advice on self help and Mr Robbins :(
Posted by: Artimus ()
Date: March 14, 2010 11:39AM


I’m new here but have a question that deeply concerns me often.

Firstly not to sound biased or one sided. I do actually have treatment for depression, panic and periods of irrational thinking, mostly CBT but I value professional trained help. And it does make a huge difference to my world view and ability to cope.

So I genuinely and truly love my partner and she is an amazing person, and despite my illness or the effect of it when I suffer. I care deeply for her.

But my concern is this.

We are all allowed to question or to be uncertain, or to be flawed in some capacity.

But my partner seems to be very hooked up on self help books, and Tony Robbins or a lot of things that involve 10 steps or personal accounts of triumph overcoming tragedy.

Now I’ve watched some of his stuff and read huge reviews and critiques of his methods. I also understand that words are very powerful indeed, and I do enjoy etymology. However I also understand the influence of “Confessional Power” and the ability it holds over people who are either vulnerable or in difficult times in life.

I see my doctors and psychiatrist and talk to friends, but I don’t always agree. And I realise too they never try and put words or thoughts in my mouth, merely observe and offer suggestion. And for my benefit I write out my thoughts and try to rationalise them if I feel i’m struggling. And always remain open to compromise.

But I have found some very constructive arguments against people like Mr Robbins and this whole cult of self. Or their manipulation of others. It’s like the notion of power emotions?

Now I am over a barrel on this though. Because I do dearly love my partner, and yet suffer illness. I am at a loss to say that I find it very subversive or controlling. That it denies you intellectual freedom or a natural emotional voice. Also the props, words and phrases are mostly vacant and empty statements that are designed to mislead or pull you away from reasoned logic.

If I dare make any critique of her beliefs or try to have an open discussion, I am told it is my illness or that I am the one who is controlling or negative or destructive and paranoid.

Thing is I know the difference between my being irrational and the fact I care for her. And that this whole concept of the super self or power self is not normal. This eternal seeking? Everyone has dreams and desires regardless of who or what they are.

I also believe in God but I often wonder why, and I am allowed to question this and the notion of religion. but to me it is deeply personal, nor do I expect others to agree or believe. I like my atheist friends as much as those I know who believe. It gives me balance. Nor would I be foolish enough to assert I am 100% correct in my beliefs, but it gives me hope often. My partner is a lot more devout than me too.

Thing is I respect her right to make choices, to hold her beliefs. But due to me often being ill I find it very difficult to approach this subject for fear of being told I’m mocking?

In reality I genuinely love and care, but people like Mr Robbins genuinely concern and worry me with their over simplistic self promotion. In a way to me it seems a contradiction? they talk about the self and how to be the self and grow the self or what ever it is they manufacture, yet at the same time they are hijacking somebody else's self with their mesmeric cunning.

It concerns me deeply.

Any clues on how to tackle this? Right now I have realised space and off topic while I think more constructively seems wise. But it is distressing.

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