The Use of Distraction to Keep Women in Psychotherapy

Why, oh why, do women need to discredit other women who expose the horrors of the psychology machine that sweeps up women and spits them out like spent chewing gum? Why do I still read passionately written slams about organizations and researchers who are vilified for their opinions because they criticize popular beliefs?

Thankfully, I was never sexually abused. Yet I once believed I was. If I was treated and coaxed to remember events of sexual abuse that never happened in the year 1998 instead of 1986, I am sure I would be one of those women slamming anything and everything I thought was against me. Being a social activist, I would probably wage a campaign to expose the people or organizations I thought were trying to silence my voice when I had every right (and responsibility) to cry out screaming – I’ve been injured in the most vicious manner – sexually abused as a child!

Women’s March on Versailles, 5-6 october 1789....

Image via Wikipedia

There would, however, be one difference with how I would handle my rage  – I’d read about organizations and people before hurling misinformation. I would not want to be wrong. I did the same thing when I thought I was sexually abused – I waited and searched for the one memory that would tell me I was right. I never found that pure memory and instead, found my psychiatrist was wrong.

If remaining in therapy through 2012, I too, might be stuck in Internet forums and groups where like-minded people congregate to express thoughts and feelings they once again think no one wants to hear. I too, might believe some organizations and bloggers like me were here for one purpose – to silence me, to make fun at me, or to lie about why I was sick.

But I wasn’t treated in 1996, or 2000, or 2012 – I dodged another psychiatric bullet. I am thankful beyond words. I was treated before home computers were a means of expression and an anonymous vehicle to hurl misdirected anger and hate. I was lucky because there was no way I could stay entrenched in therapy unless I was a member of a face-to face group in a brick-n-mortar building. A real place with real people rather than a virtual place with anonymous people most of whom I would never meet.

I find the state of psychology and how it continues to steal women’s lives from them a deeply sad situation. Vulnerable people have nowhere to turn for help – we all turn to medicine and medical practitioners to help us through rough times in our lives. If we need an operation – we go to surgeons. When we need a limb set, we see a orthopedist. But turning to mental health care providers is a crap shoot. But most people don’t know they are shooting craps when they knock on the door with a professional looking name plate on it. A therapists’ office can be a sinister place to hang one’s coat and cozy up to a person you don’t know.

The misdirected rage I encounter concerns me.

I think some women don’t know where else to direct hurt and anger especially when feeling the world is against them. That rage and discontent should rightfully be directed at The Psychology Industry and the psychiatric nonsense that made women into mere shells of their previous selves. Psychological feminist-theories made many believe they needed to, once again, turn to psychiatrists for answers. Women took to the couch as they did for Freud thinking and believing he had all the insight and answers. It was the few who figured out that Dr. Freud was making it up as he went along using women to test psychological theories he later recanted.

Women are still on the couch although the original therapist is long gone – gone to analyze similar behaviors and re-name them. Many mental health care providers now treat eating disorders, Borderline Personality Disorder, Bipolar Disorder and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder with all the fervor they once treated multiple personalities – which, in part due to political pressure was renamed and redefined as Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). Yet this diagnosis remains Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD) no matter how many times the name changes.

Anger gets misdirected as evidenced by this blog and the topics I write about and the hateful comments left. I am a conduit for rage and hate. I am not against women who survived horrendous sexual violence – that is a ridiculous notion, yet it exists.

The misdirected anger at me, anger at organizations, anger at books and authors, anger at anything outside of ones self accomplishes one huge goal. Distraction. It changes the topic and makes something outside of the human psyche the problem and makes the therapist and other women with similar beliefs the saviors. If one is vested in fighting perceived threats from the outside and immersed in protecting the physical and psychic self there is little time and energy to look at those closer to home as a means to keep one sick and needy – a therapist guiding one’s life is where I’d look first.

It reminds me of the strategies of politics during United States presidential campaigns. Distract. Distract, distort, and redirect. The tactic is quite simple and elementary and it’s there for one reason – it works.

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213 Comments

  1. Maria & Mosaics

     /  02/06/2013

    Hi Jennette.

    I agree with all you’ve said in this article here regarding women getting stuck in therapy more so.than men, so much so, that way back in 1989 I wrote my final paper in Social Work program on ‘Therpsiam’.

    The research showed the majority gender was female then still on the couch years later, avge of 7 to 11 years, with more problems to analyze, well other than Woody Allen of course

    .It was written for my Sienior Seminar.Independent study.for Womans Studies, it happens! At the time I had been in Therapy 7 years, 2 to 3 x a week questioning , how long will this take?.. then by 1992 4x week to times( see I was working in integrating andf with no more job and no more kids , what else did I have to do but go to therapy Right, it was a full time LIFE) mmhmm, always something to talk about- to process and 29 years later.. well..we terminate or say goodbye or Happy Graduation or Hello to Spring sometime in April!

