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Author Topic: Online “Life Coaches”. Helpful or misleading?  (Read 2522 times)
Dragon72
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« on: November 17, 2017, 09:07:15 AM »

Do you watch/follow any social media personalities who talk about cluster B abuse / codependency?

Such as... .
    Richard Grannon
Lisa A. Romano
Ashley Berges
AJ Mahari

What do you think of them and/or others?
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« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2017, 09:57:18 AM »

I watched AJ Mahari. She says she was cured from BPD in 1995 and can offer valuable insight about "the other side".

I have one suspicion towards her. She seems to see BPD or NPD in everybody, her landlord, her neighbour... .her other neighbour... .
Those PDs are not that common, 10% of population have them. It seem to me she sees personality disorder in everyone with whom she has quarrel or some sort of misunderstanding... .Smiling (click to insert in post)

I don't want to come across as rude or uneducated, but my psychiatrist who worked with people from cluster B group, says that PD cannot be completely "cured", only very very slightly modified (corrected) during the long period of time and extensive therapy. So, I'm not so sure that Mahari is really cured as she claims. She has no medical education, she counsels (for 100$ per hour!) people only from her own perspective... .

I got carried away and wrote a whole essay... .
Nevertheless, I like some of her videos, found them helpful and learned something from her.
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« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2017, 01:04:25 PM »

I like Richard Grannon, the "Spartan Lifecoach" on youtube.  I think he's very insightful particularly in explaining how both sides of the ClusterB/Codependent dance are damaged in their own way.

He can have a bit of an annoying delivery at times, particularly when he uses different voices, but generally I feel he talks sense and doesn't seem to see cluster b's as evil or the enemy, just disordered, but leaves you in no doubt about the damage they can do.

He does address the issue of NPD much more than BPD, but really a lot of what he says is applicable to both and the disorders are often comorbid anyway to some degree.

I'm beginning to listen to Lisa A. Romano too and it seems she says a lot of wise things too about codependency and self love deficit, even though I spat my coffee out when she stated in one video how the human eye is evidence of intelligent design from a higher power.  It's really not, Lisa.
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« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2017, 02:56:07 PM »

These are vbloggers who sell services and/or profit from youtube ad revenue like many other home based "youtubers". I think of this along the lines of homemade or grassroots news services, or garage-based sportcasters, etc. These are niche broadcasters with very small audiences (300 - 5,000 views a video),  they are not  competing with the mega successful youtubers (millions of views), or Dr. Phil (50,000 - 1,000,000 views), or the University or Texas Longhorn mascot  (300,000 views).

They can be interesting, comforting, and even insightful at times, but they can also comfortably lure you into some crazy beliefs and take you on some circuitous pathways. The concern I always share is that it can be hard to tell when they know what they are talking about and when they are just caught in the same distortions and lack of perspective that we are dealing with. I think, in some cases, they don't know either.

There is no formal training, no oversight or licensure, no better business ratings or even user scorecards (like with Yelp).

We review a lot of books here and I read one recently from a person who consulted with one of these folks for two years. I hung my head in sadness as I read page after page of "jargon" and I realized this person had lost all perspective on himself, human nature, and relationships, etc. I watched some of this stuff early on and had to unlearn a lot of things and shift the focus to skill building and learning human nature, not labeling and avoidance.

I knew who the OP was watching before I opened the thread by the use of the term "Cluster B abuse". What exactly is that? Smiling (click to insert in post)  It's not mentioned in Google Scholar or medical index. Is accuarte that the abuse from people described in the DSM subgrouping know as Cluster B is similar for all the disoreders in that cluster and unique from the abuse of someone with Bipolar disorder, alcoholism, ADHD, aspergers, substance abuse issues, a gold digger, a sex addict, or garden variety jerk?

Abuse patterns, to my understanding, don't uniquely flow along a subcategory line like Cluster B.

Is the real benefit of knowing the difference between Bipolars, alcoholics, ADHD, aspergers, substance abusers, or each personality disorder is to better understand them, to learn how to communicate with them, and have a basis to assess potential relationship outcomes (e.g., bipolar is easier to manage than BPD) and to help them (your son, your daughter, etc).

