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Jul. 27th, 2002

I wonder... do the "helpers" on LJ (the "oh! I'm here for you! Let me be your friend, your protector, your confidant!" sort of people that pop up sometimes during emotional crisis) actually sit down and read a selection of self help books before they become a certified "helper" or do they just come up with this stuart smalley pap off the top of their head?

I've been known to throw in an encouraging word and an "I'm here for you" now and again. There's a world of differnce between that and Dr. Phil/women who love too much/men are from mars/oprah's book club/richard simmons/lets all cry together crap that a lot of these people spew. The new agey, feel good, let's all grab a wiffle-ball bat therapy sessions that saw their biggest boom in the late 60s aren't much different in the deliverance ceremonies of modern charismatic ministries.

You blame your parents. They blame the demons.
It's all the same thing.
Most "therapists" are just "exorcists"
And most "dysfunctional people" are just "demon afflicted"

I don't understand (from a real objective view) the sort of mentality that's helped and healed through the self-help book mantra growing. I don't understand how we can all be soooooo 'special and unique' but at the same time be alike enough that this one book can cover every contingency of our human condition.

For me, it's bullshit. Utter bullshit. And its adherents are desperate people with empty lives who are stunned and startled that they aren't feeling anything or feeling what they *want* to be feeling and need the hollows to be filled with *anything* ... even lies.
And the people who repeat these mantras and koans and bon mots of the self-affirmation squads are wanna be pundits and models and book writers themselves. They want to "help people".

It's most offensive on LJ I think because, we're only seeing the part of the picture the writer wants us to see. Ministering to someone and just assuming that they're telling it like it is, 100%, no lies, no twists, no fabrications of any sort... isn't that just a wee bit short sighted? Why yes it is. Do the "helpers" care? No, not at all! And why not? Because they do it for THEMSELVES, not the person they're supposedly helping.

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( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
wrekehavoc
Aug. 4th, 2002 07:26 pm (UTC)
pardon the delayed reaction, but i have been away...

while it is not destined to be a great work of english literature, the sequel to bridget jones' diary -- bridget jones, the edge of reason -- has some delightful skewering of self-help books and mantras (and the people who inhale them -- hee, could be a book in itself, now, couldn't it) as a big part of the story.

and believe me, i think skewering is in order. certainly some kabobs, at least.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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