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Tampering with the mind or therapy?


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#1    pantodragon

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 03:58 PM

I have written a few pieces recently on the subject of psychologists………..
“Another pantorant,” says you (or the most vocal of you).
“More pantogold,” says I.

Which of us is right?  Is panto a, gulp, TROLL, or, gasp, A DEVIL, or, help m’bob, SOMETHING WORSE……….

Does it MATTER?   (Yes, yes: and if it matters, does it matter that it matters?)

You, or the vocal majority of you, seem to think it does.  I think it does not.

A little anecdote:
A few years ago, when I was over-wintering in Spain, I met a German woman who was doing the same and we became ‘friends’ for a time --- I will call her Heidi.   As we became better acquainted, Heidi told me she was having an ‘affair’ with a prominent French politician.  In fact, they were engaged to be married.  However, she told me, there were difficulties, the fact that he was already married was just one of them, but it was because of these difficulties that they had had to keep their affair secret from the world.

It transpired that she had not actually met this politician, but had only seen him from a distance during visits he made to her locality in Germany.  The affair had been conducted, she told me, through secret hand signals.  The last time she had seen him, several months previously, he had signalled to her that he was going to sort things out very soon and that they would then get married.

Not surprisingly, according to Heidi, her friends and family were trying to persuade her that this was all delusional, trying to get her to admit that it was fantasy and to give it up and get a better grasp of reality.

Eventually, inevitably, one day Heidi turned and confronted me with, “Do YOU believe me?  I don’t think you do.”

For a moment I was flummoxed: I could not bring myself to say, “Yes”, but I knew it would be wrong to say, “No.”  Then the answer came to me:
“Who am I?” I said.  “I am no-one.  Why should what I think or believe matter to you?”
I pressed the point, reiterating that I was no-one, nobody, and that she should not care what I believed.  I went on to say that she should not care what ANYONE believed, that she should hold to her own reality, and that by caring about what other people believed she was inviting trouble, the kind of trouble, in fact, that she was getting from her friends and family, who were all undermining her, all telling her she was deluded etc.

Some people might think that to allow a person to persist with their delusions, when they obviously ARE deluded, is wrong, and even possibly dangerous.  The reverse is true: to rob a person of the only grasp of reality that they have, however tenous, however false, it wrong and extremely dangerous --- you is likely to drive them to worse delusion, or true insanity.

I am reminded of the film, The Ruling Class, which stared Peter O’Toole as an aristocrat who believed he was Christ.  I cannot remember how they did it, but his family managed to cure him of his delusion --- apparently.  The new man dressed and behaved normally in every way.  On the surface he seemed to be completely cured --- but what the do-gooders did not know was that he had just got worse, and gone ‘underground’; from being a harmless, benign Jesus Christ he had gone on to become the serial killer Jack the Ripper.

I know that is a film, and I do not, I assure you, base my notions of reality on what I see on the silver screen. However, I DO find that films often provide a neat illustration of ideas that I have gleaned from my experience of real life………and that is why I have referred to this film:  it portrays very well the kind of thing that will happen if you persuade a person to abandon their beliefs or ‘delusions’.

So what this anecdote is intended to do is to illustrate why I say that it does not matter whether what I write is a ‘pantorant’ or ‘pantogold’.  Every individual should stick to their own beliefs, hold to their own ‘truths’ and not allow themselves to be manipulated by other people.

That does not mean that people’s ideas and beliefs cannot change.  Change is natural.  One gains experience of life, one listens to what other people say, one matures, and it is only natural that one’s ideas and beliefs go through a natural process of growth and development just as one’s mind does.

I heard someone say, recently, that the truth does not win you friends, but it does influence people.  I believe that to be the case.  I think that THE TRUTH matters, and that, for various reasons that I won’t go into here, TRUTH has a power that lies, and false beliefs etc do not.  I could say that one’s subconscious mind, if not one’s conscious mind, does appreciate the need to ‘know reality’ --- I mean, at the most obvious level, if your grasp of reality is very weak, you could die from walking over a cliff, or get run over by a bus!

So how does one proceed with someone like Heidi?  Does one leave her with her delusions, with her poor grasp of reality?

Well, yes.  Her mind will ‘heal’ itself, and should be allowed to do so.  What she needs to allow that to happen is to CALM DOWN.   You must do everything to enable her to calm down. What you must not do is tell her what to think.  A healthy mind has an ability to distinguish between fiction and reality.  Her mind must be allowed to recover its own ability to make that distinction.  If you do that for it, you encourage the disability, the loss of ability to distinguish between fiction and reality.

