Psychology, Mental Health, and Psychoanalysis

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Psychology, Mental Health, and Psychoanalysis

Post by Admin on Wed Jun 21, 2017 11:02 am

Any thoughts related to these subjects could go here, although again it is up to poster.

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Re: Psychology, Mental Health, and Psychoanalysis

Post by Jae on Fri Jun 23, 2017 12:47 am

Repressed memories are essentially blocked memories, which are memories that are created but buried for traumatic reasons. Dissociative amnesia is alternately a trauma that is so significant that the memory was not created in the first place.

I think it could be likely that people may be suffering from repressed memories without knowing, and considering the statistics of things such as domestic violence and child abuse, I'm sure many people have. Other times like someone mentioned before, it's just typical forgetting of various things, getting older, getting busier, making memories that carry more significance and push out the smaller memories, etc.

In regards to the debunked Freudian theory, I've not seen much in the way of people repeating traumatic situations by themselves (aside from children who grew up in homes with domestic violence finding abusive partners when they grow up). However, there is something to therapists utilizing exposure to traumatic events in order to neutralize the trauma. We have a form of therapy called Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Basically we have the client compose a detailed record of the trauma they experienced, and we repeatedly read the record while processing thoughts and feelings to desensitize them to the trauma and neutralize the PTSD. So in a way, we force them to revisit the traumas whether or not they do it independently.

I think with Disney traumas, Up was pretty loaded and realistic in the sense that Russell's parents are split up, and while his father is not absent, his involvement is extremely minimal and he has a girlfriend or stepmother who dislikes Russell. How many kids have that childhood nightmare to revisit?

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Re: Psychology, Mental Health, and Psychoanalysis

Post by Admin on Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:37 pm

Jae, thanks so much. You've tapped into an important issue. The orevailance of domestic violence and abuse is such an undercurrent.

I think understanding the dynamics is vital. I look forward to hearing from Dee and Laua on this. I certainly suffer front PTSD, but it has faded and neutralized as I age. I think my wife has all kinds of issues she has never dealt with. It scared me last year.

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Re: Psychology, Mental Health, and Psychoanalysis

Post by laurav on Fri Jun 23, 2017 7:36 pm

It is common for clients to claim they re-remember something that they had forgotten. That was part of my reason for asking.

It's been a long week and dealing with some heavy issues. But I'll circle back later tonight after Zoe's asleep.

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Re: Psychology, Mental Health, and Psychoanalysis

Post by Admin on Fri Jun 23, 2017 8:39 pm

I'm sorry to hear that, Laura. I hope everyone in our four musketeer's group feels free to share and that this is a safe place to go to be vulnerable. Like I said, that's my concern about adding people.

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Re: Psychology, Mental Health, and Psychoanalysis

Post by laurav on Fri Jun 23, 2017 9:23 pm

Admin wrote:I'm sorry to hear that, Laura. I hope everyone in our four musketeer's group feels free to share and that this is a safe place to go to be vulnerable. Like I said, that's my concern about adding people.

Thanks, James. I'm not sure I'm ready to talk about said issue I am dealing with. Maybe later.

In regards to Jae's post, I'd be interested in hearing her perspective on what happened during my trial yesterday because maybe I am just way off and bringing my own baggage to the trial. Also, I am not a licensed therapist.

So, as everyone may recall, there was that judge who was flying in the face of the case law over the continuance? Well, she was the judge also for this trial (oh, joy). She had just replaced the previous judge, and he knew what was up, and had been really good on the case in my opinion.

So my client is a 24 year old with two children. A three year old with the man in question and an older child with another father. She has no criminal record, mental illness diagnosed, works a steady job at an underwriter's company. She has definitely had an issue with staying in an abusive relationships, however.

She was married to a veteran who had PTSD and in the last two years had been arrested for multiple counts of domestic violence against my client, his new girlfriend, and the stepchild. In regards to the stepchild, social services (DCF here) had forced my client to leave and imposed a lifetime injunction between the older child and my client's husband because he had thrown her down the stairs and beat her with a belt leading to criminal charges. The pictures showed severe bruising on the older child.

The previous judge had imposed limited contact between the husband and the three year old because of the child abuse with the older child and likelihood that would translate to abuse of the younger child.

