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Counseling / therapy : page 1........A publication of Talent Development Resources

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       Reese Witherspoon on the benefits of therapy

Reese Witherspoon and her husband [actor Ryan Phillippe] are open about using counseling to work on their relationship. "We've done that in the past," Reese says, "and it's always struck me as odd that people grabbed onto that story and made it sound so negative.

"In what capacity is working on yourself or your marriage a bad thing? What marriage isn't a journey? … If you don't have money to go to therapy, there's always church. You can get together with groups and friends and talk about things with other couples."


"Nobody's perfect," Reese says, "My dad always said to me when I was growing up, 'Everybody's got their own set of problems,' and that's so true. I keep it with me. There are people that you meet that have so much and people that you meet who have next to nothing. We all have our own set of problems."

The Oprah Winfrey Show 10/10/05 oprah.com
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I think if anybody rests on the idea that they are perfect or their life is perfect or their relationship is perfect and is so troubled about destroying the facade as opposed to getting to what’s real, that is troublesome.

Who is so arrogant or vain that they don’t want people to know they’re real or human? That they’re fallible? We are all just people. That’s part of what’s amazing about being an actor. It’s about compassion and deep feeling for other people’s pain or struggle or drive. I never felt above them. I never felt beneath them. That’s probably what led me to this profession. ... 

I feel that vulnerability [of other people] in myself, too. It scares the living crap out of me. We are all on the edge, emotionally or psychologically.

Interview magazine Dec/Jan 2006 // photos: As Becky Sharp in Vanity Fair (2004)


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Do I have my days when I've thrown a little pity party for myself? Absolutely. But I'm also doing really well. I've got an unbelievable support team, and I'm a tough cookie...

I believe in therapy; I think it's an incredible tool in educating the self on the self.

Jennifer Aniston - about the end of her marriage with Brad Pitt .. [Vanity Fair Sep 2005]



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More than just a clinical procedure, therapy has become a culture in itself. And the main belief of this new culture is that peoples' emotional state is the source of most problems today. 

Therapy culture frames the experience of everyday life as a struggle that ordinary people can not survive without professional guidance. 

It asserts that our usual networks of support -- friends, family neighbours -- are too feeble to helps us in our hour of need. 

Indeed, therapy culture suggests those closest to us are often the source of emotional difficulties.

This is why we are increasingly discouraged from dealing with problems on their own or in collaboration with friends or family members. 

We now live in an age of counsellors, facilitators, life trainers, mentors, parenting coaches and analysts. 

The promotion of professional solutions to routine everyday problems is driven by this new cultural assumption in which we think of ourselves as vulnerable and lacking the resources to cope.

From article Next stop, love
by Frank Furedi [Ode magazine]

Therapy was supposed to bring us joy and love. But the language of the heart can be cut off by the cold analyses of the "expert." It's time rethink therapy and reembrace your lover, friends and family.

...Therapy Culture : Cultivating Vulnerability in an Uncertain Age - by Frank Furedi 

> photo by Joyce Tenneson - see more 
of her work on photography : page 3


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Why do the gifted have special needs?

People take in experience at different rates. Gifted people take in more, compared to their age and ability to process that experience. 

Taking in so much more than those around them results in the gifted becoming highly sensitive and emotionally vulnerable....

How can counseling help? Talking with someone who understands the profound emotional needs, appetites, and frustrations that come with being gifted is something all gifted people need. 

Too often, people with intellectual, creative, physical, spiritual, or emotional gifts are misunderstood, disparaged or neglected. 

All people benefit from emotional support and good counsel. Yet the more exceptional an individual is, the less likely she or he has satisfactorily experienced either. 

Working with someone who specializes in counseling the gifted can help a gifted person learn to appreciate and be comfortable with their gifts and their limitations.

from Counseling the Gifted
site of Shulamit Widawsky, Educational Therapist

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Today, Joan Baez admits she was actually a wreck. 

"I had been to therapists as far back as I can remember, to glue me together, to get me out on the next concert tour," she says. 

"Nobody knew it. Nobody saw my knees shake, you know, and nobody saw what happened backstage before, when I was a blob on the floor, not wanting get up and walk."  ///

It's almost as if she is making up for lost time, because it wasn't until the Vietnam War was over, and fame had passed her by that she dared to get help and do battle with her demons.

"I was 48 years old and, I think, it's probably the same for a lot of people who all a sudden kind of think, 'I've had enough of this,'" she says. 

"But, it was work. And, it continued for a number of years. And lo and behold, the phobias began to dissipate. Panic attacks started to go away. The insomnia started to vanish and so it was kind of, like, miracles."

Baez's world is filled with things she loves -- her home, nature, her mother (who is 90 and lives with her daughter), her musical instrument and her 34-year-old son, Gabe. 

