Well I think we can beat that in the city where I live.

In recent years the police have been pushing for more an more powers to search and detain people and so forth. The government has just recently given them new powers as to use sniffer dogs in the main night spots areas of the city. This is where you get the late night trouble and drunkenness and so forth. The police have long maintained that these places are a veritable cesspool of illegal drugs that they are wading in illicit drugs.

Last Saturday night for the first time the police suddenly appeared in these night spots with many sniffer dogs and spent 6 hours in these night-club areas, train stations and so forth having these dogs sniff people for drugs. Thousands of people would have been sniffed.

Guess what? No one, not even one person was found to have been in possession of illicit drugs. So much for the claim of these areas are significant drug dealing and drug taking areas. With five people the dogs indicated that the person did have drugs on them. Each one of them when further searched by the police had no drugs detected. There was 100% false positives given by the dogs.

So here we can have innocent people walking along in public, displaying no intoxication or anti social behaviour who may be with their granny or perhaps others they are wanting to do business with. A dog gives the indication they have drugs whilst every one is looking on and the police take you out the back to give you are search. What’s your granny going to think or people you are trying to do some business with? People can easily think that the dog got it right and he/she had drugs on him but the police did not find it. When that may not be the case at all.

This is frightening to me that the government has given the police such powers. Also what types of searches have the government given the police the right to do. Interestingly you never see this reported in the press for some reason. Working in a prison I have seen many searches done of various types. When a dog gives a positive response I assume the police then do a “Pat down” search of the person.

I had many of these done to me when working in a prison. Often there would be random pat down searches of staff. This is where no clothes are removed and the searcher simply pats the outside of the clothing to feel if there is anything secreted on the body under the clothes. They pat all over the body and they go right up to the top of the inner thighs, and I can tell you that is getting pretty close and personal!!! I never had a guard actually feel my genitals directly to see if anything was being smuggled there but their hands get very close!!

Then there are the various cavity searches like the ears, nose and the mouth. I have seen prison officers find all sorts of contraband in such ‘cavities’ as prisoners attempt to move various drugs and so forth around the prison. I recall being shown a very small home made syringe that a prisoner had secreted up his nose for many months.

I hope the police in these night spot raids don’t have such powers of searching. For instance with the mouth search the searcher has to get up very close to the face and shines a torch in the mouth and then either gets the person to use their fingers or the searcher uses his fingers to pull the inside of the cheek away from the teeth and lift up the tongue. That was never done to me but it looks invasive to say the least.

Then of course there is the anal cavity and one would hope to god they could not do such searches!!! However even forgetting that part of the anatomy I have seen all sorts of devices made by prisoners that can hold contraband in between the butt cheeks for extended periods of time. In searches of this kind the prisoner was ordered to remove all his clothing, stand with his legs apart and go into the squat position. The officer then shone a torch to see if the was anything concealed.

Working in a male prison one only has to worry about the female anatomy when they are visiting their incarcerated boyfriends which includes face to face contact. In “visits” at the prison there was an extensive video surveillance system and sometimes I would see it when wanting to watch a certain prisoner. The vagina of course is a means of smuggling contraband and again I have seen all sorts of things that have been found using this part of the anatomy for transportation. I was told that a small home made pistol was once attempted to be transported in this way but I never saw the gun for myself.


Sunday, July 12, 2009

Establishing independence

There are eight main psychological struggles that children and teenagers need to resolve before they become psychologically complete as an adult. Below are the first four.

1. Leaving home. Establishing independence from home supervision.

*Emergence from parental supervision

*Reliance from the security one can give self rather than security provided by the parents.

*Development of an attitude towards parents as friends rather than protectors and supervisors.

*Planning of one’s own time and making one’s own decisions without parental control.

Free from parental supervision

In psychotherapy there is a general rule of thumb for the adolescent or adult client. Do they refer to their parents as mummy & daddy, mum & dad or Fred & Alice. This is about getting a psychological divorce from ones parents and if one refers to their parents by their christian names then they are more likely to have resolved this dilemma. If they refer to them as mummy and daddy then there can be considerable emotional immaturity.