So this should have been a slam dunk for us. We presented a very solid case in chief and got in all the convictions, arrests, abuse reports and so forth into evidence. The other side did not even try very hard because the attorney assumed the dad would get at best every other weekend. They presented no negative evidence against my client as far as her parenting and stability.

The judge ruled at the end of the trial that the husband was a vet who had been diagnosed with PTSD for 'serving our country' and 'should have liberal access to his child.' Therefore, she ruled that husband has to complete a batterer's intervention class within ten days and can then have 50/50--three days on/three days off with his three year old daughter.

Am I missing something here? I was floored. As I told my client, all I can see happening is something traumatic to the child like did the older child, and then we'll be back in court again, but now the three year old will probably have plenty of her own repressed memories to deal with. So if he attends a batterer's intervention course, everything will be hunky dory?

I've been sick to my stomach over this. I do not understand it at all, and I had thought we had this in the bag because the case against him was so strong. I felt so bad I told my client I would come back for free on the post-judgment motion to suspend his timesharing if/when he gets arrested again for domestic violence.

What message are we sending women who flee from domestic violence to protect their children?

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Re: Psychology, Mental Health, and Psychoanalysis

Post by Admin on Fri Jun 23, 2017 9:45 pm

I don't mean to jump in here since I am no expert, but I call bullshit on this judge.

This really, really upsets me. 1) I am a vet, also diagnosed with PTSD. I've had my issues, but I never laid a hand on my wife or children. So for someone in a position of authority to basically say we expect that little of you because your "damaged goods," and the condescending "I feel sorry for you." That's a slap in the face to all the vets getting up everyday and doing the right thing.

PTSD does not make you a wife and child beater, and it is not an excuse. That judge needs to get off the stupid train and look reality in the face.

2) I have watched documentaries and read about this before, but domestic violence is not "cured" by classes. Just do a quick google search about those classes. If something is so broken in someone's personality that they'll become violent to a child or their wife, a class is not going to fix it.

WTF is wrong with people? The judge should make him prove he is changed before he is seeing a little, vulnerable girl that much. Really makes the whole justice system out to be a joke. I saw on CNN that Lisa Ling program on CNN last fall. It's horrifying to watch, but it shows all these instances of rape victims being forced to share custody with their attackers. WTH is up with the world we live in? And this is the legal system? The people entrusted with applying the law with wisdom and impartiality?

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Re: Psychology, Mental Health, and Psychoanalysis

Post by Jae on Sat Jun 24, 2017 2:33 am

So it is frustrating to hear these cases and I wish I could say it was the location, but we have similar situations here, in fact we have a case where the father has been severely physically abusive to his wife, sent her to the hospital a few times, broke her fingers in front of her children, horribly controlling, blackmailed her into quitting her job as a school teacher by saying that he would publicize intimate photos he had taken of her...just an all around dickhead. But he's extremely charismatic and manipulative, so much that when I met him he made my skin crawl. He denies everything, has an amazing lawyer, and finagled his custody from 30/70 to 50/50. He somehow blackmailed mom into having her lawyer remove a batterer's class from her mandates in court orders and there's no official documents of domestic violence on record anymore. He's now trying to say mom's incapable of caring for the children. We're currently treating three of his kids and have had to file child abuse reports on 2 of them based on what the kids shared with us. Dad clearly coached the children before the social worker came and they denied everything they had said to the therapists. So far DCFS and the judge have done nothing to him.

I don't understand this kind of shit. I don't understand why horrible parents are given so many chances, but especially just because they're a vet. If anything, the PTSD should be the biggest red flag. I agree PTSD does not make you a batterer, typically I feel that's something you learned in childhood, or it's the substance abuse that often comes along with wartime PTSD that causes violent behaviors.

I will argue that I believe with intensive treatment, batterers can change their behaviors, what blows me away is that he is ordered to complete the classes in 10 days? In CA, a court order into a batterer's class is an automatic 52 week course. I've never heard of someone getting less than that. I can totally understand your reaction and frustration with this case...these kids will be having tons of therapy to look forward to.

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Re: Psychology, Mental Health, and Psychoanalysis

Post by Admin on Sat Jun 24, 2017 10:21 am

Jae you have got to be f***** kidding. How in the hell would judges allow that tthis happen? I am blown away.