    The past 3 years we have only spoke on phone 1- 2 x a week if that maybe 2 x a month My therapist knows most of the issues here revolve around the fall out from the Multiplicity dx and physical health and grief from loss of role as a Mom..

    Therapy can be like a drug, especially when that dx and therapy isolates one to only share with them one must ween off of or go cold turkey. We spoke honestly and he said he has not treated me nor any of our work revolved around MPD/DID for well over 15 years.its been the stigma and stress of carrying the label .

    Mosaics and I one by one had been processing out of therapy past 3 years and growing very restless &resentful.Every time somebody mentioned no need, ending that was met with more sessions needed to discuss it, process it see how everyone felt, Yup..I finally asked..if I had no Insurance and no cash, would we still have sessions to process this, or would we just say goodbye.? I have to say he got a lil snippy and for myself then I felt guilty for asking but I did and this is finally how we end 30 years. set a date to end andi f .you have no money or Insurance, it ends-simple..

    I think for some in Multiple /Abuse /Survivor and SRA Communities its the outcome of your situation being thought as it is or must be.for all Multiples that gets feathers ruffled.

    And yes ..shooting the messenger is never helpful

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    • Jeannette Bartha

       /  02/06/2013

      Hello Mosaics, thank you for stopping by. Your post is one I would not have expected.

      You are so accurate about the need for therapy is equivalent to how much money is in your pocket. When I was hospitalized for 2 years straight for MPD/DID I had 100% insurance coverage. but for insurance that would not have happened. My bill for 1040 days of treatment – a total of 3 in hospital and 3+ outpatient was more than $1,000,000. I have documents to prove it.

      Yes, I sued the doctor and hospital. The hospital had to pay the equivalent of 1 month’s stay.

      Agreed about how ending therapy shows a need for more sessions to deal with it.

      You were in therapy for 30 years? I know someone who is also ending therapy after 30 years with the same man.

      If you want to share – are you integrated? I’m not sure I understand.

      Lastly, I know this blog is about my experiences and that I don’t think MPD/DID exists. But, your thesis sounds very interesting. Would you consider publishing it? Or directing me to a place where I can read it?

      As I said, your post is most surprising – you are the first multiple to say these things & I am most grateful to know that at least one person has this insight.

      Best to you. Jeanette

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      • Maria & Mosaics

         /  02/06/2013

        Hi Jeanette,

        Thank you for response!

        As you probobly know “Integration” as such regarding MPD/DID, is interpreted and defined differently for all folks experiencing life’ as Plural’ Though the cure all ‘medical trauma model’ that most Drs know from pioneering Drs who popularized it (i.e) Dr Wilbur paving the way have as a goal, one core persona left,..via merging all “streams to oceans blah blah, or goodbye ceremonies,or aging all to same age, with sharing trauma is still most known…

        This has not been the goal here for a good 15 years. Following that path was full of destruction and the only time their was ‘disorder” ruining quality of life, all down hill here and illness..and not at all what was needed…This the biggest regret for both my Therapist and this group..The Therapist feels the same way for a long while and now..Integration was not needed, we made sense, we functioned well together- and this may BE INTEGRATION but he was following the model of the day, or happy to meet with us all forever I guess.. we all learn.

        Less and less Therapists feel the model above of old it is needed, even attainable, so as long as a group can manage, being co -conscious with ‘no loss of time,’ or memory gaps growing less by sharing daily info, with shared memory, co running with co- communication and negotiating time, activities, so forth, all comes with embracing and treating each other with dignity, love.mutual respect. …

        This is where Mosaics and I have been a LONG while,actually to begin with years ago, but lost that goal and thought we must chase Interrogation, to be deemed healthy, healed and whole, to be a MOM again.. After many false and faked Integrations and mergings finally, choosing as ‘Trudie Chase & the Troops’ and many Multiples such as Astraea net Plural speaks of to not traditionally Integrate but stay together as WE. and.majority rules, which for many has proven more healthy!

        Medical Trauma Model for Integration can and does usually take years benefiting only Therapists and a group that is truly invested in .. because, well, life gets in the way of’ the grunt work’ or distractions, and of trauma revisited, and then of course goodbyes are thought of as ‘death’ by some and if a group follows that path, grief may comes, with all the stages and even depression, self harm..you see this pattern here Right> , yeah it usually fails
        (.And of course Multiples are warned of this afore hand..just as Multiple are warned when dx this WILL get worse before better..if it does)..

        We only really see that Integration of this sort in Hollywood depictions;)

        I guess then as far as Medical Trauma Model ‘cure’ of Integration we are not considered integrated because all are still here. And making sense healthier and- happier this way. Challenges yes, different yes, hard work yes…,Pathological NO!

