"In the external control world we live in,people satisfy their need for power by putting others down. Sharing your quality world pictures makes you a target for put downs." William Glasser, M.D.
Are you a dysfunctional group member?
(Family, school, workplace, exclusive religious group, psychiatric hospital employee, cult member etc.)
If you are, then this therapy style may be for you.
It is Self directed and simple to practice. It has a universal application, as well as being tailored to the specific needs of any individual. All you need to is ask the questions in relation to your OWN personal life experience. Sound simple? Well, it is but it is not so easy as you may think. In dysfunction, the focus of most of the group members is on someone else 95% of the time so this is going to take some getting used to at first. Strangely though, it is the group scapegoats who are likely to find the adjustment the easiest. If you think about it you may understand why that is without too much strain on the brain. Best of all, you can do this self therapy in the privacy of your own home.
Though the therapy may be a universal one, the answers to the questions are not. There are no ‘correct’ answers for all. There are only honest answers for yourself, as an individual. No one will be checking any of your ‘scores’, applying any labels, nor offering any ‘treatments’ or medication.
Confidentiality is not an issue since there are no ‘observers’ or assessors who will be bound by imaginary oaths to keep your answers or feelings a ‘secret’ from anyone.
No university students will be trying to pigeon hole you according to their brave, new mental health training specifications by looking for ‘incorrect’ or pathological sings and symbols in your answers.
There are no points to be added up no scale against which to measure and define yourself; no ‘other’ to gain power and control over you. The choice to test yourself or not is your own and the results are determined by you. With this type of self directed therapy, you are free to explore your own thoughts and feelings and to change them, or not, according to your own findings. Why, even psychiatrists can do this alone while sitting at their desks, in the privacy of their own offices, between the diagnostic and labelling sessions. How’s that for easy?
This self directed therapy process is very simple. This is how it’s done. Read each question below, apply it ONLY to yourself and not to anyone else, answer yourself honestly, and after you have, move to the next question.
If you get stuck on any question, or get the feeling of panic when you realize you have no real answer, just ask yourself WHY you are stuck there. If you find that you don’t know WHY you believe something is either true or not true, then you ask yourself why you do, or do not, believe it. Stay with each question, one at a time, until you feel finished with it. There are no time constraints either, so go with your own flow.
Do not turn away from self focus. This is very important. If you are tempted to justify yourself by comparing yourself to what ‘others’ do, or do not believe, or, if you are seeing yourself in terms of being either ‘superior’ (most common) or ‘inferior’ BY COMPARISON, stop yourself and repeat this instruction to yourself:
“This is therapy for ME, by ME. It is not about ‘THEM.’
Self actualization is my goal; focusing on only ME is my new role.”
Below are the questions you are to use to get you started. There is no need to tell anyone else about waht you are doing. In this type of ''therapy'' you are BOTH the client and the therapist. May it be a marriage made in heaven!
I will add to the questions as I think of more of them. Remember; take as long as you need to answer each question to your OWN satisfaction before you move on to the next one.
The S.T. Questions:
1. What principle is the first one I live by?
2. What is my life about?
3. What do I hope to resolve in me?
4. What role do I usually take on in the Drama Triangle? (Aggressor? Victim? Rescuer? )
5. Do I accept responsibility for things, events, or other people’s actions or feelings which does not really belong to me?
6. Do I accept responsibility for things, events, or my own actions and feelings which DO belong to me?
7. Do I know the difference between what does, and what does NOT, belong to me?
8. What concrete examples can I think of out of my own experience which I can examine in relation to this question?
9. Do I have good personal boundaries?
10. How do I define them exactly?
11. Do I believe in a lot of platitudes used as abstractions and in absolute terms?( everybody, nobody, everything, nothing, etc.)
12. Why do I use them?
13. What is the pay off for me in doing that?
14. Is that a dysfunctional or functional type pay off?
15. Do I know the difference?
16. Where did my conceptual beliefs come from?
17. Did I inherit them?
18. Have I questioned them?
19. Are they ‘correct’?
20. What makes them ‘correct’?
21. Am I afraid to question them?
22. If so, what exactly, am I afraid of?
23. What are my beliefs about ‘authority figures”?
24. Do I automatically either accept or reject ‘authority’?
25. If yes, either way, then why do I do that?
26. Why do I see it this way?
27. Do I tend to just follow the lead of others?
28. Do I try to force, manipulate or coerce others to follow me, no questions asked?
29. Do I think that anger and fear are legitimate emotions which are useful for some purpose?
30. Do I believe they are a result of something or just bad chemistry? Why do I believe that?
31. Do I fear negative emotions and try to stuff them down?
32. Why do I fear my emotions?
33. Did I come to that conclusion on my own?
34. Was I taught that by someone else?
35. Who taught me that?
36. Do I really fear being alone or rejected?
37. If so, does that fear cause me to sell myself out or to sell out the truth for the sake of ‘’belonging’?
38. Do I NEED to ‘belong’?
40. To what do I need to belong?
41. In my particular dysfunctional group, am I required by the group as a whole to hide my genuine self behind some sort of façade in order to be ‘allowed’ to ‘belong’?
42. Should I consider that to be psychological manipulation?
44. What does the group as a whole get out of that? (answer as a member of it)
45. What do individual group members get out of it? (answer from the first person)
46. Is hiding behind a façade in order to ‘belong’ really psycho-spiritually healthy?
47. What IS healthy relating exactly?
Please check under the same Title as part two: "What Am I Like When I am Acting as a Member of a Group?
Hopefully this will get you started and keep you busy for awhile to come, unless you have already answered them all for yourself, in which case, you might just decide to go to the post following this one.
Disclaimer: I am happy to disclose that I am NOT a mental health professional. I am only the test ‘subject’ for my own little system. If you try this ‘therapy’ for yourself, you also will be both ‘client’ and ‘therapist’ in your own personal system. Please remember to do this in private as otherwise you may be seen as ‘talking to yourself’ and we must all pretend we humans don’t do that if we are expecting to be accepted as ‘normal’ by other humans who agree to pretend they don’t do it either.