Baez just became a grandmother, and she is content. 

"I don't have a partner. I have family," she proclaims. "The work that I did to rid myself of the baggage... it was so wonderful to just be. 

"I haven''t thought in any terms beyond that, of trying to be with somebody else. If that happens, wonderful. If it doesn't, wonderful. Life has become really quite glorious."

from article Joan Baez: The Good Life, 
cbsnews.com March 21, 2004

photo by Dana Tynan (2003) from site
The Joan Baez Web Pages

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Roy 'Tin Cup' McAvoy [Kevin Costner] : Okay, so how do I do it? Therapy, I mean, I mean, wh-- how do I start doing it? 

Dr. Molly Griswold [Rene Russo} : Ooo-kay, Roy. Well, in parlance you might understand, just kick back and let the big dog eat. 

Roy : Suppose there's this guy, and he's standing on the shore of a big wide river, and the... river's full of all manner of disaster, you know, piranhas, alligators, eddies, currents, sh*t like that... nobody'll even go down there to dip a toe. And on the other side of the river's a million bucks, and on this side of the river... is a rowboat. 

Molly : Mm-hmm?

Roy : I guess my question's this: What would possess the guy standing on the shore to swim for it? 

Molly : He is an idiot. 

Roy : No, see, he's a helluva swimmer. His problem's more like why does he always have to... rise to the challenge? 

Molly : He is a juvenile idiot. 

Roy : You don't understand what I mean by the river.

Molly : Roy, we're talking about you, and what you like to call your inner demons -- that human frailty you like to blather about -- not some mythopoetic metaphor you come up with in a... feeble and transparent effort to do yourself credit. 

Roy : You mean you're going to make me feel lousy? 

Molly : No. 

Roy : I came here to feel better. I mean, what kind of therapy is... 

Molly : Roy, Roy, Roy, you don't have any inner demons. What you have is inner crapola, inner debris... garbage... loose wires, a few... [laughs] horsesh*t in staggering amounts.

Tin Cup (1996)  [dialogue from imdb.com]

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Sometimes SLHPPs [Self-Limiting High Potential Persons] take unnecessary risks to avoid success they are not ready for.

In the film Tin Cup, Kevin Costner plays such a person, a pro golfer, who, through extreme risk-taking tactics, squanders his chance to win the U.S. Open. 

...from book: Your Own Worst Enemy: Breaking the Habit of 
Adult Underachievement by Kenneth W. Christian, PhD

related page:....self-limiting

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[Do you feel that most everyone, not only those with 
crippling emotional problems, can benefit from therapy?]

Definitely... We all developed psychological defenses against painful emotions, such as turning inward, becoming distrustful of others, avoiding close personal relationships, projecting negative feelings onto others, developing psychosomatic symptoms, and becoming dependent upon soothing but deadening routines or addictions. ....

[You've even suggested that successful people may benefit more 
from therapy than those with serious emotional problems.]

A person can be "intact," that is, earning a good living or raising a family, and still be seriously limited compared to what his or her life could be. 

When I was a practicing therapist, most of my clients had reasonably successful careers. 

But they were experiencing a lot of unnecessary suffering, such as mild to severe depression, anxiety attacks, relationship problems, maladaptive child-rearing practices, psychosomatic symptoms, paranoid feelings, and excessive use of drugs and alcohol. 

But in addition to recovering from their symptoms they wished to lead more exciting, meaningful and creative personal lives.


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Psychotherapy offers more than an opportunity to relieve symptoms. 

Individuals who are less damaged tend to be more open and therefore have a better chance to improve their lives...

Robert Firestone, PhD

from article Is therapy dead? [Word document]
by Fred Branfman, Salon.com, Jan. 5, 2003

...Book: Robert Firestone, PhD. Creating a Life of Meaning and Compassion: The Wisdom of Psychotherapy

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Tony Kushner : We forget that the unexpected has great entertainment value -- that's why psychoanalysis is so much fun. We've talked about therapy before -- we've both been patients. Do you believe in the unconscious?

Maggie Gyllenhaal : Yes. When I started going to therapy there wasn't a specific, clear, rational thing that made me start, but as soon as I did, everything in my life changed, almost immediately. 

Even just calling the therapist started a wave going. Maybe three weeks into it I had a dream where I was like, "I need to change a lot of things."

Tony Kushner : Did you find that going changed the way you were dreaming?

Maggie Gyllenhaal : Yeah. And the way I was looking at my dreams. 


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I had an incredible experience when I was doing Casa de los Babys [an upcoming film directed by John Sayles]. 

On the last day of my working, it was a really intense scene, and I hadn't mapped it out. 

