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Author Topic: Shrink 4 Men: Online Reputation, Independent Review  (Read 9171 times)
BleedsOrange
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« on: April 11, 2012, 05:15:41 PM »

When I was still really angry and not just intermittently angry, I read the Tara Palmatier at Shrink4Men. While at the time it was useful to stop blaming myself, I find much of that material makes me too angry; to feel too victimized.



Attention(click to insert in post) Mod Note: Article Review: Shrink 4 Men
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ABQChris

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« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2013, 04:17:29 PM »

Does anyone have opinions or experiences regarding Tara Palmatier? I'm genuinely curious as to what you more psych-educated folks think of it, particularly the articles about abusive females (note the "Abused Men: How Covert Abuse Begins" article near the top of the home page).

The self-professed doctor writes a lot of stuff for men who are struggling with their abusive girlfriends or wives, either during or after relationships, and this isn't found nearly enough -- it's usually the opposite -- so I've been reading her articles for a few days now.

But she keeps using words like "crazy," and other mean language, which doesn't seem befitting a professional. I've written her a friendly, tactful comment, which has been ignored for a week, and latterly an e-mail, which she still hasn't responded to.

Perhaps she just didn't like my challenges to explain her vindictive language? Or do you think I might have worded something insensitively (below)? I don't think she's really helping any men when she uses general, nasty words like "crazy." Some of us feel compassionate about our ex's, even though we'll never return to them.

So...  please tell me what you think, or if you've heard anything about that website. Or perhaps if I'm wrong, having a problem with the term "crazy." Thanks so much for reading.



Hello again, Tara Palmatier ...  I believe it would help a lot of men besides me, and (correct me if I'm wrong, by all means) it could be an interesting angle to bring up in any capacity...  you're surely aware that men often struggle with the prospect of leaving their abusive women, or continue to feel guilt afterward, even if they’ve done nothing wrong, because they've remained human, and feel compassion for their (ex-) girlfriends or wives.

Over a year after leaving my verbally abusive BPD/PTSD girlfriend, I still feel guilt, because I know that in *her* reality, I'm the one who did the "rejecting."

I'm not excusing, rationalizing, or forgiving her abusive behavior toward me when I say that pity keeps me a bit stuck in remorse. I'll never go back, and I'm glad I left. Your articles (blog posts, I suppose) have helped a great deal, and you seem to be a genuinely kind person -- but it keeps striking me that the use of rather catch-all terms in your writing, such as "different flavors of crazy" and "it will have the added benefit of driving her mad" aren't helpful.

In fact, attempting to vilify the ex only makes it worse, personally speaking, as I know her problems aren't her fault. They're not mine, either, so I left.

But I still feel compassion, and I like this about myself. She's no longer in my life, thankfully, and will never be again, but I haven't lost my ability to feel for someone who was abused herself in childhood.

Making her out to be "crazy" doesn't seem consistent with the knowledgeable and more precise majority of your writing, as it's not a terribly valid term in the collective psychological fields, and it's an easy way out -- "She's crazy. That's it."

It merely rationalizes leaving BPDs for men who are still iffy about their decisions, and casts aside the types of pathology behind a woman's behavior. It seems to me, even being a non-expert, that the way for the male to heal himself after an abusive relationship is real understanding.

Can I respectfully ask you to...  well, reconcile, I suppose, or at least explain your use of the word "crazy" while at the same time being a professional who's helping people? I'm quite serious, and not at all sarcastic or snarky.

I really want to let your articles sink in and draw help from them, as there's so little online to help post-abuse men...  but every time I come up against that speed-bump of rashness in your rhetoric, I pull back a little...  I've been really struggling with guilt that I don't deserve, as the brain superficially knows things that often don't sink in all the way to our emotions.

It would help me -- and others, I think, although I obviously don't know everybody -- to learn how you justify the word "crazy," and what you mean when you use it.

Thanks very much for your time! I sincerely appreciate it.

Chris
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MammaMia
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« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2013, 04:55:07 PM »

It does not sound like Tara Palmatier and Shrink4Men is equipped to deal with BPD.   To simply classify someone as "crazy" is absurd.  People with BPD are "very sick".

We are glad you finally found us. Once you read up on BPD, please let us know how we can help you.  You are among friends here...  no question or concern will be considered insignificant, and you will not be judged.  We support each other through the tough times and we honestly want to help.

Welcome to BPD Family.
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delusionalxox
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« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2013, 05:01:55 PM »

I have seen Shrink4Men. I find it extremely unhelpful, hysterical and stereotyping. It also tries to roll BPD up as a 'men's rights' issue along with a lot of vitriol about the supposed attacks of 'feminism' on men etc.