To become an adult or a person in ones own right one must learn how to deal with the good and bad events in life. How to deal with things like gossip, rejection, feeling scared, ashamed, angry. It is the overprotective parents cause the most problems with this psychological struggle.

This also refers to the geographical separation from the parents such as moving out into an abode of their own. Physically leaving home can greatly assist the child in resolving this psychological struggle. This need can also be reflected in the desire of younger people to travel and see some of the world without the parents being present.


2. Emotional maturity. A person does not become an adult until he has abandoned childish or adolescent ways of reacting emotionally.

*Substitution of harmless instead of harmful ways of expressing emotion. For instance young children hit and bite when angry. Temper tantrums is another example.

*Learning to react to emotional situations objectively. If someone is angry at what you have done, to be able to assess objectively if their anger is justified or not. Being able to move beyond simple revenge responses or an eye for an eye thinking.

*Learning to accept criticism without hurt feelings.

*Learning to face things that are unpleasant instead of running away from them.

*Elimination of childish fears and anxieties.

3. Social maturity. This is not independence from home but maturity in one’s own social circle.

*Development of a sense of security in one’s social circle.

*Ability to get along with others in peer relationships

*Ability to take part in the activities of the group, without trying to either dominate it or be excessively submissive in it.

*Freedom from excessive dependence on one’s social group. This allows one to go some what against the norms of the group but still remain part of it.

*Development of a tolerance to different social groups.

Choosing who to be friends with is up to them

Teenagers have an acute interest in social matters. They can be dependent and meticulously imitate their friends and social group. This serves a real and positive purpose in the break away from the parents. However it can become a problem in itself if the person merely becomes a slave to the norms of the group instead of the parents.

4. Beginnings of economic independence. One cannot truly become psychologically adult until they earn their own living.

*Reasonably accurate estimate of one’s abilities

*Selection of a field of work in which success is possible

*Completion of enough training to get started in one’s career

*Realising the need to work

One can not become who they are without economic independence.

This is a distinctive difficulty for children from wealthy families. Many parents will promote economic ties as a way to keep children around. This also highlights the difficulty when a child goes into the family business and is why often the second generation in the family business in much less successful. If given an easy path into the family business they tend to be more interested in the spoils of it than making it profitable.

In western society these psychological struggles have gained extra importance in recent years as they evolve more and more into nanny states. As the state takes more and more responsibility to protect and look after its young it is becoming harder and harder for them to evolve into what is seen as psychologically adult.

We are making it harder and harder for the young to become psychologically independent. To do that they have to take risks of their own and that means some of them will get hurt and some will even die. We have to accept that there will be casualties or risk the predicament of promoting a generation of dependents.


Saturday, July 11, 2009

Physical intimacy**

I have been meaning to write about this but have never got around to it. With the current interest in intimacy I thought the time was right.

Most normal sexual activity would be a Free Child to Free Child exchange. It is of course possible to have sex in a different ego state, at least for the woman it is. She can have sex in her Adult because she wants to fall pregnant. I would say however, that for a male to have sex that involved him getting an erection then his FC must be involved at least in part.

If it feels good or is erotic for him then it would usually be seen as Free Child and then he can obtain an erection. This of course causes problems for male child who was sexually assaulted by perhaps mother or a sister because if he obtained an erection then it proves that in part he found it an erotic event and thus was in one sense consensual.

A woman can also have sex completely in her Conforming Child ego state. She agrees to sexual contact because her husband has asked or demanded it. She wants to say no but says yes for some reason. Again this cannot really happen for a man because if he is 100% “No”, then the necessary anatomical changes are just not going to happen.

