Although I had a ten-year career as a therapist, I have long been and still am a believer in self-therapy – because it’s worked wonders in my life and I’ve seen the same in others. It’s also a lot cheaper than going to a therapist – though it often requires a huge amount of self-motivation, self-confidence, and self-guidance.
In this self-therapy section, where I share both short and longer essays, I address such subjects as grief, ways to speed up the healing and maturity path, the pain inherent in growth, confrontation of parents, and dream analysis.
I also offer some critical essays in this section, because I’m not a proponent of all forms of self-help. For instance, I’m very critical of self-help groups like Alcoholics Anonymous and Al-Anon, even though I recognize that at certain points in people’s lives even they can be helpful. (For instance, I went to Al-Anon for a good while and it really helped me, until I outgrew it in a big way and needed to move on — and then realized how cultish it could be.)
Shorter Essays on Self-Therapy
- Does Growth Have to Be Painful?
- Grieving the Ultimate Loss: Your Imperfect Parents
- Passion: The Fuel for the Journey
- The Risks of Emotional Healing
- Confronting Parents: Value and Risk
- Fear: A Byproduct of Moving Forward
- The Power of Honesty
- Self-Doubt: Your Parents Still Live in Your Head
- Alcoholics Anonymous: Its Value and Danger
- Eighteen Ways to Speed Up the Path to Enlightenment
- Grief Opens the Door to Healing
Longer Essays on Self-Therapy
- Ten Ways to Be Your Own Therapist
- The Value of Dream Analysis
- Self-Therapy Without Dreamwork Is Folly
- The Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous: A Translation into Reality
I live in California near Los Angeles. About 3 years ago I ran across one of your first videos explaining why you left the psychoanalysis field in New York.
Impressive. I learned a lot from watching that and others you have since sponsored.
I am not actually employed in the Mental Health Field, however, I have done a lot of research on the horrible side effects of ECT (Electro Shock Treatment) and the psychotropic drugs given. Including Prozac, Xanax, Ritalin and others.
From my own research I have actually helped people get off of “mood altering drugs”, and have helped them return to a normal life, drug free.
My own sources include books I have read by Thomas Szazs, Peter Breggin and others.
Also, Leonard Roy Frank, an ECT survivor in San Francisco has written some telling books on the subject.
Many years ago Thomas Szazs started a group that I have volunteered with – located in Los Angeles.
Citizens Commission on Human Rights. They have a lot of free literature that I have used and/or given out.
I am impressed with your decisions. Continue doing such wonderful work.
Daniel, I’ve discovered you existed yesterday, and it’s been a great discovery. Very timely as well. I am waiting to see a therapist and need to help myself in the meantime; your videos have been more enlightening than anything I’ve ever heard from anyone. Thank you for sharing them online, it is a great help to me. I am going through a big personal crisis, and you’ve made it clear that being alone with it is not necessarily a bad thing. Self-therapy is the most painful, honest, and empowering therapy one can have. I’ve seen 4 therapists in my life, all of them for a short while and I always quit, because it was going nowhere. I didn’t understand that I could not be honest with them, or anyone else, until I’m honest with myself. They didn’t help me with just that.
Your honesty and humanity is inspiring. I’ve always struggled with actually being human – means honest and vulnerable. Sounds strange, but I think that’s what most people are doing.
A lot of things you say make sense to me.
I’m considering ending therapy for reasons you point out. My question is can I actually heal childhood trauma without a therapeutic relationship?
My nightmares are very significant to me as I’m seeing a theme in them. My dreams tell me that the trauma is ready to be expelled from my subconscious.
My therapist doesn’t “do dreamwork” what??? Also she feels I’m not prepared to do trauma work. How dare anyone question my strength or resiliency. I feel I have the motivation and insight to heal without a therapist telling me I’m not ready.
Your thoughts would be appreciated
hi diane – you asked: “My question is can I actually heal childhood trauma without a therapeutic relationship?”
i have two thoughts here. the first is that my attitude (for myself) has always been, well, it’s worth a try!! that’s really the only way to find out.
the second thought is that the ultimate therapeutic relationship is the one with one’s own self anyway…….not with an external therapist…….. loving for and caring for and respect and parenting oneself is a big inner job….. an external therapist can in some cases help that, but ultimately it’s up to us as individuals to really work at it……..whether there’s an external therapist in the picture or not…..
that’s my two cents 🙂 all the best, daniel
Thank you so much for validating what I already know. So much of what you’re written is what I’ve been contemplating for some time now.
I stopped going to AA four years ago because of the very reasons you describe…I wasn’t fully aware of that until now.
I’m seeing a psychologist currently and have been questioning her methods and lack of motivating me to explore my trauma and heal.
She simply tells me I’m not capable of doing that you. Who is she to decide?
I have been ready for a long time and your writings have given me that motivation.
Thank you for your honesty. It’s a soul saver.
diane — cool! thanks for sharing — and all the best on your journey!! daniel
Thanks Daniel! You’re readings have alleviated any fear of truly embarking on my journey.
After 56 years of hell…nowhere to go but up.
I’m actually excited about the process. Instead of dread and fear of the unfamiliar..I’m considering this to be an adventure. I look forward to more of your essays.