Saturday, June 9, 2018

On Treatment and Normal Distributions

I've been doing therapy and taking a therapy class for almost a year now, and it's been helping me so much. For the longest time, I believed that therapy would brainwash me into changing my beliefs or into being a different kind of person than I want to be, but so far, therapy and my group have helped me to better achieve the goals that I want to achieve and to be the person that I want to be. I get scared a lot of times because I've seen these programs on youtube where kids who were screaming about everyone else being horrible to them will come out of a program being brainwashed into thinking that everything is their own responsibility and acting like mature, responsible adults when that didn't seem to be what they personally wanted to be like before they were sent to the program. And it scared me that that was going to happen to me. But it didn't. I'm still intact, I'm still untamable, and I haven't gotten brainwashed into growing up or taking responsibility for things that other people did to me.

If you are in therapy and you are questioning whether it's working for you, ask yourself if you have been better able to achieve your personal goals and to do things that you personally want to do since you have started the therapy. Make sure that you are moving towards who you want to be, not away from it.

In my therapy group, everyone is different. Everyone has different interests and personal goals, different things we want to work on, and different places that we hope to end up when the therapy is over. And that to me is a green flag of the group working well. It would be a red flag to me if everyone came out of it having the same goals, when we entered having different goals.

When it comes to figuring out if a treatment program might be right for you, look at the diversity of interests and paths that people take after completing the program. And look for *normal distributions* of personality traits and interests. I wrote a blog post about this years ago relating to schools, but it is important for treatment programs as well. I would be very, very wary of a treatment program where everyone comes out of it being super outgoing and loving to be around people most of the time, when 26-50% of people in the US are introverts. Logically, there should be at least *some* introverts in the treatment program. If everyone comes out being an extrovert, something is not right. I'd be very suspicious of what is going on. The same is true with beliefs. 75-98% of high school students don't like school, so if the majority of people come out of a treatment program excited about working hard in school, that is a huge red flag of brainwashing. 70-85% of people don't like their jobs, so if the majority of people come out of a treatment program excited to go to work, that is also a red flag, unless they feel that way because they have all found new jobs that that prefer to their old jobs. Basically, if there is no brainwashing or manipulation going on, I want to see roughly the same distributions in people coming out of a treatment program that you would see in the general population.

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