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Re: Psychology, Mental Health, and Psychoanalysis

Post by laurav on Sat Jun 24, 2017 12:00 pm

That is a really good question, Jae. Because my notes are showing 'complete within ten days' so I am wondering if the judge is referring to 'enroll'? This judge just does not seem to know the law very well and does not seem to value clarity or attention to the facts. I'll have a transcript from court reporter soon and can check.

That is a horrifying story, Jae, and it is disheartening that these issues seem to occur regardless of political landscape of state.

50/50 timesharing has been a fad that swept the nation because It seems at first glance to correct gender inequality (not to mention men and often women who would not otherwise be involved in their kids' lives want it because it reduces child support drastically).

A lot of people feel men are disadvantaged by virtue of gender in family law. I actually think it is much more complicated than that and actually many women are far more disadvantaged than we realize, but our society has swept up those structural disadvantages under the rug. Ignoring domestic violence is one of the ways this takes place--I also saw the document James's referenced. In an effort to be 'fair' to men, in many states we do not prohibit men from being involved despite history of sexual assault against the mother. Ignores actual research but when has he law needed research? This is America. We don't need rationale arguments and peer reviewed studies.

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Re: Psychology, Mental Health, and Psychoanalysis

Post by Dee S on Sat Jun 24, 2017 1:10 pm

Having been in many abusive relationships, suffering PTSD and having seen my children abused by bad choices on my part (and the narcissists that I paired up with), I can't be objective in this at all. I want to cry for that little girl and fear for what kind of traumas she'll endure before his contact with her is severed. I pray it's before he inflicts permanent, or fatal, damage.

Our system is wholly broken. It fails the most vulnerable of citizens - its children. If they are not treated equitably, how can any of us expect to be treated fairly?

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Re: Psychology, Mental Health, and Psychoanalysis

Post by Admin on Sat Jun 24, 2017 9:24 pm

Are we in need of legal reform? Is the legal system just letting too many people down?

I had a run in myself. As many of you may remember, when I closed the Forum in 2011 or whenever that was, I was in middle of agony about whether to leave my wife, and felt she was not motivated to work on the marriage nor interested in the kids.

Fast forward we end up moving back to a Texas. She's getting sicker as we're waiting on this new chemo treatment and awake maybe five hours a day. I am working long hours and trying to take care of the kids as much as possible since many days, she is just asleep for entire day.

Fast forward again, we complete chemo treatment circa 2015. Things are finally on the up and up, or so I think. She leaves with the kids abruptly to a place three hours from where we live. Files for divorce. And you'd better believe she wants alimony, half the house, the kids, retirement, and child support.

However the kids are not doing well and are calling me freaking out because she's locked herself in the bathroom for hours at a time and is screaming at them to clean the house. They want to live with me. Just totally unhinged stuff.

I end up hiring an attorney and he drafts a document to appoint a GAL. My wife has my tablet in her possession, and I have not logged out. She reads the stuff from my attorney and gets scared (that's why I said, Laura, that I regret ever deriding family law attorneys).

She ends up reconciling with me on her own volition. Things have been better since then, but if she'd gone forward or if I ever choose to leave, I feel like I'd possibly lose the kids and be paying alimony and support for the rest of my life to her. So I don't feel like there is any good solution for me in the legal system other than to suck it up.

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Re: Psychology, Mental Health, and Psychoanalysis

Post by laurav on Sun Jun 25, 2017 12:08 am

Well family law seems to have an inherent problem in favoring behavior that is less than desirable. Someone willing to play dirty and be more manipulative can run a much greater chance of getting the outcome they want than someone who does not.

I have seen women take men to the cleaners (and admittedly helped many women do so). Likewise, very controlling men will force a woman to forego career opportunities and stay at home with the children, inflict domestic violence, and so forth and then quit their job voluntarily during the 'pre divorce staging.' It is not uncommon for men and women to consult with attorneys beforehand and prepare to game the system.

Yes, there are remedies for voluntary unemployment but it involves lengthy litigation and ultimately trials can turn into vey arbitrary affairs.

I think you are in a tough spot, James, a very tough spot should you want to leave your marriage. But I know nothing about Texas law. However, the behavior you have described over the years has seemed concerning and manipulative at times.

I am actually a GAL (guardian as litem) as well, and do it voluntarily when needed by the state in dependency cases, which is where the state removes children from the home and places them in foster care or with relatives because of abuse, neglect or abandonment.

