Newest Members
Stormchaser, johnnyc717, bluebook, Roscoe, SJC
12314 Registered Users
Today's Birthdays
blueturtle (46), David C (40), DavidC (40), Derdlecar (61), Hector (54)
Who's Online
3 registered (Seekingwisdom, Obi, 1 invisible), 15 Guests and 4 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
12314 Members
74 Forums
63366 Topics
443083 Posts

Max Online: 418 @ 07/02/12 07:29 AM
Twitter
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >
Topic Options
#40202 - 12/03/03 05:06 PM I some input from people practicing, please
Tom S. Offline
Member

Registered: 04/15/03
Posts: 161
Loc: Nashville, Tn
I was thinking recently about when my downward spiral began an exponential nosedive, and I remembered being required by my LCSW counselor at the time, to watch an 'R' rated movie titled 'Muriels Wedding', along with 5 other clients of hers, so we could all come together and discuss the metamorphis of the main character, Muriel, as she changed into a happy go lucky person from a frumpy loner.
Nice theraputic idea, but the problem was the fact that this movie, even though we were told before hand by our T it was 'R' rated and had 'some nudity'; it had 2 very graphic scenes I rememeber vividly where people were having sex. One with a male/female couple on a washing machine, and another that involved 2 girls and 3 men sailors. Even there was no actual genital view of piv, they were quite nude breasts and butts, and quite obviously laying on the floor humping and having sex. The audio sound was enough to make it clear what was happening.
This has had a profound effect on me to this day, because I found these scenes repulsive and very upsetting, but yet our T thought it was accecptable for every client to view, men and women alike.
Even though it's too many years ago to do anything about this today, what should be my position on this? This T never touched me or ever made any gesture toward me in any way that was uncomfortable, and I trusted her for nearly 2 years to follow. I have not been with one for that long since. Should I be upset, or should I try to examine why I feel different from her and go view more movies like this?
Even though sexual abuse was never specifically identified at that time and I had only been seeing her for around a month or 6 weeks, should not the potential have been taken into consideration? Are there any ethics that apply or come into play here?
How does the profession view the display of graphic scenes, whether it depicts sex or violence, or what have you to clients? Isn't there a danger factor involved here?
I need some input from people in the profession, please.
Thank you; Tom S.

_________________________
' None are so enslaved as those falsely led to believe they are actually free '

Top
#40203 - 12/03/03 07:47 PM Re: I some input from people practicing, please
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Tom
I'm not in the proffesion, maybe sometime soon I'm training.
But I have to say this hasn't come up in any of our classes yet.

The reason I'm answering is that just this week we've been talking about what is right to 'share' with clients, and how it should be approached.

And what we were told, and I agree with, is that if the counsellor feels that the client would benefit from some 'outside aid' then it should be discussed thouroughly, and the client made aware of the content, of whatever it is - we were talking about books basically.

On a slightly different tangent I know a man who was recommended a herbal / homeapathic 'remedy' for depression by his therapist ( St Johns Wort possibly ?? ) and he had a severe anaphlactic reaction to it.

The guidance we got in class was "if in doubt - don't !" And the therapists I work with and learn from stick to this unless they are very very sure of the client.

Dave

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

Top
#40204 - 12/03/03 08:52 PM Re: I some input from people practicing, please
Tom S. Offline
Member

Registered: 04/15/03
Posts: 161
Loc: Nashville, Tn
Dave;
Could you talk to your class about this and post their response?
I still don't feel like anyone should be exposed to anybody elses sexuality. Period. I don't see the benefit under any circumstance, but I don't see anyone else take this same position. It is easy to see you would not want to show chainsaw massacre to violent offenders, so why not the same concerning victims and porn?
I know there was a lot of uneasiness when we came together to talk about the movie, no one was comfortable, and I am almost certain that it is no longer required to be seen.
I just feel like there is a tremendous lack of raw common sense within the profession. Kind of like the last sw I recently had to go see who was unable to even take a stand against sexualization of children.
I need a compass or a yard stick to go by here. Anyone please advise of where I could go for a response to this same question.
Tom S.