Dealing with a chronic serial cheater, a chronic verbal/physical abuser, a chronic liar, a thief as a romantic partner - this abuse is all the same.

For me, personally, its not about becoming a personalty disorder expert, or picking apart the state-of-the-art of the community of family therapists.

There is a much simpler, cleaner road... .it's the path of extracting yourself from emotion turmoil (which we are as responsible as anyone for being in emotional turmoil) and learning basic psychology and human nature and applying in your life going forward.

You can learn by reading, by interfacing with a therapist that aligns with your needs to build these skills (not all therapists are equal).

I improved my "people skills" as part of my healing and it has served me well in life and love and the 14 years since my relationship. I also worked on and am mindful of my own attachment style and how some pairing will not go well with it.

I encourage others to possibly consider a pathway like this (one of many basic psychology pathways) for themselves. Don't get caught up in being nomenclature king, and labeling people judging - get caught up in building the skills to navigate the up and downs of the people you will encounter in life - 29% of which will have a DSM disorder or addiction.

Good question. Good topic. Look forward to more responses.
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« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2017, 03:44:21 PM »

fantastic post, skip.  self-anointed authorities that 'practice' outside of the peer reviews, oversight, and collaboration with the professional community may cause more harm than good, even when some might have some useful insights.  i ran across a 'cured' BPD who started an expensive counseling business - very uplifting and hopeful material, only to provide nothing of value in the end.
this is such a difficult and painful disorder for the BPD's and nons, it is human nature to just want a silver bullet, and to gravitate towards the promise of one... .
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« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2017, 11:38:25 AM »

I have personally worked with Schreiber, Palmatier and Mahari so I feel I should chime in here.

At the time, I was at my lowest point after my breakup. I read what they were pitching on the internet and I wanted to feel “empowered” as they seemed in their videos, so I thought what the hell! I was already blowing my savings on psychics... .why not get some real “therapy” (ha)!

I had one session with Mahari that I am to this day convinced she’s still BPD but is just trying to convince other people, including herself otherwise. I don’t think she’s a bad person, I actually think she’s a person trying to grow, but she’s not someone who should be counseling others on BPD relationships. Even in my worst state I was rational
Enough  to realize this and we didn’t have a second session.

Palmatier was a very angry woman pissed off that she was screwed over by a narccist ex that got fired by Oprah. My counseling session was more cathartic for her than me and I found myself dishing her advice while shilling out $500 of my hard earned  money... .to her.

As for Schreiber, Schreiber tried to “reparent” me for a few thousand dollars. I was a broken soul and this creepy woman would call me up, tell me how evil my mother was and how I should cut her out of my life. She would call me honey, sweetie... .was very condescending. It truly was a creepy experience I won’t ever forget. Like Palmatier, she had an ax to grind with her BPD neighbor... .everyone seemed to be BPD or damaged in her life... .but her.

Long story short I went back to my ex after all this “treatment” (). All they did was make me angry. The real issues were never resolved. I was out thousands and felt scammed in addition to my loss of relationship.

When you are wounded and come across their articles, their rants you are mesmerized by them because you want to put 100 percent fault on your ex... .and they are reaffirming that.

Thing is this... .it is NOT all your ex’s fault. As mentioned here, none of these people are certified to be dishing out advice yet they are and it’s unfortunate that many fall for it at their most vulnerable.
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« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2017, 12:51:08 PM »

there are prominent experts on BPD.

they include:

otto kernburg
marsha linehan
john gunderson
alan fruzzetti
james masterson

there are many more. they do have material (books, articles), a great deal of which we feature here. most of them are included in this movie about the disorder: https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=117774.0

the following videos are a sampling of the "real life"  of some of the "vbloggers" mentioned. all three consider their services to be more informed than clinical experts. all three take issue with the psychology profession and the american psychiatric association dsm. all three have rates $100 - $280 an hour. a look into how they  handle real like situations is helpful.


