10 February 2009

wtf is she talking about?

politics, change and (cognitive) therapy...

i was listening to the press conference today, and thinking about the huge paradigm shift that has to occur in the 'usual way' things are/have been done in D.C. and how impossible it seems to accomplish in four years, let alone 100 days. i suck at understanding politics and history and 'seeing the big picture' and 'reading between the lines'. still, i am hopeful that my apparent novice outlook isn't simply naïve or idealistic...

all this led me to think about friends who have benefited from the cognitive-behavioural model of psychotherapy, and the reasons why it is considered a best practice in terms of length of treatment in relation to effectiveness, especially in this day and age of short-term non-preventative responses to acute illness.

according to the National Association of Cognitive-Behavioural Therapists:

"Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy... is a form of psychotherapy that emphasizes the important role of thinking in how we feel and what we do."

sounds pretty obvious...and i still only grasp its application to help individuals at the highest levels of functioning: e.g. people who need a little help in their day-to-day and NOT people who are severely psychotic and have difficulty with reality orientation. this being said, i don't think our political system is completely psychotic, just repairably dysfunctional...and so perhaps the two seemingly diametrically opposed governmental parties have to come to a realisation that they need to change their way of thinking before anything can change, assuming, they feel there is indeed a need for change.

like a person who goes into therapy.

i haven't been in school or in a clinical setting for some time, but i DO remember a few things i learned from working with clients in a mental health setting:

  • things get worse before they get better
  • practice makes perfect, or at least practice makes it easier to utilise skills in an attempt to move toward better
  • practice has to take place in a safe, structured environment with trained professionals
  • healing, rehabilitation, recovery or whatever you want to call it requires trust (trust in the doctor, yourself, pharma, therapy etc. etc. etc.)
  • nothing is solved or cured overnight or even in a few days/hours

i guess i'm thinking that the country has been removed from its own enabling (i.e. being stuck in the status quo) or self-destructive situation, and thankfully there is a system in place to try and get it better. some approaches work and some approaches fail...but most of the time we have to rely on evidence-based interventions to supply education and tools needed to improve the way one reacts to stressful situations. an inductive method encourages us to look at our thoughts as being hypotheses or guesses that can be questioned and tested...and if the tests fail, we need to find a better solution. if the tests succeed, then it reinforces things for next time.

but in the words of Carl Branananalewski:

"It don't matter. None o' dis matters."

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