Now, I have seen on this board that divorcing a BPD woman can bring the absolute worst out of the family justice system and that the 'victim' act a BPD woman can do may be backed up by generalised assumptions about domestic 'abuse' etc (eg that women can never be abusers- we know very different right?) But that doesn't make BPD a 'men's rights' issue alone; nor does it justify weird political generalisations about 'mad' and 'entitled' women and (as you say) the continued use of pejorative terms such as 'crazy', which don't help with understanding or healing at all. They just keep the site users stuck in anger mode, which is often targetted at all women/'feminists' and the 'unfair' legal system which apparently only punishes men. (Whereas on the this board there are women fighting BPD partners of either gender in the courts and going through similar pain and fear- although I'm not denying the 'advantage' a BPD mother can gain by abusing her 'privileged' position as default main carer).

That site remains for me a real hate fest. I don't think the titian doctor will answer your  email, it's way too sensitive and nuanced for her. You're better off here I think.
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"Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift.” Mary Oliver
ABQChris

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« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2013, 05:25:08 PM »

Delusionalxox, your wording really nails it: "Shrink4Men just keeps the site users stuck in anger mode."

That doesn't seem to be the way to healing one's guilt after having to leave his (or her) BPD partner, if he still has a heart! I guess I just wanted my suspicions that something was "off" about that website to be confirmed by someone more knowledgeable, and I was perhaps mildly hoping that I could get SOME kind of helpful perspective on post-relationship guilt from said website. But it's too negative, too often, and doesn't seem very professional, with all its invective.

Thanks again for the replies. I really appreciate that.

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ogopogodude
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« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2015, 03:31:47 PM »

Funny, I never heard of her until I googled Tara and a shrink for men.

I don't endorse either.
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ABQChris

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« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2015, 07:18:14 PM »

This video will give you a good sense of who Tara Palmatier is. There are 3 people involved in this discussion, the BPD viewer who has written a comment, the host Paul Elame, and the "technical expert", Tara Palmatier. In this clip, the host is reading a comment from the BPD viewer and Tara Palmatier is answering.  

Who sounds more emotionally mature and knowledgeable to you?  Who sounds "crazy". Smiling (click to insert in post)

Vid takes a minute to load after the commercial.

Chris


Date: Mar-2015Minutes: 3:37

Video Short | Tara Palamatier
Full video: bpdfamily.com/message_board/msg12539682


A viewer who challenges Palmatier's view that "all people diagnosed with a cluster b disorder are on a sociopathic spectrum". She states that Palmatier doesn't know her subject very well and is stereotyping.

Palmatier's response:

That was word sal-lad [salad]. Ha. Ha. Ha.

Hold on. Hold on. I gotta look at this.

Oh God. Jesus Christ. Oh, where do I start?

Ahh. Don't care about the personal attacks.

Ahh. I don't think I'm being skewed.

Ahh. I didn't know the DSM had something called emotionally unstable personality disorder. Ha. Ha. Ha. I'll have to check my copy of that. Ha. Ha. Ha

The host, also a former therapist, states that emotionally unstable personality disorder is in the DSM and is listed as an Axis 1 disorder.

Interesting

But

OK

OK

Ahh.

Well...

You know, look, I could, I could say the same thing about the men and women I work with getting confused when they go to websites like  bpdfamily.com - ha, ha, ha - where there're topics like radical acceptance and that their spouses can't help abuse them and that they need to do a better job of not triggering their abuse.

Ahh. I. I.

I'm sure that many, many, many people that are suffering emotional and physical abuse find that confusing, too.

Um.
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« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2015, 10:39:59 PM »

In response to a viewer who challenges Palmatier's claim, that BPD is on a sociopathic spectrum...

Excerpt
Palmatier: You know, look, I could say the same thing about the men and women I work with who get confused when they go to websites like bpdfamily.com - ha, ha, ha - where they're taught to play radical acceptance and that their spouses can't help abuse them and that they need to do a better job of not triggering their abuse.

The viewer does make a valid point and makes it earnestly - Palmatier is making bold and unsubstantiated claims. Fact check: Studies show that ASPD overlaps with BPD in women 9% of the time (link here).

It is generally known that Palmatier has not studied nor treated these disorders professionally - in the video she didn't recognize the ICD 10 term "emotionally unstable personality disorder, borderline type" which is the term used in the country where she went to school. In her response, she avoids the viewers question about attributing ASPD traits to all people with BPD - rather she questions the viewer's diagnosis (and laughs at her) and then she mocks MArsha Linehans "radical acceptance" and those that teach it (and laughs more).

In this clip, Palmatier implies that "radical acceptance" is about accepting abuse. Even though its not a very credible claim, I feel obligated to clarify as "radical acceptance" is an awkward term and is often misunderstood. I struggled to understand it myself when I first heard it. "Radical acceptance" means to accept reality as it is, not as you wish it to be - to "see your partner for who they are, not who you idealize them to be". It has nothing to do with accepting abuse. If your partner is an abuser, radical acceptance would mean to see them as they really are - and not to see a false image or hold onto hollow promises - and set expectations and make decisions based on that. Fact check: Here is a transcript of Marsha Linehan's discussing the term she coined, radical acceptance (link here).