I try to avoid even sharing those stories as it is incredibly depressing. It also means I am a mandated reporter under state law. So it is very frustrating to see the obliviousness or apathy of DCF and the judicial system in these cases. I especially hate the absurd number of chances the parents have to get their shit together before termination occurs.

I don't think the judges, regardless of their political bents, are very well informed of the research and dynamics behind a lot of this. For example, I doubt this judge would have known what an 'ACE' score was if she was questioned on it, or she would not have placed a toddler whose older sister has been removed from the home back in that situation.

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Re: Psychology, Mental Health, and Psychoanalysis

Post by laurav on Sun Jun 25, 2017 12:09 am

I should mention by the way, that I've done same sex divorces, and the dynamics tend to be similar.

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Re: Psychology, Mental Health, and Psychoanalysis

Post by laurav on Sun Jun 25, 2017 12:48 pm

I do think it'd nice to have more people. That one Forum though, Know Thyself, they are certifiable nuts. Where do we go from here?

I am in the middle of more weekend trial prep today, but after I get through this week, I am hoping things will slow down a little, and I am open to trying to recruit some new people if we know where to look?

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Re: Psychology, Mental Health, and Psychoanalysis

Post by laurav on Sun Jun 25, 2017 12:49 pm

By the way, Jae--have you started Orange is the New Black Season Five yet? I'm almost done, so I won't go into spoilers if you have not.

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Re: Psychology, Mental Health, and Psychoanalysis

Post by Dee S on Sun Jun 25, 2017 1:54 pm

My dad taught me young that the only ones who win in court are the fee collecting clerks. Everyone loses something in court. If not the case, their self respect, compassion, honesty or family. There's always a compromise to be made.

With him being a cop, he saw the worst of humankind. He saw some pretty awesome things too but sadly the negative over-rides that. I think that's why he's the hate filled, self centered, grouch he's become. I have compassion for him but I won't subject myself to his kind of "love". It's unhealthy.

James, you went through hell. I'm so sorry to hear all of what you, your wife and kids have been through.

Laura, you have a big heart. In your profession that can be a liability but I hope you never lose it. Family law can break you but you're just the type of person these families need. Please never stop caring but don't let it eat at you either. You do the best you can for all of them but you're not the one making the final decisions. You can try to remedy the bad decisions (How the hell did she think it was OK to return that child?!!) but sometimes it's fully out of your hands.

I watch OITNB also but haven't started it yet. I'm still watching Legends from a few years ago. It was cancelled but I was deep in the story before I found that out. I tend to binge watch when my normal shows are in hiatus. Can't wait until GOT is back. The season seems to go way too fast though.

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Re: Psychology, Mental Health, and Psychoanalysis

Post by Jae on Sun Jun 25, 2017 7:12 pm

Many judges don't seem to have the research, but as family court judges, there should be a requirement to remain abreast of that research, continuing education requirements of sorts like therapists have.

I feel like the system has tried to correct the imbalance of favoritism towards moms in custody battles, but it's so inconsistent and scattered and misused that often times fathers who don't deserve custody get it and fathers that should either have 50/50 or even full custody don't get it. Oddly my cousin got 50/50 and had the kid living with him 4-5 days a week (mom had him friday through sunday), but he still had to pay child support to the kid's mother. It seems this would have been your situation had things taken a different turn for you James.

In this case though, it seems the judge clearly specified that because this man was a vet, he deserved his kids, no matter what his mental status was.

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Re: Psychology, Mental Health, and Psychoanalysis

Post by Jae on Sun Jun 25, 2017 7:12 pm

P.S. Got through Orange by the skin of my teeth, the first five episodes were mostly aggravating and I almost stopped watching altogether. It got better at the end...

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Re: Psychology, Mental Health, and Psychoanalysis

Post by Admin on Sun Jun 25, 2017 7:57 pm

Some of these situations just seem like lose-lose. I dunno. Laura's trial was clearly a miscarriage of justice, but if she is a new judge, perhaps she'll actually be informed at some point in her career and make better decisions.

But that's another thing. No way of knowing who you'll end up with as a judge. Another random factor thrown in there in a sea of randomness.

Perhaps it is all existential angst anyway? We're adrift in chaos without any purpose or meaning, right or wrong path.

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