        I do know that your Therapy ended pronto with no more Insurance, and a awful way with the medication ending too..That is a lot of money wracked up in somebody pocket right and a lot of pain to bear? makes sense you want to spare other this..

        ..I guess for me I looked at my quality of life before therapy dx and now and been adding up all the personal losses I can never get back children , relationships, positions in jobs,monies from 1984 I paid , co pays , checks and cash and working more jobs to pay more babysitters for kids, more support group to compliment Therapy then Psychiatric visits to over see Therapist, while I was sent to one more Specialist to obsessive (I actually had to apply for Medicaid and Disability way back when to facilitate Therapy to get Integrated..) but to get my kids back under my roof with me, I would do anything

        When working full -time I paid cash and co -pays, co pays were $60.00 a session then, finally $30.00 till I could no longer afford rent, daycare so forth.or to live. I am glad you were able to sue for neglectful care and recoup some monies The stress of daily therapy- all that processing made it impossible to work without physically getting sick..I have a very low immune system and auto immune illness, so it took a toll..

        Nothing will give anyone of us back the years they lose though, not even money..And when I asked my T 2 weeks ago that question about Insurance, he laughed uncomfortably..which said it all for me, then suggested ” well so what I keep hearing you say is no more therapy so I agree, so lets set a date to work towards then,since its clear your not in need of therapy,and the past 3 years we have been doing “maintenance” and your fine, managing fine regarding MPD/DID its not the problem so..if a crisis comes up, we have this date knowing I’m always here if you do need help. So lets try not to see this as a end but beginning, a time to honor all the work, we have done, how far you have come , what we each have learned.. look back at it..review it…Nope I have no desire to look back because I might have to say what I really learned., (not at all regarding him) but my family that allowed so much and that would not be fair to him I want to end this nicely and honestly… he wants to know where he helped, and where he did not..Okay then but it wont be poetic..

        Yes 30 years, 30 years of 1 main person knowing all of us here , thieving and accepting us each as individuals not ever seeing any of us as a problem . Those here who could not be out,with others interacting being isolated from most of loved ones and world,then saw him, or feared if out here were able to be there with him comfortable being themselves..

        Very mixed feeling here, very emotional and numb.. Been warning folks to have clear goals when entering therapy, a time to re-acess goals, to reach goals ,to not get distracted for years thwarting those goals, to not allow this..but yup messenger here shot too.

        ..I will dig deep back to archives of my Women’s Studies thesis,its not online..so I will try and get it. It was named” The Super Women Myth”..and had sections” Therapism” was a section, “Hysteria”..as well as “Prenatal Influences on Personality Development.” Amazing ey? all the while i Therapy for MPD., I was reading the answers…

        if you like check out Dr Frank Putnams 3 Interviews on You tube you may find interesting,, regarding his 1st on the roles , purpose and functions every Multiple System and then of course why one becomes Multiple then 2nd, thoughts on the Dr/Pt relationship being not so powerful as to suggest anything at all, as well 3rd finally… All of us, even healthy people, even Dr Putman are a little Multiple, even fragmented and not so integrated..

        Look under “When the Devil Knocks” Tailor interviews with Dr Frank Putman 2010 who consulted on this HA.!..ya know Jeanette many Multiple have more in common with your thoughts regarding Therapist than you might realize;).I think they just want their experience validated is all. I know I will take hits in Multiple Community.have for a long while.I also know I am Multiple and many folks that are..I think there is balance to be found and Third option always. You can find me on face book too https://www.facebook.com/maria.antoniette.5.

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        • Jeannette Bartha

           /  02/08/2013

          sorry, Mosaics, found your comment in the spam file… rescued it.

          will get a response to your post asap – life is it the way at the moment 😉

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  2. Sheri Storm

     /  02/05/2013

    This piece tragically hits the proverbial nail on the head – with great force. Thank you for finding and sharing it Jeanette.

    Continually aware of the bashing anyone takes, when advocating against iatrogenic MPD or false memories = repressed memory therapies, I am humbled by the intelligent, well-researched efforts you tirelessly make to educate others.

    I would like to say “you’ll be rewarded in your next life” – but I think I’ll save past/future lives topic for another day….

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    • Jeannette Bartha

       /  02/05/2013

      Hi Sheri, Glad you liked the article – I wrote that one.

      The behavior shown on Amazon book reviews is deplorable. You are correct, as Amazon shows, if people ask questions or voice opinions, they are called names. I particularly find calling commentors members of the Pedophile Protection Squad most vile. How can people be expected to support those who act like this? Beyond me.

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      • Sheri Storm

         /  02/05/2013

        Jeannette, your writing is remarkable.