My call was at 8 A.M., and I had gone to sleep at 11, so I was rested, but I was tired. 

I got to the set, and I had maybe an hour while they got the lights together, so I lay down and had an overwhelming dream -- and I feel as if I needed to have it in order to play the scene. 

There's another part of me working that isn't the intellectual side -- the unconscious -- and that was not awake most of my life. Not actively. There were times when it would push through, but now I feel I'm really honoring it.

  [Interview, Feb, 2003]

related pages:****depth psychology...........the shadow self

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Many dissatisfied professionals feel imprisoned in a suit of character armor: "I've always been this way. What's the use?" 

But what is "character" other than a product of past and present choices? To decide that we are somehow stuck where we are is to ignore the fluidity of the human personality or worse, to confuse one's defenses with one's essence.

Diana Shulman, Ph.D., a Los Angeles psychotherapist - from her website
image: Joan of Arc on war poster

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In the aftermath of her father's death, when she was 21, and her breakup with former boyfriend Harmony Korine, Chloe Sevigny moved back home for several years. 

She also went into therapy, at her mothe's urging. 

"The first couple of weeks, I was really depressed, because you verbalize all these things that you never said before. Then it gets better, and I do think the therapist really helped me -- in gaining confidence, in dealing with criticism," says Sevigny. ... 

       from article: Muse Me No More by Emily Nussbaum, Psychology Today, Oct 2003]

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I look at you: I don't see an intelligent, confident man. I see a cocky, scared kid. But you're a genius, Will. No one denies that. No one could possibly understand the depths of you.

But you presume to know everything about me because you saw a painting of mine...

You're an orphan, right? Do you think I'd know the first thing about how hard your life has been, how you feel, who you are because I read Oliver Twist?

Does that encapsulate you? ... I can't learn anything from you I can't read in some f**n' book. 

Unless you wanna talk about you, who you are. And I'm fascinated. I'm in. But you don't wanna do that, do you, sport? 

You're terrified of what you might say.

Psychotherapist Sean Maguire (Robin Williams) 
to his new client Will Hunting (Matt Damon) 
in film Good Will Hunting
screenplay....dvd

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And so psychotherapy, laboring under weather of its own, went down a certain road, depriving itself of a much wider sacred tradition. 

And when my client has an intimation of something coming from outside her familiar world, her experience -- which is about to change everything -- is at risk. 

This is obviously not because she and I are not interested in healing, but we might worry about how valid or 'rational' her experience is or whether it belongs more properly in a place of worship than in the therapy room. 

We might miss it completely. Yet -- seemingly against all odds -- these grace-filled moments keep coming, pushing through our orthodoxies and reminding us of their transformative power... we are transported out to the place beyond personal weather, where the universe makes itself known to us. ..-- Ann Jauregui

...Ann Jauregui. Epiphanies: A Psychotherapist's Tales of Spontaneous Emotional Healing

**related page:***spirituality

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Acting is telling a story, and you're part of telling that story... in some ways therapy helps more than acting class. You realize why you operate in certain ways.

Heather Graham***
[from interview about making "Lost in Space"]

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Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) holds that people are born as well as reared with strong tendencies both to defeat themselves and to ignore their capacity to function more fully and to change their self-destructive thoughts, feelings and behaviors and to achieve fuller functioning. 

To a large (though not a total) degree, they choose emotional-behavioral disturbance (or health) and choose restricted functioning. Therefore, to more fully actualize themselves, they had better choose to work at -- yes, work at -- achieving more growth, development, and happiness.

Albert Ellis - from his article "Achieving Self-Actualization" - posted on Albert Ellis Institute site

from his book How to control your anxiety before it controls you.

another book: A Guide to Rational Living

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QUIZ - Could Therapy Help You?

Answer yes or no in response to each question.

Is there anyone who knows and cares about all or almost all the significant events of your life?

Do you feel as though you're living life behind an invisible screen, unable to truly connect with anyone or anything?

Is there at least one person you talk to at least once a week who really understands all or almost all your feelings?

Is there anything you feel you can't or mustn't tell anyone? 

Do you feel comfortable crying in front of the person or people you love most?

Have you recently suffered any kind of serious emotional wound, such as the loss of a job or a loved one?

Have you benefited from therapy in the past and recently felt wistful about it, missing that kind of reliable support?

Do you have unexpected negative emotional reactions to others' behavior toward you, such as feeling shame when you are praised or anxiety when you are loved? 

 


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Does your fear of others' disapproval dominate your choices? 

Are you able to freely express love to your family and friends? 

Are you lonely even if - or especially when - you're with a group of people? 

Do you have to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs in order to be open about your thoughts and emotions? 

