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#221109 - 04/28/08 05:54 PM Need Discerning Advice In Therapy Situation
jcf1957 Offline

Registered: 09/11/07
Posts: 192
Loc: North Of The 49th Parallel
They say that "Fear" is our greatest enemy in life.
I won't argue that fact. Fear has been my greatest adversary during most of my life; particularly after having been victimized by a harrowing gang-rape, tortured, and beaten at gunpoint which has only enforced many of my fears triple-fold. My next adversary; a close contender with fears from my painful past is finding the strength to "Trust". It's not just a matter of trusting myself with my own decisions, but; trying to interpret what other people think about my emotions and character. Sometimes it can be damned awfully difficult trying to evaluate the motives of other people. Maybe it's because I've been fucked over too many times by insensitive and indifferent people, that I tend to be more on guard sort of speak with other people whom I share my debilitating past with. I do try my utmost not to judge others. It's not my hang-up to be self-conceited or brash.

Anyways; maybe I'm losing myself. My female therapist wants me to give cognitive group therapy another go. I didn't quite fit in my last session five years ago. I was too emotionally turmoiled inside. For the sake of those who do not understand the concept of cognitive group therapy, here it is in a basic nut shell...

Psychological treatment of depression (psychotherapy) can assist the depressed individual in several ways. First, supportive counseling helps ease the pain of depression, and addresses the feelings of hopelessness that accompany depression. Second, cognitive therapy changes the pessimistic ideas, unrealistic expectations, and overly critical self-evaluations that create depression and sustain it. Cognitive therapy helps the depressed person recognize which life problems are critical, and which are minor. It also helps him/her to develop positive life goals, and a more positive self-assessment. Third, problem solving therapy changes the areas of the person's life that are creating significant stress, and contributing to the depression. This may require behavioral therapy to develop better coping skills, or Interpersonal therapy, to assist in solving relationship problems.

At first glance, this may seem like several different therapies being used to treat depression. However, all of these interventions are used as part of a cognitive treatment approach. Some psychologists use the phrase, cognitive-behavioral therapy and others simply call this approach, cognitive therapy. In practice, both cognitive and behavioral techniques are used together.

Once upon a time, behavior therapy did not pay any attention to cognitions, such as perceptions, evaluations or expectations. Behavior therapy only studied behavior that could be observed and measured. But, psychology is a science, studying human thoughts, emotions and behavior. Scientific research has found that perceptions, expectations, values, attitudes, personal evaluations of self and others, fears, desires, etc. are all human experiences that affect behavior. Also, our behavior, and the behavior of others, affects all of those cognitive experiences as well. Thus, cognitive and behavioral experiences are intertwined, and must be studied, changed or eliminated, as an interactive pair.

In my last eight week sessions with cognitive group therapy I was placed in a mixed group of fifteen people, both male and female who each had their own psycho neurotic disorders. However; nobody in the group identified themselves as being a rape victim.
Immediately; this put me in a disadvantage with nobody to identify my own sufferings. I thought to myself is this what all male rape victims have to look forward to in group therapy ?
For the next seven weeks I muddled through the cognitive therapy sessions. The psychologist who was hosting the sessions knew I was having difficulty with sharing with others in the group about my heart-wrenching past. It was as though I obviously didn't fit in. To make a long story short, I did continue with the remainder weeks but in the end it left more unsettled, confused, and depressed. It's not easy sharing personal things about one's past with complete strangers that brings profound hurt and pain. It was though I was forced to hunker down in some shriveled up corner all by myself reliving every detail of my rape torture. Overwhelming to say the least.

So here I am today five years later faced with a similar problem.
I not sure if I'm ready to do this all over again.
Again; because there are so very few men who are willing to come out of their protective closets and speak about their haunting past without being judged by some insensitive person who really doesn't have the the capacity to understand jack shit about your own horrify memories. I just don't know what to do. Should I shrug off my humiliating past and just blurt it out.
Do you see what I mean about ("Fears and Trust").
I seriously need some constructive advice in this.
I would appreciate any help you friends could add to what I am lacking in hindsight. Kind regards; Chris

No affliction nor temptation, no guilt nor power of sin, no wounded spirit nor terrified conscious should induce us to despair comfort from God.