I do respect the male speaker's statement in the video that people with BPD need to understand that if they don't get themselves into treatment and get better they will end up alone.  Society could use a stronger public message of self accountability with this disorder like we have with drugs, drinking, bi-polar, etc.

He makes a valid point. I can personally get behind this part of the message.

I struggle to see the value in the whole warfare, linking the disorder to anti-feminism, and putting large groups of people down - therapists, people with disorder, family members helping them, helper organizations like ours. Does it fuel change or divisiveness?

  • are the message bearers undermining their own credentials and influence?

  • is the style too dark for any mainstream endorsement?

  • is creating super villains and monsters making the men who have been rejected from one of these relationships feel more like "victims" and wanting retribution?

  • is this an effective practical preventative warning?  Painting people with personality disorders as super monsters suggest that they are easily detected. Most people who get into these tragic romantic relationships are drawn to the emotional style of the person with personality disorder traits - the red flags are subtle and often aren't seen in the fog of infatuation and sincerity that is characteristic of these relationships early on - maybe even for a year or two. People with clinically diagnosable BPD are a small subset of this group and frankly, pretty obvious.

  • is the message sophisticated enough to influence people with traits of the disorder?  Certainly excusing the person with the illness doesn't encourage self-awareness and accountability - nor does stigmatizing them as it fuels denial.

The answer to my questions about "warfare" differs if you are looking at this as an effort to galvanize a men's social movement (fuel feelings of injustice) or as a mental health initiative (improve public heath).

Is a men's social movement a good idea? Yes. There are some serious issues with family court, law enforcement practices in domestic violence, etc.

Should this issue (mental health) be a plank in that platform? It doesn't seem like a good fit to me...

I think its unfortunate these things (relationship failures, social issues) are crossing over for some folks. I fear some will be distanced from the self-awareness needed to learn and grow from a major relationship failure. Love is a series of trials - if we learn from each trial, we grow to get it right.
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delusionalxox
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« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2015, 09:11:39 AM »

Interesting article about Palmatier.

www.shrink4men.blogspot.com/2010/09/dr-tara-j-palmatier-psyd.html

Here's the court order and judgment:

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"Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift.” Mary Oliver
Randi Kreger
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« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2015, 10:13:15 PM »

To the person who started this thread who wrote her a very nice letter and expected a reply - your letter was very polite.

The most concerning thing I have heard her say - something that truly saddened me - was on a radio show. She had a caller, a man, who had been estranged from his daughter for many years because of PAS (parental alienation syndrome). Now the daughter had grown up and sought out her father, the man was ecstatic.

Tara is married to a man who has a very difficult borderline ex-wife who engaged in parental alienation syndrome (PAS).  So Tara says, "I think you should tell her how much she hurt you with the PAS." The man kept on saying he was happy, and Tara kept on telling him that he should bring up the who thing to get it off his chest. I am sitting there listening and thinking that this is countertransference - she is projecting her feelings onto the caller. She was trying to talk him into being angry and possibly ruining a renewed relationship with his daughter.

She associates with the "pick up artist" movement of men who see themselves as victims of women who won't have sex with them -  have the power to turn them down. They specialize in figuring what to say to women to get them in bed right away and get rid of them as soon as the act is done. If you look at Tara's Facebook page, you will see post after post of women who have somehow taken advantage of men.

When it comes to BPD, "pick up artist" movement people have taken the stereotype of the lazy, b___y borderline women and extended it to all women. As someone said, BPD is not a woman's issue. It happens to both sexes.

I do agree with the men's movement activists on many issues: the way the courts think mothers are more than fathers, the lack of attention to women who commit domestic violence against men, the problem of men who feel they have to be the White Knight Caretaker and so on.

I know it's very attractive for some men to read her stuff and feel validated that they are not the crazy one. I just hope they see though it quickly and get out of there and come to feel compassion and engage in self-reflection.
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amazinggrace

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« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2018, 07:41:45 AM »

Been there done that. Yep, it just made me more toxic inside. Fear leads to hate, hate leads to anger, and anger leads to the dark side of the force. In the end I think that she's just another queen bee wanting to be the queen bee of queen bees over her own sycophants. Maybe not, but if you want to test it with a personality disordered person just say NO to them. That's the test. Go there and say NO to her. See what happens next. I'm at the Out of the Fog site too. It's really compassionate for the victims and PD perpetrators. I don't agree with that. I think that leaving and staying away is the solution. When we're in the middle of it we try to find compassion but as they age the abuse gets more pronounced. The earlier we leave the quicker we can connect with a healthy life partner. It's not our mission it's theirs. Our mission is to find a kind partner and bond; love, give, share, struggle. It's like dropping a ball and catching it with a healthy person. With a CB it's like dropping a ball in a fair game with agreed upon rules and watching it as they kick it away and gloat at our confusion. Easy to catch or hard to understand. This is our choice.
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