The reason for this is that emotions work like a sort of psychological magnet, or glue: emotions hang onto things.  It is the emotional response that turns what should have been a single bad dream into a recurrent nightmare.  Emotions hang onto bad thoughts and trap you in bad forms of behaviour.  In extreme cases it is the emotions that hang onto symptoms of psychosis.  Also, emotions cloud thinking, and fear and anger and other negative emotions trap people in places where they feel safe, psychological as well as physical places.

So, like I said, it is absolutely imperative that the emotional state is brought right down to something a lot calmer.

To do this you have to give the person confidence, even pride in themselves; you have to support them no matter what they believe or do; you have to get them to take things less seriously, to ‘lighten up’; and, most importantly, you have to ‘annihilate your self ‘.  That latter is very important, because the awareness of presence of another person causes all sorts of problems, from a sort of paranoid fear, to anger, to a need to challenge, to a need to impress, to a need to need to manipulate etc etc.  You do not want that emotionalism, not the inhibitions --- the person MUST be allowed to be themselves in a way that they will normally be only when alone, or when there are animals around.  You must adopt their personality, must like what they like, be interested in what they are interested in etc.

If you cannot annihilate yourself like that then you will never see the ‘real’ person, and it is something that psychologists and psychiatrists never do, and could not do --- it is NOT a game.  If someone who knew you well were to speak to you about yourself when you were in that state of annihilation then you would think that they were talking about someone else; you would not recognise your true self.  When you come out of that state it takes some time to recover, to remember and re-establish your own identity.

This loss of identity and the need for recovery means that you cannot do this sort of therapy as a profession.  It can only be an occasional thing so that you can recover and allow yourself to grow and develop and be yourself between times.  To do this therapy professionally would cause irreparable damage.

There is more to the process than I have space to go into here, but ultimately, the other person will be comfortable enough, and more, eager to talk about themselves, their TRUE selves.  I do not mean that one is going into their minds and pulling out all sorts of suppressed stuff --- that is a no-no.  You must NEVER winkle out anything that does not come willingly and easily.  If something has been suppressed, then suppressed is where it should stay.  Trust the mind; it does what is best.

So when I say ‘true’ selves, I mean they will talk about things they normally hide in ‘polite’ society, or things that they think will bring some sort of moral condemnation.  It could be ‘criminal’ activities, possibly something small like shop-lifting, or something bigger, or it could be aberrant sexual behaviour……use your imagination --- it could be anything.

No matter what they talk about, you have to be supportive, have to applaud and be impressed --- NO MATTER WHAT, you have to find a way of being impressed.  It sometimes needs a bit of imagination, and a sense of what the other person will find comfortable.  You are giving the person pride and self-confidence and that is very calming.

The other thing, and a very important thing, is that you should find ways to ‘lighten up’, find something funny in what they are telling you, find some way of turning a serious affair into a comedy --- there is humour in every situation if you have the wit to see it.  To turn a serious affair into a comedy is very calming, and if, in the process, you can do so in such a way as to make the person ‘discover’ that they are good at telling a funny story, then you have bolstered their confidence again.

Well, that is the beginning of a very long process, and a process which allows the person’s mind to heal itself, and to remain ‘itself’.

The standard therapeutic techniques have more in common with police interrogation, and are very damaging.  Even the latest, most popular (or have I got behind the times?) Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is no more than brainwashing.

I have a great deal more to say, but am aware that the wall of text is growing and threatening to get out of hand so I will just terminate.  I can always come back to the topic later --- by popular request, of course! --- and fill out more of the details.


#2    freetoroam

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 04:12 PM

So how does one proceed with someone like Heidi?  Does one leave her with her delusions, with her poor grasp of reality?

Really would have to say to no to this one, do not leave her with her own delusions, we have enough nutters in the world who were left to their own delusions and, well, they never did grasp reality and it only got worse. Unfortunately when it begins to affect others, then thats the time to call in for outside help. "calming down" and the mind healing itself is never going to be an option for many people.
The film Fatal Attraction is all I can think of.

In an ideal World a law would be passed were NO guns were allowed and all those out there destroyed, trouble is the law makers are not going to take a risk of trying to pass that without making sure they are armed first.

#3    Star of the Sea

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 05:28 PM

I couldn't disagree with you more on this:

"This loss of identity and the need for recovery means that you cannot do this sort of therapy as a profession.  It can only be an occasional thing so that you can recover and allow yourself to grow and develop and be yourself between times.  To do this therapy professionally would cause irreparable damage".


Delusions are usually symptoms of Pyschosis or other mental health issues... Heidi may of been in the 'primary or secondary' stage leading to paranoid delusions and that is not a good place to be if it progresses.

