How the illusion of control leads you to perpetually wait for your life to begin

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So… then what is the goal of therapy? And what is the goal for people who have profoundly negative psychological traits?


Sucking your money, likely. It’s a big business.

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Control freaks will deny this…

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Yet again I wish I could just comfortably read an article at my leisure rather than have to attentively listen to someone talk for a full hour. I guess I can try to track down the book.


It is naive and foolish of my customers to think I will deliver what they want, or what they have been led to expect. But they should still pay me of course. And come back next week for more of whatever it is I choose to do instead.


Fucking seriously. Especially this one, which is a nasty joke on ADD people. “You have no control whatsoever over your life or problems! What’s the solution? LOL, you’ll never find out 'cause you can’t listen that long.”


It’s a nice, stable business model. And apparently it works, in both therapy and computers.

Try some player that offers variable playback speed. 120-150% speed is often enough to keep the attention without giving enough time to the brain to wander off track.

I have taught hundreds of people to to change their reaction to internally generated feelings, dissociated states and anxiety.

The traditional psychotherapeutic model is pandering to people’s will to not change, whereas I teach people tools for change, which people take away as repeatable practices that they own forever.

Psychiatry has begun to take on some of these same tools and call them cognitive therapy. …like they knew all along, but didn’t use.

A bit cynical in my view.


Actually, upon reflection, most likely thousands…

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I remember my oldest boys teacher telling me she thought he was deaf and should be tested.

I took him home and while we made dinner he sat in the living room playing. After a few minutes I called his name.

“Yes?” He answered.

A few years later another teacher sat me down and in all seriousness told me my boy had add.

I asked her who made this diagnosis. She said she did because he didn’t always seem as though he was paying attention.

What was the next step then, I asked.

Your family doctor can prescribe drugs that will make him more attentive, she said.

That’s it? I asked.

That’s it, she said.

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Probably some form of medication, given the current psychotherapeutic model.

I long ago realised it is my default nature to be miserable. Just the way the synapses fire in my brain. Nothing that can be fixed without serious cybernetic technology.

So, eh.


I listened to the podcast because I had a feeling that quote from it was gonna live in my head in a bad way for the next few hours anyway so might as well let the actual people yammer in my ear instead of repeating a couple sentences in misery.

My take away… that is a really bad choice of snippet and lead in. They seem to be saying that you don’t have full control over your brain, so trying to think or feel your way into having a brain that behaves differently is kind of a doomed effort - some things about how you work can’t be changed, but they can still be addressed, you can develop strategies and use tools and realize some things may not be within your ability to control at all and it’s better not to beat yourself up over them.

They seem to be working from the assumption that people consciously believe they fully control their own minds so of course being told they don’t is a shock, being told “fuck that!” is a burst of realization that maybe therapy isn’t, as they tease, about figuring out your dreams until you are a better person. But if you do NOT already think that, and think that “I want to feel better, want to improve it, want to solve it” would absolutely include “solutions” like “focus on what you can control” - if you already think that’s what that means, saying “Fuck that!” just sounds, well, mean and defeatist.




I can’t get past the expletives. F… feelings, go the f… to sleep, the no-ahole rule. Is that supposed to make them hip?

Cognitive behavioral therapy relies on neuroplasticity. I’m not an expert on this, but the way I understand it is that your brain will develop chemical states that match your mental states, which makes sense if you think about it, The brain isn’t a computer, the software and the hardware are pretty much the same thing. As you develop certain negative feedback loops, like self-loathing, your brain chemistry adjusts to fit that state. To break out, the usual course of action involves drugs which raise low seratonin levels or change whatever chemical state is correlated to the mental state. Then the therapist will proceed to help develop non-detrimental coping strategies and essentially workshop with you on how to keep things in perspective and working within a roughly logical framework.

The goal of therapy is often much more than simply having someone sit there and uncritically help you engage in whatever catharsis you feel like. If you want someone to do that, get a Tumblr account- it’s free. If your therapist is doing that, dump them. For people who constantly struggle against their brain chemistry, usually the therapy tapers off as their case becomes less severe and they stay on a drug regimen. Things therapy won’t do:

  • Fix all your problems.
  • Make you not be an asshole.
  • Make people in your life not be an asshole to you.
  • Cure you in one or a few sessions.
  • Eliminate congenital or chronic mental issues. Though it can mitigate the effects.
  • Make you happy. That’s still your job. Its purpose is to take you up to a baseline of stability.

I think it’s intended to sound casual and genuine and contain emotional information like frustration, catharsis and epiphany. Remove the swearing and it sounds more dispassionate and distant (“feelings are not all that important actually”) use a lesser swear/swear replacement (“screw feelings!”) and it has much of the same emotional information but it’s muted, like if you replaced the word “love” with “sorta like” in a sentence.

But I am the sort who swears casually so it reads that way to me and not everyone has the same relationship with cursing.

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So this “revolutionary approach” is based on the serenity prayer?

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.