Today well lived...makes every tomorrow a vision of Hope.

#221127 - 04/28/08 06:51 PM Re: Need Discerning Advice In Therapy Situation [Re: jcf1957]
hogan_dawg Offline

Registered: 03/26/08
Posts: 492

The problem with most behavioral treatments is that the treatment effect disappears when the reinforcing circumstances or environment disappears. Yeah they'll work,...and then after a time they won't sustain.

I'm all for the cognitive approaches generally so long as it's not cultish and you're actually constructing your own reality, and not the group reality.

I think I could talk about my CSA in the presence of other men with CSA problems. I am not confident I'd feel comfortable talking about it with people who haven't experienced even remotely similar sets of feelings. Remember, the therapy isn't supposed to be there to treat a general underlying problem, it is supposed to be at some level tailored to manage concerns you have personally.

That said, trust IS one of those things that is a bit like a 'leap of faith' - and maybe this is where the behavioral approaches can actually assist you: You have to behave as if you trust the group (behavioral compliance), and then examine your feelings and thoughts and see if the trust was warranted (cognitive appraisal and consolidation).

I'd say do the group until it doesn't feel right to go. And if at any point you feel the trust was not appropriate or the scenario not right for you, you can decide at that time.

Edited by hogan_dawg (04/28/08 06:53 PM)
I can say unequivocally that the lie of "To truly heal you must first forgive" has derailed more victims than the abusers themselves.
Andrew Vachs, 2003

#221145 - 04/28/08 07:37 PM Re: Need Discerning Advice In Therapy Situation [Re: hogan_dawg]
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5781
Loc: Lyons, CO USA
I don't think a general group is going to be helpful. There are principles in cog-beh therapy that can be applied to other circumstances if the person is not so traumatized that he can't see beyond the trauma. So, if you had a problem with compulsive masturbation, a general cog-beh group with over-eaters, substance abusers, etc. might help you anticipate high risk feelings, cognitive distortions that allow you to engage in the unwanted behavior, recognize and utilize alternative resources, etc.

However, J, you have a lot of trauma connected to the rape and it seems that until you get that better resolved, the intent of the general group may be difficult to incorporate for you.

Although male sex abuse groups may be few and far between up your way, it may be more appropriate for you to find a female sex assault group to relate to.

Blissfully retired after 35 years treating sexual abuse

#221180 - 04/28/08 09:22 PM . [Re: Ken Singer, LCSW]
bardo213 Offline

Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 812

Edited by bardo213 (06/21/13 08:30 PM)

#221311 - 04/29/08 07:58 AM Re: Need Discerning Advice In Therapy Situation [Re: bardo213]
Magoo Offline

Registered: 04/04/08
Posts: 48
Loc: far, far away

I'm not a T but I feel if you are not comfortable telling strangers, then don't.
I'm learning to pick and choose who I tell and when. I won't tell anyone I don't feel cares for me or someone that would react inappropiately and make me feel worse.
Tell a bunch of strangers who don't give a shit about you?


#221535 - 04/29/08 11:12 PM Re: Need Discerning Advice In Therapy Situation [Re: Ken Singer, LCSW]
jcf1957 Offline

Registered: 09/11/07
Posts: 192
Loc: North Of The 49th Parallel
Ken; I value your input with genuine candor.
With due respect I would truly embrace the idea of sitting in with a female sexual assault group therapy if only it didn't make any other women in the group feel uncomfortably out of place.
Frankly; I would hope I too wouldn't feel like I was the lone green apple amongst the group. Living in the southeastern end of my province there's not even an official Rape Crisis Centre for women in my city of 120,000. A hundred miles north there is a "private" woman's rape crisis centre. However; it's not officially recognized by the Canadian Mental Health Association. There are Mental health clinics, but; their resources are spread extremely thin. And those resources are even worse if you happen to be a male rape victim. In the last five years only two male rape victims have sought help at this provincial mental health clinic. I happen to be one of the two. This only proves my point that statistically if male rape victims are not presented with a viable safe haven where they can share their silent cries for help. No province or state south of the border will offer services to warrant the need of resources for male rape victims if the need doesn't justify the means. Meanwhile; I am forced to muddle through with what little help their is.