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#4    born2run

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 09:42 PM

Do it for a living, "psychotherapy", Ph.D. Clinical Psych./Forensic. Just to imply that I think I know of what I speak and not just on being well read or articulate in proving a point, which one doesn't have to be. Depends on the patients, what they are looking for, and some will tell you in a "heartbeat" who is screwing with him/ her, literally and in wishful thinking arena. If one is thinking, using term very loosley, that their mind is being "rearranged" by therapy, of any type, nothing will change their "belief system" unless their situation gets really bad and they get committed, usually for 30 days if by the court, as long as they like, if voluntary admission, and can go when they like, unless they do exhibit symptoms of some "psyvhological dysfunction" or too dangerous to let loose and be by themselves. As for "messin' with their minds" or anyones, if you know how, it isn't hard to do and no one is the wiser.Just don't try because one never knows what mght be behind that particular door one might be opening. "Course, lots of patients know what "buttons to push" with staff and I think love to see if their  "manipulations" will/are working. Some are so good at reading other patients/staff, they might do wonders treating patients, cold day in H*** before I let that happen. But that is another story.

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#5    DeWitz

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 01:38 AM

What interesting stories. . . . Here's mine: While serving as an emergency mental health counselor in the early 1980's, in a big northeastern US city, I had a a curious interaction with a post-suicide attempt/self-injurious patient. She, an apparently physically healthy but emotionally distraught educated American female in her mid-twenties, had slashed her wrists in response to a TV newscast about Reagan's intent to emplace Pershing II nuclear missiles in Germany (this was prior to the fall of communism in Eastern Europe and former Soviet Union, 1989-91). By way of explanation, this woman stated that she believed she was part of the decision, part of the deployment---in fact, she was a missile herself--and therefore had to die because she constituted a threat. Exploring her self-understanding, rather than trying to erode her delusion, I asked what she could do about her status as part of this perceived nefarious plan to ratchet up nuclear brinksmanship in Europe. She replied, matter-of-factly, that this was the exact reason she tried to kill herself; she had no idea how to extricate herself from what she understood as a universal death wish. She further said, when confronted with the fact that she was not employed by the Reagan Administration, was not part of the military, and appeared to present no danger to others, that the mere payment of her federal taxes made her complicit in the plot. As a short-term interventionist, I never found out what happened to this woman. I do know that I was on thin ice when I described the scenario to my supervisor, and said she made a lot of sense to me. To someone with different political values than mine, she was stark, raving mad; to me, she was an individual of sensitivity and insight who was overwhelmed by the precariousness of the world situation at the time. In my opinion, the best therapists allow their minds to be influenced, but not dominated, by "patients." Thinking in unorthodox ways allows us to insert ourselves into the world(s) of the ones we seek to help.

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#6    DeWitz

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 01:43 AM

View Postborn2run, on 24 June 2013 - 09:42 PM, said:

Do it for a living, "psychotherapy", Ph.D. Clinical Psych./Forensic. Just to imply that I think I know of what I speak and not just on being well read or articulate in proving a point, which one doesn't have to be. Depends on the patients, what they are looking for, and some will tell you in a "heartbeat" who is screwing with him/ her, literally and in wishful thinking arena. If one is thinking, using term very loosley, that their mind is being "rearranged" by therapy, of any type, nothing will change their "belief system" unless their situation gets really bad and they get committed, usually for 30 days if by the court, as long as they like, if voluntary admission, and can go when they like, unless they do exhibit symptoms of some "psyvhological dysfunction" or too dangerous to let loose and be by themselves. As for "messin' with their minds" or anyones, if you know how, it isn't hard to do and no one is the wiser.Just don't try because one never knows what mght be behind that particular door one might be opening. "Course, lots of patients know what "buttons to push" with staff and I think love to see if their  "manipulations" will/are working. Some are so good at reading other patients/staff, they might do wonders treating patients, cold day in H*** before I let that happen. But that is another story.

Born2run, from which university did you receive your Ph.D.? What kind of forensic work do you do? I've always trusted clinical psychologists more than psychiatrists, if only because the MD's seem more organically-oriented than the clinical folks.

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#7    StarMountainKid

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 02:03 PM

I've been looking up the different types of clinical delusions people can have. They are very strange, indeed. I think many if not all of us have delusions of some kind. If we can admit to our delusions we can have a healthy mind. If we don't recognize our delusions as delusians, take our delusions seriously, we're in trouble, and usually cause trouble for others. Politicians, for example, take their delusions seriously, and we all know what the result of that is.