Date: 10-2017Minutes: 3:48
God | Shari Schreiber


Date: 12 - 2012Minutes: 6:00

Breathing through your balls  | Elliot Hulse


Date: 5-2018Minutes: 3:55

Narcissists - AJ Mahari


Date: Mar-2015Minutes: 3:37

Video Short | Tara Palamatier
Full video: bpdfamily.com/message_board/msg12539682
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« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2017, 06:14:44 PM »

Pretty Woman, thank you for your post! I was really wondering could those "gurus" actually help... .it seems their "help" might be counterproductive. :-/

You said it seems to you that AJ Mahari still has BPD... .I was thinking that myself. She sees everyone around herself as disordered (which is kind of paranoid and funny), and she reminded me of my ex who was also throwing "diagnosis" left and right on people who he didn't get along with or had done him harm in the past. His ex was "nymphomaniac" (in fact, he was a cronic masturbator and hypersexual), people all around him were schizophrenic, "had mental problems", "were troubled" etc etc... .you would think he was the only sane person alive although he was in mental hospital for 6 months and taking a ton of medicine 

Although I'm still hurting, I have to respect the fine irony and the comic aspect of that BPD trait.  Smiling (click to insert in post)
Reminds me of Monty Python.
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« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2017, 07:29:23 PM »

I need to make this disclaimer, I don’t know AJ on a personal level. I am not a psychologist. My degree is in health but not this area (personality disorders). That being said, self growth is important and I think it’s wonderful if she’s improved in life, grown as a person. My understanding is there is no cure for BPD. It’s a personality disorder. It can be managed through intense therapy and hard work but there is no cure- all for it. So claiming to be cured and now counseling people through this, people who have been affected by a loved one with BPD... .is she really qualified and by what standard?

My feelings about the three people I mentioned... .I don’t think they are evil beings but I think they are dangerous to those who are coming out of relationships like these on this board. When things are raw, when one is abandoned, we grapple for answers, we want someone to tell us we aren’t nuts.
We want to fully place the blame elsewhere and these three do that. Is it empowering? Perhaps in that moment, but what happens weeks, months later when all the unresolved garbage surfaces and you have no tools to deal with or work through it. Feelings of guilt or sadness.

I am not saying our exes were amazing people. Many of us were left in cruel ways. I’m just saying it wasnt ALL their fault. I know in my case I could have walked away at any time and I didn’t. I even let somebody hit and abuse me and went back for more.

I did really stupid uncharacteristic ___ in my relationship. I became obsessed with keeping my ex from leaving me.  I drove past her house, I did sneaky things that made me no better than her and in some ways worse because I was fully aware of what I was doing. I was being manipulative.

We all make mistakes. It’s what we do moving forward that counts. There is nothing wrong with learning about BPD and reading things on the internet. I know when my relationship ended the more I read the better. It really helped me heal... .but there is no magic cure in recovering from the pain. You can shell out thousands to people who will tell you you are right but is that really getting to the root of the problem? How is that helping you?

Life gets easier when you are able to admit you were part of the toxic tango. What can you do differently to not attract this back into your life again? Why did you stay in this situation as long as you did?

These are only questions you can answer. In exploring the whys we usually learn something about ourselves which can be scary but critical in our recovery.
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« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2017, 09:39:59 AM »

I really liked Ryan Griffin on youtube. Not so much an "expert" but more a series of vlogs from a guy who went through a divorce from his uBPDw.  Search Ryan Griffin Borderline and you'll find him. 
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« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2018, 06:14:15 AM »

I like Dr. Craig Childress, who is working on steering the mental health community,  family courts, and lawmakers,  away from the concept of Gardner's "parental alienation syndrome" model.  Everyone knows what that means,  but it isn't a clinical diagnosis.  Instead,  he's trying to refocus the phenomenon into "attachment-based" PA, the end result being "child psychological abuse" (by the alienating parent) which is clinically recognized... .when it's properly recognized. 