_________________________
' None are so enslaved as those falsely led to believe they are actually free '

Top
#40205 - 12/03/03 09:04 PM Re: I some input from people practicing, please
Tom S. Offline
Member

Registered: 04/15/03
Posts: 161
Loc: Nashville, Tn
Addenum and clarification.

I still don't feel like anyone should be exposed to anybody elses sexuality. Period.

Change to read;
I still don't feel like anyone should be exposed to anybody elses sexuality IN THIS MANNER. Period. WHEN IS GRAPHIC MOVIE SEX NOT POTENTIALLY OFFENSIVE AND FOUND THERAPUTIC?

Thanx; Tom S.

_________________________
' None are so enslaved as those falsely led to believe they are actually free '

Top
#40206 - 12/03/03 10:01 PM Re: I some input from people practicing, please
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5778
Loc: Lambertville, NJ USA
I guess that as the resident therapist/moderator, I should reply here.

First, I would say that if I were doing a group for people who were not identified as sexual abuse survivors, it might not strike me to think that there were people in the group who might react differently than the general (therapy) public. You noted:
Quote:
Even though sexual abuse was never specifically identified at that time and I had only been seeing her for around a month or 6 weeks, should not the potential have been taken into consideration? Are there any ethics that apply or come into play here?
Unfortunately, most people, including therapists, don't think about sexual abuse. Survivors often cannot see the world without that perspective. Think, for example, about how a person from a minority position views the world... the black man who hears racism in conversations or actions whites who don't even notice, the homosexual who catches the "humor" of jokes about prison rape (don't bend over to pick up the soap), the Jewish person who listens to Christians taking for granted that everybody loves Jesus, the woman who hears comments about "women drivers", etc.

My point is that when we become sensitized to an experience, it can give us a very different perspective. Years ago, one of my first male survivor clients told me, "Being victimized is like having your skin sandpapered. You and I can walk on the beach on a beautiful day. The salt mist from the waves blows on both of us. You feel the mist as cool and refreshing, but to my sandpapered skin, it stings and hurts."

So, Tom, the insensitivity of your therapist back then may have been out of her ignorance of your victimization. Her use of the movie may have been a poor choice to make a particular point or it may have been a good choice for making the point for where she thought the group was. Your reaction to it may have been due to your experience (sandpapered skin). Would she have used that assignment if she knew of your past? Who knows?

She may have been just incompetant, in other words, or she may have done something differently if she had known.

I can't answer why she did what she did. I can't say whether your reaction was the result of insensitivity or lack of information.

I'm just speaking for myself as a therapist.

Ken


Top
#40207 - 12/04/03 11:32 AM Re: I some input from people practicing, please
Tom S. Offline
Member

Registered: 04/15/03
Posts: 161
Loc: Nashville, Tn
Thank you Mr. Singer. I value your opinion here.

But; Would you require viewing an 'R' rated movie "IN THE NAME OF THERAPY" that you knowingly had graphic sex scenes in it to a mixed group of adults with largley unkown history or background?
And let's not even take individual moral beliefs into the equation right now.

I think we both know that no one in their right frame of mind would want a group of mixed races to view a movie with KKK or other racist scenes in it, now would they? Nor would you willing, knowingly, or wantonly, offend any Jew with a movie filled with death camp scenes from the holocost? Nor would you want to even mistakingly offend a homosexual client, now would you?.
I for one, sincerely hope you would not, because you should be sworn to do no harm. But being Jewish or of another race are outwardly obvious individual traits.
The question I am posing here is," Is there not a set of theraputic [and God forbid, ethical] guidelines in place to avoid further damage to the individual client who is already under duress of largley unknow origin?"