When we hold steadfastly to some belief or opinion, I think this is delusional thinking. Identifying one's self with one's beliefs or opinions has its basis in insecurity. I'm insecure except when I'm spouting my opinions, which make me feel more secure in myself. However, if the resultant secure feelings I have are the result of my insecurities, is there any real basis for my opinions?

If this is the case, then my opinions are my delusions. They're made-up stories to make me feel secure in myself. If I admit to this, do I need a psychiatrist to tamper with my mind, or should I just forget about it and take solice in watching other people make fools of themselves as I do?

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#8    pantodragon

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 02:12 PM

More Mindfulness;  or: What did YOUR Therapist do for You?


Having had to terminate my post on therapy rather abruptly, in response to loud applause and cries of, “More, more”, I have decided to expand on that piece…………I might also add that in the past I have stated that I have cured a variety of serious mental illnesses, including autism, paranoia and schizophrenia, and my claim has been greeted with derision and challenges to produce evidence.  Well, the evidence is not going to be forthcoming, cannot be forthcoming, but what I can do is describe the way to cure mental illness --- ALL mental illness…………!!!!????!!!


Much of what I do depends on a view of the world that I have described in my post: Pantodragon’s World in a Nutshell.  In that post I described existence as being a virtual reality experience --- life is just a dream.  I went on to state that that meant that life has to be a two mind affair, one mind, the ‘Quew’, to ‘create’ the virtual reality world and set the scenarios of life, and one mind, a human, to live in that virtual reality world.  The relationship between these two minds is symbiotic and communication between the two is via dreams: the dreams one sees in one’s mind’s eye are messages FROM the Quew while the dreams that one produces in one’s own mind go TO the Quew.  Thus a constant and detailed stream of communications flows between the Quew and its human partner………

…………at least, it does if the person is healthy.  And that stream of information enables the Quew to know what the person wants and needs and what they like and dislike, and whether they are healthy or sick, and it will take action accordingly; if a Quew is able to do its job properly it will ensure the person is healthy and happy and it will arrange a path through life that will lead to the fulfilment of the person’s dreams.

But like I say, that is the ideal situation and depends on the person having a basic level of health in the first place……which is not the case in our world.  Again I have said many times in these posts that my understanding of the human situation is that the human race has universally succumbed to an addiction to power, and that that drug abuse has lead to the decline of humanity to the extent that we are now in an apocalypse, and have gone beyond the point of no return……at least, not without outside help.  Obviously, the Quew could give that help, but it is prevented from doing so by the failure of the communication systems between the Quew and their human partners.

The problem is that the decline of humanity has led to the loss of people’s ability to interpret dreams, and that is the language of communication, so people are no longer able to understand what the Quew is telling them.  But there is worse: worse is the loss of people’s ability to dream.  As I said, the dreams people see in their own minds are communications from the Quew, and the dreams their own minds create communicate their own state of mind TO the Quew.  So, with people’s minds no longer able to produce dreams, the Quew are largely cut off from knowing what is going on in the minds of their partners.  Basically, if you could talk to your Quew it would be able to help you to put your life to rights, to achieve full health and happiness and much besides.

All this pre-amble is necessary to explain my principal role when I help people who are mentally (or physically) ill.  I can interpret dreams and I can thus communicate with the Quew.  I can also communicate with people at a very high level --- as described in my previous post, where I talked of how one has to annihilate oneself in order to allow people to reveal what is going on in their true minds.  Thus I can be the go-between.  I can be the eyes and ears of the person’s Quew, thus enabling the Quew to see what is going on in that person’s mind………”Out of the Silent Planet”!

Of course I can also receive messages from the Quew, and that is my source of guidance --- when one is helping someone, like I said, you have to become a non-person, a mere lowly companion as invisible as a servant is to the wealthy, and you have to take a lot of abuse; it is not a matter of what illness the person is suffering from; everyone is ‘on power’, and, one way or another, you will get abused.  You have to be able to take it, but sometimes, when I’m being given a particularly hard time, I want to hit back and shout, “I’m only the messenger………what are you shooting me for!”

Like I said in my previous post, the first thing you have to do is to enable a person to start calming down and to lighten up a little.  After that, you have to start to bring them back to life.  To be alive is to have your own likes and dislikes which are nothing to do with what other people like and dislike, not even ‘experts’, and to want to do things and go places, and to be interested in things and to have dreams and ambitions.  This process of ‘bringing alive’ is helped along if you have a wide range of interests yourself, a wide knowledge and a lot of experience of life yourself, which I have.  (I know people reading this will THINK they have their own tastes, and are interested in things etc, but that is because you are so used to living impoverished lives in an impoverished world --- not to mention the fact that you are drugged; there is not a person in this world that is not more dead than alive, more machine than human.)

