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Old dog needing to learn new tricks


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An odd title for a request for help. I've noticed that when people write in with issues, each of us approaches the person differently. Some more compassionately and humanely than others, others with great insight and intuition, others are able to gently pull out the essential elements and address them with ease and skill, still others simply cut to the chase and begin offering suggestions (this has been my approach much of the time).

What do each of you find most healing and helpful when others answer questions? :confused:

David

Edited by David O
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Hi David!

We are each different individuals. There is no ONE way to respond, right? Our responses come out of the core of who we are.... including those of you who have a great deal of training. Each therapist I have seen has been radically different from the others.

Help me understand why this is an area for you that you want help in. Are you wanting more options for yourself in how you respond to people?

I find responses that are authentic to the person's experience to be quite healing sometimes. I also appreciate relevant information. You have been able to give both kinds of responses to others.

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Thank you all for your responses. My goal was to do much better when I answer questions. I type very slowly (2-finger pecking) so tend to jump in quickly to the suggestion stage (otherwise it could take me an additional 15-20 minutes to respond) and often skip over the "I do understand and have great compassion" for what others may be feeling. So, my responses are at times too direct, too directive, and lacking in the main ingredients of sensitivity, compassion and humanity.

Thanks so much. If you can think of anything else that might help me, please put in and I'll keep checking back.

Warmly and humbly,

David

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Hi David O.

What I find helpful to me personally, is when the responding person writes about their personal experience similar to what I was posting about. This becomes meaningful to me because I feel this person understands what I am experiencing, having gone thro' it themselves, and this makes their suggestions even more helpful. Also, presenting their own experience, I feel there is no judgement being made, just a presentation of personal experiences. There also is comfort in finding that I am not alone in feeling that particular way.

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  • 2 weeks later...

What do each of you find most healing and helpful when others answer questions? :confused:

David

I'm late to the thread, but this is an interesting question. I prefer gentle support and understanding, which is fairly typical of what works best for me. I like to feel like I'm being responded to in a personal manner, rather than clinical. When I first came on here with my difficulty in letting go of my therapist, the support was great. I was feeling very trigger-ish and some of the posters asked exactly the right questions that pushed me where I needed to go to get the answers. So sometimes the perfect approach to keep one at ease isn't the most advantageous in the long run. I respond best to gentle, but I needed a little push as well. So I appreciate that.

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Thank you Irmajean, Karai and everyone else who answered,

I had my wife read thru several of my posts and the one thing that stuck out was that I spent too little time showing compassion, warmth and understanding (1-3 sentences) and jumped in too quickly into the suggestions and ideas stage. She saw nothing wrong with what was being said, only recommended that I invest more energy in the showing of care, understanding, and concern. She highlighted that on this medium, others often need to feel understood and heard even more so (since it's a screen they're reading from), otherwise, the full value of the message might not be appreciated.

I read at least 75% of the posts on the forum, and frequently the most helpful posts are written not clinically like the Encyclopedia Britannica (many of mine are:mad:), but from the heart and soul of the writer.

There is a lot I'll need to think about, now.

Thanks so much,

David

Edited by David O
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Hi David! Help me understand why this is an area for you that you want help in. Are you wanting more options for yourself in how you respond to people?

.

I think I partially answered this in my previous post, but to be honest, even after nearly 30 years in the trenches, I have felt as if my responses here, at times can be too direct, possibly lacking in warmth and humanity. It may be that I'm my greatest critic, but in this case, it may be that in my desire to be helpful, understanding, compassionate and even show some wisdom, I may be missing the mark.

I'm not looking for pats on the back and "good job" buttons -- just for feedback so that I can do a better job here? Usually, after about 5-6 sessions, I'll ask a client if they feel what we're doing is helping. I also ask for feedback (not to be evaluated, but for suggestions on what things I could be doing more of, less of and what I should continue to do) so that I can be do a better job of being there for them while also challenging them to step forward.

So, this is an honest search so that I can improve on how I am doing on the forum.

Hopefully this answers your very good question. Thanks for asking by the way.

David

Edited by David O
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Well 1, we can't be all things for all people, and 2, if we did, there wouldn't be anything left for another person to contribute.

A while back I discovered something in what malign was saying.... I hope he doesn't mind me repeating it. At the time, he was struggling to see the value in his participation here. Then he sort of hit upon how if he got to a place of compassion when trying to say something encouraging to another person here, it was opening the possibility for him to learn the skills to do it for himself, too.

I really see the switch sometimes here. When a person comes here so caught in their pain, they need so much for people to listen and care. If they keep going, keep showing up, they sometimes start caring for others and posting to them and then start to get better at caring for themselves.

It is this difference that is quite special for me. I've never had group therapy, so I suppose it happens there too.

Anyway, that's how I see one of the missions of this site. Is there something you need practice on here in order to be able to do it for yourself? [because as far as being helpful to others, you're doing a great job just as you are:)]

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David O ,

First, you have great feedback to others, regardless . It is very enlightning and thoughtprovoking. Many people respond back to you and thank you for what you have wrote. You have them think about things from a different perspective, which I gather is from which you have learned from your direct educational experience working with people. My guess is that you are a therapist, or work in the mental health doing something> Therefore know to distance yourself emotionally . Naturally when you respond here on this fourm your doing the same thing as you do with your clients . It is a typical response , being objective , yet supportive to those who need it the most.

Now your asking for feedback on how to be more sensitve , or how to write more compassion, or be more empathic, before jumping right into problem solving.

I believe I understand your questions . If this is what Your wanting to do, then the best way to achieve it, is to really try and think about how the person is feeling, or going through . Step back a moment a place yourself in the individuals shoes. Think of yourself for a few minutes as this person. Let it sink in. Do not answer yet. After you get a feel for the person's struggles and it is "you" it is time to reply. This time you will be able to write beforehand something different. Even if it is a I am sorry you are feeling so much pain right now, or You have been through a rough time, something of that nature helps the person know that they are a huuman being with real problems that needs to be understood , and heard on a emotional level.

How I answer people on here, is by experience . Experience only has taught me a great deal about people . I have been though a great deal, and seen many indivduals that have struggled with a variety of mental illness . Many types of mental illness, and lived with them , even in my teen years. i have seen it, lived it, and personnaly struggling through them myself. That is what I use to try and help others , because when I help others, it helps me feel better. Especiall the Self injury, or Eating Disorder group . Even the Autism groups , and Depression, PTSD . SO many I guess. But only through experience , not anything educational . However with children, I do have a degree in that .Early childhood education, and being a single mom, with a disabled child. Still , most of what I bring on this fourm is from experience.

Nothing else.

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Guest ASchwartz

Hi David and everyone,

I suggest that all of you read the books by Irvin Yalom, particulary "Love's Executioner" and "Momma and The Meaning of Life." He is a fabulous psychiatrist and Therapist and is very human. It is clear from reading his very entertaining and informative books that he learns from his patients. I agree with this. There is something healing about working with and helping others. Over the years, I learned to become more open and real as a therapist and it helped me become much better as a therapist.

David, you help others here and I hope this helps you as well. If you feel comfortable, and it feels appropriate, reveal some about yourself when you respond to others. I know that I have my hurts, wounds, angers and frustrations. It may take you time to do this. I "OLDER than you. :)

I better stop before I forget....:D

Allan

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