Finally; Just where is it appropriate for an 'R' rated movie to be required for viewing; irregardless, be it sex, violence or any combination thereof? How many practictioners out there are presently doing this or things like it in their daily treatment programs, and billing mine and everybody elses insurance company and calling it theraputic?
I'll bet I won't get any volunteers, will I?
Isn't this another example of how therapy can go awry, not unlike the exploitation of an individual client?
I continue to feel that this profession needs to strongly re-examine itself and shape up IF it plans to continue to survive in the forseeable future. This is supposed to be a profession, and not the Dear Abby column, and the people at the companies who provide reimbursment to keep these practices in business should be made aware of their compliance and effectivness.
I would like your comments please, because with all the people in the field who monitor this board and students performing surveys and such, there should be some useable advice to be gleaned.
Thank you; Tom S.

_________________________
' None are so enslaved as those falsely led to believe they are actually free '

Top
#40208 - 12/04/03 11:52 AM Re: I some input from people practicing, please
MrDon Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/08/01
Posts: 957
Loc: Deltona, FL
Tom,
I do have to say from my perspective that if I had been subjected to this, it wouldn't have been good for me. For a long time, I used all kinds of sexual things to help bring myself a more shameful and disrespectful feeling. So something like this would have added to that and probably confused the hell out of me.

I personally think this therapist was not using her common sense. Even if she didn't know the complete background of people, I think you have to consider that abuse does exist. Maybe at the time, it was a sign of the thinking and concept of that era. I don't want to excuse the actions of your therapist at the time. I just think she could have used better judgement or checked things out with each of you in a much better way.

Just my two cents worth.

When I do massage on people, I don't know if they have experienced trauma in their life or not. However, I am very sensitive to it and if I notice anything going on, I am much more careful in the things that I do and how I do them.

Don

_________________________
In order to journey to new worlds, we must first be willing to lose site of the shore.

The Mind Body Thoughts Blog
http://mindbodythoughts.blogspot.com/

Check out my relaxing piano music from the heart!
http://www.donshetterly.com

Top
#40209 - 12/04/03 11:58 AM Re: I some input from people practicing, please
Brayton Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/21/03
Posts: 696
Loc: Minneapolis
Quote:
"Being victimized is like having your skin sandpapered. You and I can walk on the beach on a beautiful day. The salt mist from the waves blows on both of us. You feel the mist as cool and refreshing, but to my sandpapered skin, it stings and hurts."
This is certainly right on the mark. It is difficult, often not entirely possible, to get others to understand the difference even if they have had similar experiences with not being understood. The education of others, if you want to undertake it at all, is a process. It takes time and may perhaps never be 100% effective.

You may be able to take a theraputic situation that has gone "awry" and get it back on track. If you can tell your T about your objections to the film and its use as a theraputic tool as you have here, you may find that empowering and your T may find it informative. It might turn your therapy back and more clearly on track for you.

I think in any case that "Muriel's Wedding" is an odd choice to acheive what you say your T's object was. There are other books, plays and movies that describe similar transformative experiences in sensitive and non-offensive ways.

On a lighter note, after my partner and I saw that movie years ago when it first came out, the line that stuck with us was from Muriel's sister, I think, who said "you're terrible Muriel." That about sums it up.

Brett

_________________________
Sometimes, things just won't work the way we want them to.

Top
#40210 - 12/04/03 01:46 PM Re: I some input from people practicing, please
Tom S. Offline
Member

Registered: 04/15/03
Posts: 161
Loc: Nashville, Tn
I personally think this therapist was not using her common sense. Even if she didn't know the complete background of people, I think you have to consider that abuse does exist.

Just my two cents worth.


Thank you for your input Don, and I concur completly. I stayed with this therapist for close to 2 years, and was given a social worker diagnosis of having a borderline personality. I still trusted her because she never made any form of overt gestures that could be construed as sexual or degrading. She simply was not that type of gal. But I believe you may very well have summed it up by stating her common sense had failed at that moment.
Again, thank you sir. Your 2 cents, I believe, is worth much more here than you may think.
Tom S. in Tn.