The most effective way to re-engage people’s interest in the world is to interpret dreams and oracle cards and signs and portents etc.  Most people I have encountered find these things fascinating, and especially when the subject is always themselves.  The thing is, as I have said elsewhere, since ‘life is just a dream’, everything in life is interpretable the same way as dreams are.  So, for example, one can read a book, or watch a film, and will find that there is ‘significance’ in the story, that if one treats the story like a dream, one can interpret it and it has the same relevance to the reader as a dream has.  So, if a person is not interested in fiction, they will nevertheless take to reading it when they discover that it has this interpretability, and that it is talking about them.

One can use the same interpretability to get people to take an interest in collage, then arts and crafts more generally.  One can even use interpretability to get people to take an interest in the internet!  Thus one can begin to engage people in all aspects of life.

Apart from bringing people back to life, the idea here is to get their minds functioning.  One wants to get people to do the widest range of activities, and these, directed by the Quew, will be such as to restore functions and abilities which have been lost through drug abuse.  Raising general levels of awareness, for example, which is a matter of getting them to use their senses more fully, as well as getting them to become more self-aware, to be aware of what is going through their own minds, and to remember it from day to day --- you’d be surprised at how low your level of awareness of what is going on in your own mind is, let alone how poorly you remember it!  Then there are all sorts of ‘organisational’ abilities, and abilities which I class a ‘housework’ abilities (And if you do not look after your mind, do the mental ‘housework’, then your mind will suffer just as your real house does if neglected.).

And then there is communication, articulacy.  Again, there is not a person in this world who can communicate anywhere near the level they should.  There are people who can talk a lot, but that is not the same thing.  It is a very long, drawn-out process getting people’s communication abilities restored to something like healthy, but without the ability to know and articulate what they REALLY think and feel, then they are trapped in an inner world where bad feelings build and accumulate and cannot be gotten rid of --- a recipe for illness.  The process involves doing a hell of a lot of talking and writing, but I won’t go into details.

Well, as the YEARS go by, you can see the process working.  The fear goes from the face of the paranoid, the anger etched in lines across the face of the angry person goes, and both faces take on a relaxed, more alert look.  No matter what type of person, they lose their fears of life and other people, lose their anger, lose their guilt or shame, envy, jealousy or any other bad feeling.  You can see the face ‘brightening’, see an alertness come back into the eyes, and the person will begin to feel the world opening up and becoming a place of opportunity.  They will begin to dream again, in the sense of having ambitions, things they want to do or to achieve.

Their physical health will improve --- they may loose some long term illnesses, such as asthma, allergies and the like, but, more importantly, they will become ever more able to recover, and recover ever more quickly from illness --- the world of the Quew is not a world of ‘prevention’, but of ‘cure’.

They will begin to discover that they can do things they did not think they were able to do, like understand poetry, write a novel, understand and do mathematics or philosophy, enjoy opera, paint and draw, play sports and games --- whatever ‘type’ of person they thought they were (eg an artistic type who couldn’t do maths, or vice-versa), they will find that they can do all the things they thought they could not --- and it is not ‘hard graft’, not studying that does it, but learning how to ENJOY doing things and doing things for the pure love of doing them only.

There are two ultimate aims: first, to restore a person’s mind to FULL working order in ALL ‘departments’ such that they will be able to learn how to interpret their own dreams, and thus establish proper communications with their own Quew.  This implies a return to health and happiness, to being in full sensory contact with the world around them, to being in control of their own lives, and to being independent and fully capable of looking after themselves, no matter who or what they might be up against.  Secondly, to enable them to discover the person they REALLY are, discover their own ‘spirit’.  This latter involves getting them to go over their lives, to write ‘autobiographies’, until they begin to see the ‘story’ of their lives, begin to see that their lives were not just a random series of events, but a STORY, and that story relates to who they really are, is driven by their own ‘spirit’.  That story will have come to a ‘dead-end’, but the object of the exercise is to get them to remember the things they were interested in as children, dreams that were never fulfilled, and then to see how these dreams relate to their ‘spirit’, to who they are, their character.

It is then a matter of picking-up where they left off, with some additional stuff added by the years --- even in illness, drug abuse or whatever, the years were NOT wasted.  So, it is a bit like going back to childhood and picking up where things started to go wrong, where you had to give up dreams because of social pressures, because you could not get the exam results, because you got no support or whatever.  But it is more than just picking up from where you left off, because, seen from the right perspective, the intervening years were not wasted --- they can be gleaned for pure gold.

Termination time for another ‘wall of text’!

Question: what did your therapist do for you?





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