19 July 2010

Day 114: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey.  ISBN: 9780141181226.

I've always found the concept of group therapy interesting.  I actually participated in it for awhile sometime around 2nd or 3rd grade.*  In One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, the logic for group therapy is to show how the patients don't fit in to normal society by having the rest of the group critique them.  See, this is why I never really got group therapy (and on some level this includes AA and similar groups): how are you supposed to judge what is normal when the group consists overwhelmingly of people who have the same problems you do?

I do think it's valid to have these groups.  It is useful to have some feedback on your behavior and thoughts from people at different levels of recovery/craziness who have been where you are now and can show you that it is not impossible to be cured.  But it might be more beneficial to have a slightly higher mix of people who don't have the same problems, or possibly who are victims of the problem (because let's face it, those people need therapy too).  These people would not need extensive training, but would definitely need some and must be empathetic to the patients' plight.  I would be interested to see if there have been studies that used this method, and how successful it was.

I've also noticed that people who are drawn into psychotherapy tend to be slightly crazy themselves.  It's like you almost have to be a little crazy to want to help crazy people.  And most of the professionals don't seem to notice it about themselves, but I've talked to other patients of therapists I've had and they've agreed with me, "Yeah, the doc is a little off."  I'm sure that those who don't start out crazy eventually end up that way.  I know I had to do a little impromptu therapy at the insurance job I had, and by the end of my shift the last thing I wanted to do was deal with anyone's problems but my own.   It kind of makes you wonder if there are any "normal" people left: if the crazy people are normalizing the crazy people, won't they still bit just a tiny bit crazy?

*I was misdiagnosed with Depression, when I was actually just depressed.

1 comment:

  1. I know a lot of people who became psych. majors in college to better understand their own mental illness or had major issues with their families and wanted proof they were surrounded by crazy people. In fact, I've heard about so many that it has almost become a stereotype for psych. majors overall.

    But then again, how many of them actually stuck with their major, went on to get more schooling, and became doctors and therapists? -Liz


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