_________________________
' None are so enslaved as those falsely led to believe they are actually free '

Top
#40211 - 12/04/03 02:07 PM Re: I some input from people practicing, please
Tom S. Offline
Member

Registered: 04/15/03
Posts: 161
Loc: Nashville, Tn
It is difficult, often not entirely possible, to get others to understand the difference even if they have had similar experiences with not being understood. The education of others, if you want to undertake it at all, is a process. It takes time and may perhaps never be 100% effective.
You may be able to take a theraputic situation that has gone "awry" and get it back on track. If you can tell your T about your objections to the film and its use as a theraputic tool as you have here, you may find that empowering and your T may find it informative. It might turn your therapy back and more clearly on track for you.
I think in any case that "Muriel's Wedding" is an odd choice to acheive what you say your T's object was. There are other books, plays and movies that describe similar transformative experiences in sensitive and non-offensive ways.
On a lighter note, after my partner and I saw that movie years ago when it first came out, the line that stuck with us was from Muriel's sister, I think, who said "you're terrible Muriel." That about sums it up.
Brett

I'm sorry, Brett, but I do not feel the need to have to get my well paid liscensed and duly credentialed therapist to "undersatnd" my point of view, let alone have to educate her to my position. I should not have to be responsible for putting, let alone keeping, therapy on track, ever.
This was definitly a turning point for me, not only in therapy, but in life. The therapist, in her frustration with my disturbance, gave me a classic social worker diagnosis of being plagued with borderline personality d. .

Having viewed that movie; how would you sum up the sexual content? Light and suggestive? Graphic? Or somewhere between?

Thank you for your input; Tom S. in Tn.

_________________________
' None are so enslaved as those falsely led to believe they are actually free '

Top
#40212 - 12/04/03 03:58 PM Re: I some input from people practicing, please
Brayton Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/21/03
Posts: 696
Loc: Minneapolis
You are absolutely right, of course. It is a little presumptuous of me to write about it like I know your therapist. You're there. You know best.

I haven't had a therapist like you describe for quite a while and have been fortunate in having people work with me that have extensive experience with childhood abuse and abuse recovery. That undoubtedly makes a lot of difference.

You shouldn't be put in a position where you have to educate a therapist about what he/she should know already if they are working in that field.

What I was thinking about was my new found ability to give more honest feedback about therapist suggestions and direction than before.

I was a real people pleaser and reluctant to say anything but what I thought they wanted me to say. Didn't want to disappoint anyone.

Its been nice not to settle for things as they are first presented to me. I've successfully argued with my insurance company about coverage and with my employer about job expectations. This happened because I enlisted support and clearly told them that they were wrong.

That, I see now, doesn't quite apply to your situation but I do think it is all right, if you feel you want to, to hold her accountable for what sounds like incompetence.

I wouldn't call the scenes in the movie graphic. They don't rise (or descend) to the level of “smut” which is graphic, I think. They are gratuitous though, I think, unnecessary to the plot, titillating and pandering to core audience interests. More or less they are just to sell tickets in my opinion.

Your therapist was wrong not to have been aware of the fact that the movie's content might be a problem for you and is wrong now, having learned of your negative experience, not to apologize and re-focus her therapeutic approach to your needs.

I went through practically a dozen therapists over a period of years before finding a good fit. I wish it was easier but advocacy for mental health clients is sorely missing in most healthcare systems. Those clients which most need to be advocated for are often most overlooked.

Brett

_________________________
Sometimes, things just won't work the way we want them to.

Top
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >


Moderator:  ModTeam, TJ jeff 

I agree that my access and use of the MaleSurvivor discussion forums and chat room is subject to the terms of this Agreement. AND the sole discretion of MaleSurvivor.
I agree that my use of MaleSurvivor resources are AT-WILL, and that my posting privileges may be terminated at any time, and for any reason by MaleSurvivor.