His summaries about the pathology of NPD/BPD, their genesis,  and how they affect parents and children are succinct and easy to comprehend.  Though I'm not experiencing PA, I find him useful,  and I think would so even if I didn't have kids. 
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« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2018, 09:24:41 AM »

I had one session with Mahari ... .
Palmatier ... .
... .Schreiber ... .
Fascinating. Thank you for sharing Pretty Woman    (and for the thread bump Turkish)   Smiling (click to insert in post)

To share a little on the topic, I did find out about my upwBPDex's BPD partially because of a blogger (I forgot which). I paid and took the support from an expert (30+ years clinical). So I recommend others on the board to go to a good T/P. Over the last 4+ years it's paid heaps of dividends and I wasn't even the patient (I think!)   Smiling (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2018, 10:53:37 AM »

Whoever you choose to read, view on you tube, etc., for me the most important question is do they have the ability to look at their own mistakes and admit that there are many things that they don't know. I admire Marsha Linehan because she has recently admitted that she used to have BPD, which I think takes a lot of courage. Some of these so called experts are narcissists that want to fix others without taking a look at themselves. There are many fine professionals and people with experience with BPD who know a lot about the disorder yet recognize that they are not the expert on what goes on inside of anybody's head and try to treat everyone with respect as they value what each individual can teach us.
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« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2018, 12:53:47 PM »

Life gets easier when you are able to admit you were part of the toxic tango. What can you do differently to not attract this back into your life again? Why did you stay in this situation as long as you did?

These are only questions you can answer. In exploring the whys we usually learn something about ourselves which can be scary but critical in our recovery.

I think this is such a wise insight, Pretty Woman . I’m with you 100% on that. Learning about BPD helped me tremendously to understand what the heck happened in my relationship, and how my FOO issues may have shaped me.

Looking back on my own behavior, however,  and how I felt and coped with what was happening has helped me understand myself better than anything else, I feel.

I still stumble, of course, but I’m grateful for the experience.

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« Reply #14 on: April 24, 2018, 07:54:59 AM »

I just wanted to chime in, not so much based on these specific "experts" but about any kind of coaching in general that doesn't come from a place of professional expertise.

Right before my breakup, I started in with a masculinity coaching program that was meant to help you become more calm and confident, regardless of what your wife was up to emotionally. Not long into the coaching, things got really bad at home and if anything my calmness and confidence might have sped up some of my wife's dysregulation because I wasn't reacting in my typical ways, aka I was starting to break the cycle. As I started to really invest more into learning about BPD and learning the tools on the bettering board here, I started to see so much crossover with what I was learning in my program, just without some of the clinical focus. The coaching program did hit a point where I wasn't comfortable going, but even that was a good thing because in about a month and a half I was back to a point where I was able to say "no, I don't like that and I do not want to do that." My coach responded really well to it, adapted with me, and we continued to work together to tailor a coaching experience for me. It felt pretty awesome to say no to something, too, and have it respected. He's been the big teacher of boundaries for me, so to have a boundary respected from someone who was teaching you was really an example of practicing what you preach.

I can't imagine going through this process without the tools of this site and without the coaching I did with him. I also started seeing a DBT therapist, who herself disclosed after about a month of counseling that she was in a similar position to me. This is part of the DBT style - your therapist may give you details about their life, safely, and can be more relatable. It was such a sign of relief because everything we were talking about felt like something she understood both clinically and personally. I'm now in an online psychoeducation program to learn DBT skills, that isn't therapy, but is taught by a DBT therapist and person w/BPD in recovery who both very clearly state "this isn't therapy" before every session. I've realized in my healing journey how much of the destructive stuff either started or was escalated by me, and how anyone with their own struggles with emotional regulation would be really ill equipped to call me out or steer things elsewhere. As far as relationships go, this means that I am in a much better position to "lead the way" with healthy emotional skills, regardless of who I am interacting with or loving.

My point: it's totally legitimate to get your healing wherever you want, but make sure you keep your eyes open and practice self-awareness throughout the process. If all something does is make you a victim or tell you how wrong your life has been, or makes the world out to be an incredibly scary place, or makes your ex out to be the devil incarnate, then throw some red flags up. Absolutely none of the people I've worked with have ever discredited my ex as a bad human being. They've validated me when she's been hurtful and cruel, which has been so important, but they've never discussed her as if she did not deserve dignity and respect. The whole focus has really been, "Ok, so now what?" In other words, you have a sense of what she is and isn't capable of right now. What does that mean for you? AND, even better, so much of the work I've done with these folks (especially the masculinity coaching) has revolved around who I am, what my values are, and how to live with those values no matter what is happening.
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« Reply #15 on: April 25, 2018, 08:36:29 AM »


So... .when I first found out about BPD I found this site and of course, found "the others".

