Crazy About Psychopathology

I’m in the process of reading. Feel free to read along and comment as needed.

Meta-analysis of Marital therapy Outcome Research


Feet dragging


This reminds me of all the years I smoked. I got tons and tons of advice on it and how much I needed to quit and the benefits of quitting and the bad things that would happen if I didn’t quit. There are a ton of interventions for kicking the habit, some better than others. As it turned out, I just got sick and tired of being addicted.

It also reminds me of all the horse shit that is shovelled our way regarding autism and autism interventions. Fact is, there are presently NO empircal treatments for autism. None. Many show promise, but none have met the modest criteria for being judged empirically efficacious. And yet there are all sorts of therapies, diets, books, and more books out there selling crap that is supposed to “cure” autism. Each and every vender says, “Why don’t you just TRY this? What’s the harm? Don’t you think you owe it to try every single thing you can to help your children?” Trying to guilt us into pouring money into useless crap. And it works on Arwyn many times. But now, even she has become suspicious of every “miracle cure” because we have gotten burned so many times.

There are no magic pills, diets or therapies.


6 Responses to Crazy About Psychopathology

  1. Cat says:

    OMG finally someone else who sees all that for the horse shit it is. I am so tired of being made to feel guilty because I am not willing to try every fad on the internet! Show me something real and I will be the 1st one in line for my son. But I am not going to forget to use my common sense just because I want my child to be typical…

  2. FTN says:

    I’m slightly confused on the correlation here. Nearly every one of those articles shows empirical evidence that counseling DOES help troubled marriages, to some extent. (Although I admit I didn’t read them all completely.)

    Look, I know you don’t want to go, and you’ll find any excuse you can not to go, and I hate that I feel like I’m (*we’re*) pestering you about it. But at least show us the respect of admitting it, rather than trying to pretend we’re selling you some snake oil or something.

    How you quit cigarettes is interesting, because it strangely seems to go against your over-analytical / under-confrontational personality type. You didn’t spend months analyzing and thinking about it… You just did it. You confronted it very directly.

  3. Digger Jones says:

    I feel another article, or two brewing.

    Yeah, Cat, it is annoying to constantly be guilted and pressured into something that may not work at all. The hucksters are getting rich off of all things autistic.

    I did a lot of reading, not just of these articles but other peer reviewed journals in the field of sex and marriage counseling. It is true, there is some good evidence that it works much of the time. Who does it work for? Desmond hit it partly in the last thread, namely among couples who are not severely bad off. But there are other mitigating circumstances such as who is initiating the process, and the specific problems that are being addressed.

    In your article, FTN, I was rather hoping you would have delved deeper into your own process. Arwyn is like a magnified image of Autumn.

    “Are you willing to do anything to save your marriage?”

    What was Autumn’s answer? Don’t tell me. I already know. “I don’t know” is Arwyn’s favorite answer to any question involving any relational depth. Actually it’s almost her favorite answer to any question requiring a decision.

    For a guy whose experience with counseling was marginal, you keep hitting that button awfully hard. and often.


  4. Cat says:

    Am I missing an important part of the puzzle? Because I don’t recall reading that you are against going to see a counselor. It seems that question is a moot point if your wife won’t even look at a book. One of the things that frustrates me is the notion that I should go on some kind of quest to find the miracle pill or the secret code or the secret food that is going to make my son wake up and not be autistic anymore. Instead of the endless stories of that article someone read about the child in california, or the special they saw on 20/20 where they went through this 6 week redirection exercise…. what I would really love is practical advice on how to live with and raise my son WITH autism. Not giving up of course but facing the reality that he is autistic and I still want to have a life for myself and my other son with my autistic son included.

    When someone leaves the comment “seek counseling” it implies that both spouses are willing. What I read from your last post and this one was “what is the next step” what do I do to cope if I am not willing for moral reasons to divorce and my wife is not willing to seek counseling as an alternative but I still need to live, to cope with things day to day.

    I am not against counseling and I didn’t get the impression that you were either but I don’t think it’s a cure all either. Is there a such thing as a cure all? I guess I am a skeptic…

  5. Emily says:

    I absolutely relate when you and Cat talk about all the crap people push at you with something like autism. We have a similar issue with chronic fatigue syndrome and some of the Big Dude’s other issues. Because there really is no one cure, or possibly any cure, snake oil abounds. Its reasonable to try the things that sound reasonable, and we have and we do.

    But a person can’t spend every minute of their lives trying every crapulous thing, or even trying to get well. They have to LIVE their lives, too.

    And Cat, I also relate to what you say about focussing on skills for living with your autistic son as he is, even while hoping for some improvement. Some of my Big Dude’s physical health problems may possibly be cured or improved, but not all. And anyway, he will still have PTSD. He will still have a sleep disorder. And meanwhile, he is getting older as well. There are certain things that just have to be lived with. And they don’t mean that that person is somehow a lesser person or not worth the trouble.

    I noticed in those therapy articles Digger put here, there is not just the issue of how to *change* certain things, it can also be about learning to *accept* certain things.

    I don’t think counselling or any other kind of therapy is a magical cure all. But my experience of individual counselling for a few months more than a decade ago was mostly positive. It did help me.

    But it didn’t really help me in any magical way, it was more an avenue to focus on certain issues and get a reality check. It’s quite difficult, when immersed in a demanding daily life, to really turn inward for any length of time and stay focused for long enough to make progress. Ultimately, I think counselling turned me to having faith in myself rather than some ongoing dependence on my counsellor. It helped me to trust my instincts more. It helped me to be more confident. And mostly, it helped me to focus on what to *do* to improve my life and also gave me a bit of an accountability mechanism because I was implicitly expected to report back on what I’d done and how it was going.

    I seem to be going throught a pretty hard time at the moment, and I have decided to see a counsellor again.

    I think it’s worth a shot, anyway. I don’t feel like I have a lot to lose.


  6. JeN says:

    everyone likes to think they’re right, which is why there’s all those so-called failproof crock methods out there.
    not only has the “try this” phenomenon delevoped, but now it seems that everyone can write a book as well (and all those randoms who do write books get interviews on “oprah”!).

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