To Rustin Cohle’s Defense ;-)

(As a team, where I also consult- at our beautiful counseling center called Inner Space Counseling, we decided to do a round of defense mechanisms in pop fictional characters for Mental Health week 2016. I chose Rusty, here’s an article on what could really be going on in his intelligent but dark mind.)

Why True Detectiveyes, season one

Psychological defenses are necessary for us to cope with the pressure and demands of leading a civilized life. All of us are obliged to employ defense mechanisms, and we all do so- unconsciously- everyday! It’s the “tricks” that our mind plays so we can deal with inner conflicts, unpleasantness and to prevent a tide of overwhelm- in order to stay composed and function “better”. While they seem very much like our allies, they can pose a lot of problems as well- like the auto-correct on our phones that don’t always help… But that’s a text message, and this, is life. To explain this at play in as close to real life as possible, and accessible to all, I’ve chosen the broody Detective Rustin Cohle (Matthew McConaughey) from the 8 episode long popular mini-series True Detective’s Season One by HBO.

true-detective-poster

It’s based on real events, and since the writer has written a riveting multilayered story just as real life can be, I’ve chosen a popular fiction character to help better explain psychological defences in daily life rather than a textual one. Its a fantastic cop story unlike the typical ones- focussing on the growth of characters- Rustin: a complex, intense, intelligent, pessimist who’s past is dark; and Martin- an easy going charming man but self-cenetred family man who vehemently challenges monogamy but only secretly- set in 1995 to 2012 Louisiana. Along with Rusty’s hypnotic dialogue delivery, each time I revisit it, there are more and more psychological nuances that reveal themselves. The non-verbals are so bang-on, I wonder how did they manage to do it- I’ve so far not been able to fault it. If you have seen True Detective, proceed only then 🙂 Take this as your spoiler alert for the whole article!!

 What is so peculiar about Rust?

“I know who I am. And after all these years, there’s a victory in that.” -Cohle (writer Nic Pizzolatto)

https://i0.wp.com/rustcohle.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/rust-cohle-true-detective.jpg

                With Rusty, you’re bound to have a strong reaction as the use of minimal defense mechanisms contribute to the intensity of his character as compared to the ‘herd’ (along with his depressing past). Using fewer defense mechanisms can make it difficult for people to be or relate with him: he ends up being constantly confrontative and look-at-reality (his depressing version of it) kind of person. The following adjectives help us sketch his personality type – shown as a misanthrope, he is highly self-aware, truthful, responsible, messed up, cruel, obsessive, perceptive, intelligent and socially aloof- all rolled in one, as shown repeatedly throughout the story.

What is Rusty coping with? How does he really defend himself psychologically?- hint: by hitting a special reset button in his mind and as a conclusion, operating from his infamous pessimistic philosophy

The entire article is here: (Since I cant repost it and I’ve submitted that article to Inner Space, and my love for Rustin Cohle, Nic Pizzolatto & the full True Detective story had to be shared on my blog, I’ve made an entry here- my analysis is in the link below)

http://innerspacetherapy.in/self-help-and-improvement/defenses-of-rusty/

I enjoyed it, hope you do too!!

Unlocking The Self; Some Quotes

 

“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.”

-Carl Jung

 

“When one is in love, one always begins by deceiving one’s self, and one always ends by deceiving others. That is what world calls a romance.”

-Oscar Wilde

 

“I would say that our patients never really despair because of any suffering in itself! Instead, their despair stems in each instance from a doubt as to whether suffering is meaningful. Man is ready and willing to shoulder any suffering as soon and as long as he can see a meaning in it.”

-Viktor Frankl, 1961, Logotherapy and the Challenge of Suffering

 

“The unexamined life is not worth living.”

-Socrates

 

“A man’s errors are his portals of discovery.”

-James Joyce

 

“Information is not knowledge.”

-Albert Einstein

 

“Knowledge is knowing that we cannot know.”

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

Experience is a brutal teacher, but you learn.. My God, do you learn!

– C. S. Lewis

 

One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.

– Carl Jung

 

 

“Flowing Insights Programme” : Bibliotherapy

What is bibliotherapy? Well, these sessions are soon going to begin here in Mumbai that I will be designing and facilitating. On this account, today’s article is on Therapeutic value of books and their discussions..

Lets take a light, fantasy filled classic for example- Alice in Wonderland, which talks about simply, GROWING UP! It unconsciously takes our mind on a journey acquainting us with the range of emotions we may experience while going through that sort of change- where the old has lost it’s value and the new seems pleasantly or unpleasantly different. How often do we come across this sort of a change?- change of job? getting a job? getting used to changes in people around us? getting in the dating scene? Entering in a committed relationship? opting for a different health regime and actually staying on it? .. The list is endless and the therapeutic use of this book (when used well), vast.