Time and time again I would feel a sense of direction and hope from bpdfamily and... .after time on the others, I would feel "pissed off" and ready to fight for fighting sake.

To me... they seem shrill.

I'm a couple years into a therapeutic relationship with a PhD level psychologist... .been in the field for years.  I've also been around others in mental health and never had any of them strike me as "shrill"... or "whacked".

I find it interesting that many of these coaches "insist" they are right.  I find it interesting that my Psychologist rarely insists on anything.  She'll make sure I understand a question or facts and the guide me in examining it and guide me in examining the ways others might look at it, especially others that have BPDish traits.
 


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« Reply #16 on: April 25, 2018, 11:01:46 AM »

So... .when I first found out about BPD I found this site and of course, found "the others".

Time and time again I would feel a sense of direction and hope from bpdfamily and... .after time on the others, I would feel "pissed off" and ready to fight for fighting sake.

To me... they seem shrill.

I'm a couple years into a therapeutic relationship with a PhD level psychologist... .been in the field for years.  I've also been around others in mental health and never had any of them strike me as "shrill"... or "whacked".

I find it interesting that many of these coaches "insist" they are right.  I find it interesting that my Psychologist rarely insists on anything.  She'll make sure I understand a question or facts and the guide me in examining it and guide me in examining the ways others might look at it, especially others that have BPDish traits.
 


FF

formflier, this was pretty much my experience as well. I bit the hook for a while, but was fortunate to spit it out. The forums were horrendous. It’s actually a bit unsettling to know that there are people in pain looking for answers and direction ending up with that type of ”therapy”. I feel for them.

Like you, I pretty much keep it between my PhD psychologist and this support group. I check out a few things on YT, but the meat and potatoes is on the therapy couch and here.
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« Reply #17 on: October 27, 2018, 03:32:22 PM »

This online support group/community is by far the best resource out there for folks like us. I believe that the internet has created quite an awareness on the subjects and situations that we discuss here. I also wonder if the internet has perpetuated a plague of narcissism. To me, and many others, it’s pretty evident. I’m not implying NPD, I’m implying narcissism.

There is a wave of online “Life Coaches” that “specialize” in Cluster B disorders. Some of them have become quite popular. Fancy logos and even theme songs to implement their brand. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve found one that I will take everything she says into serious consideration, but I’ve seen a few of these life coaches build a business.

Most online life coaches aren’t trained on a PhD level. They’ve been through what most of us here have and ran with it. I think that it’s irresponsible to do that, and I wonder how much harm it’s causing to real mental health professionals that are trying to stay in business.

I now know what Junk Psychology is. I can see through it pretty fast now. What worries me is all of the folks out there that don’t know how to do that yet, if ever.

This is a long spit of words today, and my only one. I need to spend time with some friends this weekend, and turn off my phone.

To you sweet and wonderful “Lurkers”. Come on in. Every one of us was you at some point. We came here and gradually got better. Please join us. We’re here for you.

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« Reply #18 on: October 27, 2018, 09:10:25 PM »

I am a certified Executive Coach, with multiple coaching credentials. Or if the primary tenets of coaching is that one is working with a "whole perso," who is creative and able to construct his/ her own solutions. If a person is not whole, one should be looking at medical or clinical psychology interventions.

I would be VERY leery of someone claiming a title of life coach for a diagnosable  condition, unless they had a graduate degree in clinical psychology or a LCSW degree.I

In coaching certification programs, we we spend quite a bit of time on the line between "whole person" and emotional/psychological problems... .those get referred to specialists.
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« Reply #19 on: October 28, 2018, 07:13:08 AM »

Hi, Gagrl. Thank you you for joining. Being a certified Executive Coach yourself, I’m glad that you pointed out the specifics. What are the differences between an EC and a LC?

If a person is not whole, one should be looking at medical or clinical psychology interventions.

This is an interesting snippet of the ethics involved. In your own findings, have you seen this followed by other coaches? Also, how is a person evaluated to be determined as “whole” or “not whole”? This is interesting.

I would be VERY leery of someone claiming a title of life coach for a diagnosable  condition, unless they had a graduate degree in clinical psychology or a LCSW degree.