However the female can do one other thing and develop a condition called vaginismus. The muscles on the outer third of the vagina contract involuntarily such that penetration is simply not possible. So if she is a 100% “No”, then this condition can form and thus stop vaginal penetration. When a woman presents with such a condition one certainly would be investigating the dynamics of her current relationship to see if she is wanting to say no to sex but continuing to say yes instead. At times this is not the case and the vaginismus occurs because of prior sexual contact she had and not related to her current sexual partner which is not really fair for the current guy. He has done nothing wrong and yet he misses out, but ‘such is life’ at times.

Whilst her body may be making a very loud and definite Free Child statement with the vaginismus, often in practical terms it is only partially successful at best. The male simply requests other forms of sexual contact than vaginal penetration and she continues to say yes.

Baring these circumstances most sexual contact is FC to FC contact and this can explain why some males suffer from erectile dysfunction as it is called. That is the inability to obtain and/or sustain an erection such that penetration cannot occur.

If the man has difficulty accessing his Free Child ego state then this of course can have consequences with his sexual functioning. When working with such conditions of course one would be looking at these kinds of personality dynamics. For instance a man who was raised with the belief that feelings especially sexual feelings are bad can have such problems because the Free Child is inhibited by such messages.

If he has a very active internal Critical Parent then this can also trample on the Free Child and thus result in erectile dysfunction. In this case he may discover than consuming some alcohol greatly assists with his ability to obtain an erection. The first thing alcohol does is knock out the CP and thus his Free Child is allowed to come out and be expressed.

Alcohol can greatly assist in such circumstances as long as there is not too much consumed. If the man continues to drink then eventually the Free Child is blocked out and then nothing is going to happen. Psychological treatment of this type of erectile dysfunction is to reduce the Critical Parent. It should be noted that there are other psychological causes that are not being discussed.

Being one of the most sensitive aspects of the personality the Free Child is particularly susceptible to stress. For instance if a man is placed under considerable stress at work then this can result in either erectile dysfunction and/or a significant drop in his libido. The stress simply tramples on the Free Child and thus the sexual behaviour is effected as such.


Thursday, July 9, 2009

Website update

On my website at Ynot I now have three more complied blog posting articles.

Are these two ladies lying?

One on the Persona
the sociopath and
the psychology of the lie


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Couples and intimacy

I actually had a good one today. You earn your money when one does couples counselling. It is usually not easy work and often the couple get locked into argument in the session, usually with no result as that is why they are there in the first place.

Getting ready for a couples

counselling session

Over the years I have just got more matter of fact about counselling couples and lay it out on the table. “If this continues then the marriage will end”, “Relationship change can occur if both parties are invested in that and willing to be introspective. If at least one party is not then there is not much use getting counselling” are the sorts of comments I can make these days. When stated the couple usually sort of sit back a bit wide eyed and don’t really know what to say. I don’t think they expect me to be like that.

However I saw a couple today who sort of got to me by accident and they had good communication patterns and showed effective problem solving. It was a delight to see and work with. Unfortunately they don’t really need to come back as they got a few things cleared up and they are quite capable of solving their difficulties with out a referee present.

The usual scenario is not that and these are the ones that need further assistance. Also sometimes/often couples get to counselling too late. The damage has been done and the emotional scars are too deep. If they had come earlier then more could have been done.

If any relationship is to last over time and be of a decent quality then you have to have this type of transaction persisting.

Free Child to Free Child contact is imperative. Without it the quality of the relationship will deteriorate. The problem is that the Free Child part of us includes our sensitive emotions and if it gets verbally assaulted then it will withdraw and be reluctant to come out again. If the couple have been at each others throats for an extended time then the Free Child ego states will be well and truly withdrawn and most reluctant to return. That is what I mean when I say the emotional scars are too deep by the time they get into my office.

In relationships the Free Child displays intimacy and vulnerability between the couple and this is why marriage as a western structure is really not conducive to such intimacy. When two people are living in close quarters as husbands and wives tend to do, sooner or later they get angry at each other. What happens then is pivotal. In such situations it is not uncommon to lash out in some way and want to hurt they other because you felt hurt by them first. As soon as that happens then the Free Child of both parties will retreat and be reluctant to return.