Edited by jcf1957 (04/30/08 12:24 PM)
No affliction nor temptation, no guilt nor power of sin, no wounded spirit nor terrified conscious should induce us to despair comfort from God.

Today well lived...makes every tomorrow a vision of Hope.

#222597 - 05/05/08 02:26 PM Re: Need Discerning Advice In Therapy Situation [Re: jcf1957]
jcf1957 Offline

Registered: 09/11/07
Posts: 192
Loc: North Of The 49th Parallel
If I could be convinced that there's a therapeutic characteristic that indicates the precondition for a distinct psychotherapy group associated with other male rape victims, and their respective sexual orientation's suffering from RR-P.T.S.D. I would agreeably endeavor to experience. Currently however; even though I am "infrequently' ("not by choice due to poor resources") seeing a psychiatrist. I am not always thoroughly interested in speaking to a psychiatrist. Not because of self-righteous pride, prejudice, disrespect, mistrust, or cynicism. But because; non-comprehensive resources at many provincial mental health institutions, including hospitals in my province are inadequately equipped to facilitate supporting male rape victims homosexual or heterosexual in a respective, congenial, group therapy setting that integrates a social structured medium distinctively suited for men who have suffered the onslaught of violent rape.

While I do remain receptive to ongoing remedial therapy with my psychologist. I am discouraged and disquieted by circumstances of the past which induce me to believe that I was indeed unsuitably matched during two separate eight week sessions of group psychotherapy that were ("devoid") of other male rape victims.
It is oddly difficult trying to rationalize the estranging reason as to why there are some shrinks who "fail" miserably in making distinguishing adaptations to a group therapy systematization uniquely designed and respectively respectful of the fact that their are sexual orientation differences that exist between homosexual and heterosexual male rape victims.

Any influential group psychotherapy environment that isolates a single male rape victim amongst different patients suffering from diversified psycho neurotic disorders that are not respectively characteristic or comparable to the sufferings of most male rape victims; is a unreasonable and disadvantaged oversight that diminishes the quintessential concerns that distinctively serves to identify a tangible understanding of helpful resources respective of homosexual and heterosexual male rape victims.
This perspective argumentative evidence ("does not") incorporate a vindictive or condescending theme. However; it does reinforce my own convictions and circumspection, in reference to the evolving infancy and new frontiers of psychoanalytical science, which is not immune to deficient systematization and human fallibility requiring perpetual improvement. A vast number of doctors and nurses are ill-equipped with the educative knowledge, skills, and experience necessary to support the crippling psychological aftermath of male rape victims.

In less harmonious instances exist individual doctors and nurses who are too callous, impersonal, and inconsiderate to effectively commiserate with all male rape victims who are ("equally") deserving of compassionate, proper and ethical medical treatment.
The medical profession cannot underestimate the urgent essentiallity to impart principled awareness in "all" doctors and nurses who have the immense special task of caring purposefully for "all" victimized female and male patients afflicted by the painful horrors of rape. There is much satisfaction in work well done; praise is sweet; but, for any male rape victim there can be no real distinctive or compatible safe environment until comparatively, all male rape victims receive the same dignity and supportive understanding that woman receive from rape-related psychotherapy. Most women and men overwhelmed by rape endeavoring to discover a personal interpretation of their violent rape ordeal, will find it inevitably inexplicable. Human words are unable to communicate such an intensely private experience of pain. Extreme pain for a tortured rape sufferer; whether conscious, emotional, perceptual, cognitive, or corporeal ("is") unsharable, because it ("is") resistant to human language.

No affliction nor temptation, no guilt nor power of sin, no wounded spirit nor terrified conscious should induce us to despair comfort from God.

Today well lived...makes every tomorrow a vision of Hope.


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