If one or more of your answers is 'No' - you could benefit by visiting a good therapist.

from article: Do you need shrinking?  by Martha Beck - 
January 2003 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine

Martha Beck is author of book
Finding Your Own North Star

 
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There's a lot of pressure to believe that a smart person, a capable person, can handle their own problems, that it's a matter of willpower and.. character. I just don't think that's true. Like anything else, there are skills involved - some of which may come very naturally to you, and some of which don't.

I've heard people say therapy destroys your spontaneity, that when you understand too much about yourself it messes with your imagination, and your work is going to become less interesting as a result. 

I don't think that's true. My therapy was much more about not being neurotic than about being neurotic. Everybody is neurotic in some way, right? My experience has never been like, "You're going to be like a blank slate, I'm going to strip you down, and you are going to be normal."  There isn't any such thing as normal; there's just what is right for you.

actor Katy Selverstone - from article: Soul Workout by Laura Weinert [Backstage]

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Regarding psychotherapy with artists and other creative individuals, the goal is not to eradicate the daimonic, to drug or rationalize the demons out of existence. Not only is this not desirable; it is not possible, at least in the long-run.

When therapy is done well, the patient has tools to deal more constructively with his or her demons. Artists like Ingmar Bergman, for example, have learned to live with their demons rather than trying to evict them.

In therapy, one learns to accept and even befriend one's demons -- the daimonic -- recognizing that they not only make us who we are but that they participate and invigorate our creativity.

Stephen A. Diamond, Ph.D. - from interview:
The Psychology of Creativity:
redeeming our inner demons

...Anger, Madness,and the Daimonic: The Psychological Genesis of Violence, Evil, and Creativity, by Stephen A. Diamond, PhD.  /

He is listed on the counselors page

more quotes by Dr. Diamond on: the shadow self

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Professionals debate whether Tony Soprano [played by James Gandolfini] is beyond help or simply a troubled man trying to tame his demons, if not exactly succeeding. 

[Dr. Glen O. Gabbard] firmly believes Tony belongs in the latter camp. "It's abundantly clear he's capable of loyalty and of loving attachment. He loves his kids and his mobster family," he says. 

"He is tormented by pangs of conscience. He is a thug, he's racist, and he's very capable of being violent -- but most of his violence is dictated by a moral code." ...

It's Tony's relationship with [his psychiatrist] Dr. Jennifer Melfi (Lorraine Bracco) that drew Gabbard into the show, he says. ... "I got sucked in by the most realistic representation of psychotherapy ever seen on TV or in the movies," he says.**[CNN.com 8/28/02]

*book:*The Psychology of the Sopranos: Love, Death, Desire and Betrayal in America's 
Favorite Gangster Family - by Glen O. Gabbard, MD


 

 
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Intellectually and creatively gifted individuals have particular counseling needs that are often overlooked and misunderstood.

Traits associated with giftedness like acute sensitivity, intensity, complexity, multi-tasking, and divergent thinking can be misdiagnosed by therapists as anxiety disorder, OCD, bipolar disorder, or ADHD. 

Gifted clients who are articulate and high functioning can mask serious depression and low self-esteem. When gifted clients come to therapy, they are usually unaware of how their advanced development affects the presenting problem. 

A therapist who can recognize the characteristics that often accompany giftedness can explain these traits and their effects to the client and this explanation, in itself, can have a profound impact on the outcome of treatment. 

from description of workshop: The Burden of a Great Potential - Counseling the Gifted Client
by Paula Prober,.M.S., M.Ed. / Transpersonal Counseling and Consulting psychevolution.com

*Ten Tips for Women Who Want to Change the World Without Losing their Friends, Shirts, or Minds

*related article:**Misdiagnosis of the Gifted

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"Coming to terms with our emotional history is as much a part of 'our work'
as going to classes, interviewing, auditioning, and giving performances."

Ann Brebner   - author: Setting Free the Actor - Overcoming Creative Blocks
 
 

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[...in the mid-'80s her career stalled, and she 
sensed that something was holding her back.]

That's why I went into therapy. I grew up in a typical '50s family, and didn't have much psychological awareness.

So I didn't become conscious of certain patterns of behavior in myself until I examined who I was and what I wanted out of life... 

Achievement seemed to be a double-edged sword.. 

I had a feeling that triumph would always bring a loss. I recognized that what was limiting me was the residual pain associated with accomplishment... 

After those fearful, dark passages in my life, I've never felt more happy or more secure than I do now.

Sela Ward**[Parade mag. 10.29.00] 

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related pages:*****counselors*****counseling / therapy resources : articles/sites/books

depth psychology****the shadow self.........dreamwork****coaching*****

nurturing mental health*****books: mental health******books: nurturing mental health

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