This is why it is easier for people to display intimacy and vulnerability to a stranger who you know you are never going to see again. Why it is easier to display intimacy over the internet because you know you are not going to see them tomorrow morning at the breakfast table. The Free Child feels safer and thus is more willing to come out.

Wilma and Fred felt

safe with each other

How we can talk to the person next to us on the plane and be quite open with them and say things we wouldn’t normally disclose because both parties know at the end of the flight they will never see each other again. Why holiday romances and freindships can be emtionally intense and intimate as both partites know in the near future they will part and probably never meet again or not for a long time. Why clients can be quite vulnerable with therapists because they know they don’t live with them and the therapist’s Free Child does not have some other relationship agenda that could be hurtful.

So what do couple counsellors do? Well those who work at a behavioural level will do things like provide lists of fair fighting rules. Common rules found on such lists are things like: No name calling or hitting below the belt, time limited fights, no old movies, stop expecting the partner to change and so on.

Fair fighting

If both parties kept to such rules when fighting then the Free Child would be much less hurt and thus not withdrawn. However like any behavioural contract in therapy it wont work unless both parties have introspection, good will and intent. If that isn’t there then you can have as many fair fighting rules that you like and it wont make a cracker of a difference. If the Free Child has been scarred by ‘dirty’ fighting in the past then good will and intent is less likely to be present.


Thursday, July 2, 2009

Demon, Lilith or otherwise

I have had this happen before but not very often I must say. Been working with this guy for some time and we have been in recent times learning about and dealing with a demon in his personality structure. I have written about this before at The Demon Since then Kenoath has set about articulating much more about the demon subpersonality with his writings on Lilith.

We all have a Lilith but not a demon subpersonality, but there are some similarities between them

I use two chair a lot when working with the demon. As I have said before many therapists in my view do not deal well with this because the usual approach is to in some way constrain or get control of this aspect of self that can be quite destructive at times. My suggestion is one does not attempt to do that but instead gets some kind of coexistence with it. That means accepting some of its destructiveness which most therapists would have a hard time doing.

Any ways we have been doing the usual therapy stuff and this man is very well read and most articulate. However his life has been a whole series of crises often influenced by this demon as I call it. He states however that this influencing part is more alien than the what the demon would be. It is not an aspect of his personality in the usual sense of the word.

He has in his past studied the satanic world and there was an incident in his 20s when he met this man for a brief period through a mutual friend. They disliked each other intensely and this person he states had some kind of influence on him in a metaphysical way. This is what he reports the alien part to come from. He states that prior to him meeting this man it was there in a rudimentary form but it was since then that it became more pronounced and defined. This part is frightening to him and this guy has a ‘tough’ character one could say.

Again he is a smart man who in no way is prone to being off with the fairies and reporting wild theories and beliefs. Psychologists however could easily account for what he reports about this alien part. It would be seen as either a kind of dissociation or mild multiple personality, a delusion of some kind or perhaps even a sort of somatic hallucination.

Multiple personality

I am not discounting any of these but in this case it is almost too slick and too easy to pass it off with some diagnosis as described. I have looked hard and he does not show any of the other signs one would normally find with a dissociation or hallucination and so forth.

So what does one do? First thing I do is keep an open mind. Don’t let my theories restrict my observations of him. I’m not about to break out the cross and exorcism handbook. In the final analysis he has to deal with it in some kind of way such that his life becomes a bit better for him. Use the model for dealing with the demon as a flexible template that is to be altered where need be. Try this and try that and see what unfolds.

Our theories at times make it very hard to just keep

observing what is there and what is not

There is a problem with psychological theories (and the scientific model in general) in that they can explain everything. It is in the very nature of how they are constructed to be completely deterministic. Every thing can be determined by them. Unfortunately reality is not like that. There are some things that cannot be determined or explained and maybe this is one of those circumstances. There needs to be a new diagnostic disorder included in the DSM-IV. The “I don’t know” disorder.