On the other hand there’s The Road Less Travelled. It shares Dr. Peck’s version of a map of life from his professional (psychotherapist) experience and the journey of his clients. So he directly talks about-events, approaches, attitudes, suggested solutions, processes, etc- that pertain to the problems-big, tiny or small. The book (when used smartly) allows an individual to look squarely at things we face everyday, in various forms and intensities- rejection, success, loss, tolerance, love, romance,  rebirth, transformation, death, joy, hopes, miracles, etc. So when, how and whom can bibliotherapy with this book benefit? The answer is obvious- at any stage of adult life. Whether its an ill person in the family one has to take care of, or understanding our own disorderliness and mental blocks, if we are going through a tough time in life for whichever reason, or simply looking to “up” the game of life on the next phase or level- bibliotherapy through this book certainly paves a way.

There is a condition though, that applies in using help, guidance or a starting point or material for discussions from books- as discussed in the prior article– the ideas and solutions presented or perceived from the books are not writ in stone! These ideas require examining, trial & error (under an experienced facilitator preferably), sharing-editing-retesting of experiences and thus learning what’s best for us practically.

Bibliotherapy is thus, help and healing through books, carefully selected by a bibliotherapist and conducted through reading jointly, or having a post-reading discussion, or through activities designed to apply the written word in real life or a combination of these methods.

I’m very happy to announce that from 18th June, I will be facilitating, in capacity of a Psychodynamic Psychotherapist, such Bibliotherapy sessions in Mumbai (One example- The book selected for VT venue is The Road Less Travelled see http://helplibrary.blogspot.cotop 5 booksm/2011/06/workshops-on-biblio-therapy-flowing.html)

Best wishes for the journey, see you there! 🙂

If you have differing ideas and book and venue suggestions- do write to me. You may leave a comment here or at: kunjal.s.psy@gmail.com

What is Psychotherapy?!

A talk on Introduction to Psychological Counseling, Psychotherapy & the whole gamut..

The field is vast and the awareness gap between the field and the general audience, large. In the following video an attempt is made to explain the basis of Psychotherapy. In the second short video clipping, a part of types of Psychotherapies is explained. The subject in discussion is large, hence a series of talk is aimed at. This is the first step.

Basis of any type of Psychological Counseling:

On kinds of Psychotherapy:

Coming up next:

Short list of Questions & Answers asked by fellow members of the community.

~

Healing

I find ‘Healing’ in the emotional context especially, to be very tricky. Let me explain…

When we say healing, we are referring to a wound being healed or in the process of it.. We are talking about overcoming hurt and feelings of uncontainable sadness and pain over an event, or rather, the way the event has been interpreted and the meaning that we attach to it. Healing can be a very “feel good” thing by itself- and that is where I’m finding it a bit tricky.

There is something as a “good depression”, something healthy and necessary for our growth. It naturally becomes a part of the healing process- no matter how small or big the event in question is. The tricky thing I’ve been referring to, is when a healing act or assistance misreads this step or phase and tries to get away from this, thus creating a loop or a cyclic pattern bringing about an amount of dysfunction.

In simple words, healing can shade and fade into need for pampering!

So as far as we are aware of things within and taking into account the externals- be it people’s reactions and situations, it will help the healing process, no matter which method we employ, to stay on track and onwards to the goal.

So one danger is to get addicted to the healing process (in lines of feeling pampered). The second one is a conscious act to protect oneself. Let me explain: as a self-protection measure remembering the hurt or hurtful incidents in an “in the face” sort of way, so as to avoid falling in a vulnerable position again. In this case, the individual ends up hurting self each day in process by bringing that hurt again and again in the present moment and never really heal. How? The person is deliberately staying away from healing, leaving the ‘wounds’ open- out of fear, and without realizing, cradles the hurt or the hurtful memories.

So folks, the next time we use the word heal, let us take a look further, deeper.. and find out WITHIN the context at hand, what do we really mean, what are we really doing.. and what is actually happening!

Counseling & Psychotherapy

There seems to be a clouded understanding of what Counseling is and its difference from Psychotherapy. In India atleast, there are quite a few misconceptions. To spell the most basic point first, psychological counseling is not advice giving. And CBT, REBT, Father Fuster’s barefoot counseling, Carkhuff’s model, etc are very FEW TYPES of Counseling, they are not the only approaches.

Having spelled that out, to put forth my view, experience, research and understanding on Counseling & Psychotherapy:

Counseling and Psychotherapy are facilitative and analytical processes for furthering growth to a degree. Where they differ according to me, is in one main area, of what it employs to work with- Transference. Psychotherapy, for it to be successful, will REQUIRE to employ Transference. Counseling, depending on which approach and type is followed by the practitioner, may/ may not work with the Relationship between the counselor and client in a “client-projected” sense of way, and base it mostly on dispensing information and on the CONTENT provided verbally, non-verbally by the client. This is generally followed in brief therapy. The longer the therapy gets, ‘transference’ has to be understood by the therapist, and it forms a map, a ladder- for the client, to work his/her way out to any personal, perceptive restructuring or changed view of life. That is central to psychotherapy.

For a client, what matters is reaching the goal- this way or that! Only practitioners, aware of a larger spectrum of approaches, are in a position to assist a client in helping them find the best fit for them, for their growth process- be it out of a problem, issue, crisis or a long standing vague lacuna.

When open, flexible and working together, the benefit is larger; for the client, and in the long-run, for the practitioners too.