I completely agree with you. It seems like the net makes it too easy for anyone to jump on YouTube and use their own personal experience as a basis for “what is”. A lot of these coaches are very compelling. A following is created. It’s frustrating to witness at times. I’m sure that some people benefit from this, but I have to question the ethical boundaries that a lot of these coaches cross. Armchair psychology is a slippery slope. I hope I don’t offend anyone when I say that the Internet is making our younger generations more naive by the day. They rely on it as a go to source for everything. Even validation. Feeling the need to go to a screen for validation should worry everyone.

I’m getting off point here. I’m good at doing that. If it’s ok with you, I’d like to get back to the initial question. Are online Life Coaches helpful? Or do they possibly misdirect people that are seeking help? Also, how do you feel about how online Life Coaches might possibly interfere with PhD treatment?

Thanks for posting, Gagrl.
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« Reply #20 on: October 28, 2018, 09:09:41 AM »

The principles and ethics of coaching are the same for executive coaching and life coaching. Exec coaching typically focuses on leaders in an organization, with a business focus. My certification is from a university program called Organizational Coaching and Learning.

If a coach belongs to the International Coach Federation, he/she has passed an extensive exam and had a panel of Master Coaches pass on two recorded coaching sessions that demonstrate 11 competencies. Members adhere to a Code of Ethics.

But legally in the U.S. anyone can hang a shingle and open a coaching practice.
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« Reply #21 on: October 28, 2018, 11:15:14 PM »

By 2016, 16 trillion web pages for anything had been created.  Lots of room for "experts." How may more now?

Thanks for the education about coaches, Gargl.
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« Reply #22 on: November 12, 2018, 02:56:17 AM »

I think things like these always keep us guessing. Doing a background check and looking for certifications of the life coaches is important. Reviews might also help.
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WTL
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« Reply #23 on: January 03, 2019, 12:38:17 PM »

Time and time again I would feel a sense of direction and hope from bpdfamily and... .after time on the others, I would feel "pissed off" and ready to fight for fighting sake. To me... they seem shrill.

I'm a couple years into a therapeutic relationship with a PhD level psychologist... .been in the field for years.  I've also been around others in mental health and never had any of them strike me as "shrill"... or "whacked".

I find it interesting that many of these coaches "insist" they are right.  I find it interesting that my Psychologist rarely insists on anything.  She'll make sure I understand a question or facts and the guide me in examining it and guide me in examining the ways others might look at it, especially others that have BPDish traits.

formflier, this was pretty much my experience as well. I bit the hook for a while, but was fortunate to spit it out. The forums were horrendous. It’s actually a bit unsettling to know that there are people in pain looking for answers and direction ending up with that type of ”therapy”. I feel for them.

Like you, I pretty much keep it between my PhD psychologist and this support group. I check out a few things on YT, but the meat and potatoes is on the therapy couch and here.
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“Adversity can destroy you, or become your best seller.”
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« Reply #24 on: January 05, 2019, 07:14:32 AM »

WTL   Welcome new member (click to insert in post)
Like you, I pretty much keep it between my PhD psychologist and this support group. I check out a few things on YT, but the meat and potatoes is on the therapy couch and here.
I think this method gets the job done.   There's a lot of stuff out there as Turkish mentioned- there's just no time to go through all of it and see which one we like, trial which one we like etc. At some point I think it makes sense to rely on someone to whom we're paying for the service of therapy for; and if we're still picking--then to pick the most effective way we're able to, within the means we've got available to us.

I thought Skip's was clean concise way of looking at it.
For me, personally, its not about becoming a personalty disorder expert, or picking apart the state-of-the-art of the community of family therapists.

There is a much simpler, cleaner road... .it's the path of extracting yourself from emotion turmoil (which we are as responsible as anyone for being in emotional turmoil) and learning basic psychology and human nature and applying in your life going forward.
I do agree it can be captivating to really get into the nuts and bolts of why this personality is like that, understand the origins, etc., then feel like we're an expert because we're in the company of expert opinions--pored over books for hundreds of hours etc. It's good to step back and see that the bigger picture is to use what we've learned and improve our relationships (and emotional lives)--to keep going forward.

If the enjoyment of gaining knowledge is there for the user or the non--of course, then power and benefit to you; then keep putting action forward in your purpose.
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