        I agree about the mind-boggling behavior behind those claiming to ‘help” people with DID. Equally shocking is the blatant use of fear-mongering techniques. ( IE: Don’t read this, it is triggering. Don’t listen to them, they are collecting data to physically stalk you. Or the latest low – Don’t comment here. I spent hours last night talking someone out of suicide due to your comments.)

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  3. K

     /  02/17/2012

    J: I in no way think you have adeqately countered everything said here appropriately. Yes, you have countered, but did you actually bring anything of quality or your own thoughts to the table. If anything, responses have demonstrated that there is much more reading & study that needs to be done.

    K: When you cannot find a way to respond to my post, then I have countered in a way that you cannot defend against. Yes, that generally means I’ve countered everything adequately. Considering that you continue to flat out ignore the studies I have posted here, one might assume that you cannot maintain your side of the argument unless you ignore evidence.

    If you don’t consider studies or research to be quality, then you have no right to be linking to studies that you insist support your side (this includes reports, articles, or even linking to organizations that support science). If you don’t consider studies or research to be quality, you should admit to your readers that you prefer to remain ignorant instead of acknowledging evidence you disagree with. If you don’t consider studies or research to be quality, then I’ve done more to counter than you ever have simply by offering up something more than my own bias and disproven ideas.

    If you believe that you know of studies that disprove what I say, show them to me. Otherwise, it’s understood that there are none, and the one who should be doing more reading and studying is you.

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    • @K When you cannot find a way to respond to my post, then I have countered in a way that you cannot defend against

      That’s interesting logic.

      What particular studies did I link to that you take issue with? I doubt I ever said that all studies have no quality.

      K: If you believe that you know of studies that disprove what I say, show them to me. Otherwise, it’s understood that there are none, and the one who should be doing more reading and studying is you.

      J: this is silly reasoning. You make a lot of assumptions and draw conclusions without information. yikes.

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      • K

         /  02/18/2012

        K: When you cannot find a way to respond to my post, then I have countered in a way that you cannot defend against

        J: That’s interesting logic.

        K: Maybe. But I can think of no other way to interpret sudden silence on a post I’ve made when that post has the sole purpose of introducing a new study or fact.

        J: What particular studies did I link to that you take issue with? I doubt I ever said that all studies have no quality.

        K: You’ve never posted a study that I’ve taken issue with (you’ve posted very few studies in general). I was merely pointing out that when you continually criticise studies and say things such as the below statements, it makes one wonder if you doubt all studies, including the few involving false memory and the invalidity of recovered memories, or if you’re simply looking for excuses to discount posted research.

        “K, you were asking me about studies. If a study is poorly conducted, or research for that matter, it is useless.” <– Are you implying that all studies supporting DID are poorly done? How are you determining then, that the studies by the FMSF are not poorly done? The APA seems to think they are. What makes you think otherwise?

        "I appreciate you bringing up this topic because most people who read results of studies, I am guessing here, do not know about scientific rigor and how to control for influences, etc." <– Are you implying that studies supporting DID were not done correctly? That they were not done to follow scientific rigor or controlled for influences?
        You already tried to say this about the study this was in reply to. You even tried to say that the researchers might be including brain scans that were affected only by movement of the patient, knowingly misleading readers, when even a bit of research could have shown you that when the patient moved enough to skew the results, the scan was tossed.

        "In addition to that, any study or research can be skewed to reach the conclusions the researchers are looking for" <— Are you aware that all studies are vulnerable to the same bias? Do you distrust every study you read, or just the studies that disagree with your view point?

        When you repeatedly harp on the possibility of a study you dislike being "skewed" it does make one wonder what you do consider to be valid. Do you only trust studies that you like?

        But then of course, you state: "… There are many researchers who have written about" DID not being a valid diagnosis. "There is much controversy regarding the forthcoming Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5)." You use this to justify your distrust of the diagnosis.

        How do you ensure that the research you believe (and have, strangely enough, refused to show me) is done accurately? Do you simply take this for granted? Perhaps you should spend equal time analysing both sides of the debate and ensuring that you're not being misled.

        K: If you believe that you know of studies that disprove what I say, show them to me. Otherwise, it’s understood that there are none, and the one who should be doing more reading and studying is you.

        J: this is silly reasoning. You make a lot of assumptions and draw conclusions without information. yikes.

        K: It's not silly at all. If you have relevant information that you could use to debate a point I bring up, you should post it. If you don't, I will assume you can't. Otherwise, there's no point in us even discussing things if you're not trying actually show that DID isn't real. Opinions don't show that DID isn't real, it shows that you believe it's not real. If you want people to believe you, show studies. And if you have studies, why not use them in response to points that I bring up?

        If you do not respond to points I make in favour of DID, it appears to any outside observer that you cannot. You take time to respond to my posts, yet you don't take the time to look up and link me to relevant studies? Are you saying I'm ignorant for not finding studies that you yourself do not take the time to find and show?

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