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The INTP's guide to therapy

snowqueen

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#1
INTPs tend to have a fairly high incidence of mental and emotional distress and in today's over-pathologised world where everything is a sign of some disorder or other, and where the slightest bit of odd behaviour means you are recommended to go to therapy I thought I would offer my personal insights into the world of therapy for any of you considering therapy or being recommended or referred.


Disclaimer: this is my personal opinion and does not constitute advice!!!

Psychoanalysis
Psychoanalysis is originally based on Freud’s theories of mind and behaviour and provides treatment of emotional and psychological ‘illness’ through uncovering unconscious or repressed drives, confronting and challenging defences and self-destructive patterns. Psychoanalysis is a structuralist approach in that it has made up a set of structures, such as id, ego, superego, and believes these really exist.
INTPs can get hooked into psychoanalysis because the ideas are quite seductive – we love structures and meta-analysis. The analyst is not very intrusive so the best outcome for the INTP in psychoanalysis is that they end up broke because they are so complex and changeable they’ll be going to analysis for years (in fact psychoanalysts probably rub their hands with glee when an INTP enters the room). The worst outcome is that they become paranoid as they get lost in the horrors of their own mind or in multiple possibilities.

Psychodynamic psychotherapy
Probably the most toxic form of therapy for INTPs and should be avoided at all costs. It’s based on similar principles to psychoanalysis except that the method of treatment is inextricably linked to the relationship between the therapist and client. The relationship of power in psychodynamic psychotherapy is firmly balanced towards the therapist. The INTP will find themselves being probed, challenged, questioned and every small sign of resistance will be pathologised and presented back to you as evidence of your utter incapacity to function as a normal human being in the emotional world (as if we didn’t know). Worse still, the psychodynamic therapist always has a box of tissues in their room because they think that if they can get you to cry, then you are ‘releasing’ some block. They are the ones who encourage you to express emotion because that is evidence that they have made you have some kind of insight. The INTP will disassemble slowly until there is nothing left and have no clue how to put themselves back together.

The PDPT pretend to be objective by saying little and stroking their chin and going ‘hmmm’ but really they love the power they have over you in the consulting room. They pretend to be developing an intimate, trusting relationship with you but they never invite you back home for dinner or even smile at you in the street. Don’t be fooled.

E-types love psychodynamic psychotherapy because it’s the first time they’ve realised they have something going on inside and it’s amazing and fascinating. That’s why they’re always trying to get you to do it! SF-types love it because they can pay someone to listen to the drivel that comes out of their mouths.

However, INTPs can actually use the theory of psychodynamics quite well on their own to analyse some of their patterns. The theory has some merits, it’s just the therapy that’s toxic.


Rogerian psychotherapy (often known as person-centred counselling too)
is a more benign form of psychodynamic psychotherapy because it is much less intrusive and is mainly about providing a safe space for the client to explore their issues with someone who is behaving in an accepting and non-judgemental manner. INTPs can benefit from short bursts if they are stuck on a particular issue. But the INTP will quickly get bored as it offers little intellectual stimulation.


Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
CBT is a structured method to help the client analyse and understand the link between emotion, thoughts and behaviour. It’s quite J in it’s orientation as it classifies emotions, thoughts and behaviours as ‘dysfunctional’ or ‘functional’ and the purpose of the therapy is to make them functional through making you aware of how they operate dynamically. So if you have road rage, they get you to identify the thought that triggers it, look at it logically and then invite you to substitute a more useful one. So that might be ‘that bastard keeps cutting me up’ to ‘hmm that person is driving erratically, maybe I’ll slow down until he’s out of range’. The trouble with CBT is that the therapists are so up their own smug arses because they think they’ve found the solution to everything. So that will piss off an INTP who is better off just going and buying a few books on CBT and trying out the ideas themselves. There are lots of useful ideas and techniques to choose from.


Solution Focused Brief Therapy
Is one of the post-structuralist therapies in that it doesn’t have an underlying theory of the person. Instead it is based on the idea that talking about something in a different way can open up a set of different possibilities. It’s based on three simple principles, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, if it’s not working do something different, when you find what works, do more of that. In solution focused therapy you are invited to imagine a preferred future, notice what you are doing now that works, and set one small step towards your preferred future (but not map out every step). It’s like a neat algorithm for finding solutions. It’s good for INTPs who are stuck over a life situation because it’s clean and simple and non-intrusive and because we are the masters of possibility it plays to our strengths. The therapist knows they are not the expert in your life so the power balance is shifted on to the client. It’s not so good for the angst we feel as it doesn’t really deal with any inner experiences.


Narrative Therapy
Is similar to Solution Focused Therapy in that it focuses on what is good, positive and working about the person in the past, present and future, and also believes that change happens in the talking/language rather than needing some complicated theory about the person. In narrative therapy you are invited to story and re-story your life narratives to explore different and more useful ways of describing yourself. The idea being that we all construct our narratives about ourselves and that is what forms our identity and experience but often we construct negative ones either because we are picking out only parts of what’s available or because of what we’ve been told about ourselves. In Narrative therapy you are reclaiming and reforming your story with fresh evidence or perspectives. It’s an excellent therapy for INTP because it engages our imagination, gives us control and satisfies our desire to analyse and most important, it’s open-ended which keeps the P happy.
 

The Fury

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#2
Have you ever been to therapy? I know you worked/work as one but you seem to have a serious dislike for psychologists. When I was in college, I choose psychology as an elective and spent three years studying it. I found the lecturer had a god complex and saw the whole world in black and white. I've met a lot of therapists (not professionally) and found most of them to be egotists.

It's one of the reasons, I would be reluctant go to therapy.
 
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#3
I have the opinion that if I cannot fix something within myself by myself, it will never be fixed.

So narrative therapy does seem the best out of those...but really, who needs therapy when you have INTP forum? ;)
 

snowqueen

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#4
Have you ever been to therapy? I know you worked/work as one but you seem to have a serious dislike for psychologists. When I was in college, I choose psychology as an elective and spent three years studying it. I found the lecturer had a god complex and saw the whole world in black and white. I've met a lot of therapists (not professionally) and found most of them to be egotists.

It's one of the reasons, I would be reluctant go to therapy.
I have been in psychodynamic psychotherapy twice - once I found it quite useful but not helpful if that makes sense, the other time it reduced me to a gibbering wreck because the therapist went straight for my emotional jugular clearly not realising that it would make me run in the opposite direction and never go back. I think most psychological therapists have serious power issues and are on a bit of power trip. Because psychologists think their discipline is a science (excuse me while I choke with laughter) and it's about people they think that they are an authority on others which is why I think they are arrogant. They have more in common with priests.

I have been in Rogerian counselling twice and it was very helpful both times because I had a specific issue each time.

I am a solution focused brief therapist and have found it quite useful, but not as useful as many of my clients have, ironically.

While I don't doubt that many people find therapy useful, the guide was written for INTPs and actually I think we are the type most likely to be damaged by unsuitable therapies which is why I wrote the guide.
 

snowqueen

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#5
I have the opinion that if I cannot fix something within myself by myself, it will never be fixed.

So narrative therapy does seem the best out of those...but really, who needs therapy when you have INTP forum? ;)
Yes I think INTPs need to retain control of their own processes and do have the capacity to transform themselves. Frankly I've found the forum to be more useful in gaining a sense of calm, purpose, identity and comfort than any therapy I've ever undertaken. But I quite fancy some narrative therapy just for the fun of it! ;)
 
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#6
Great post, snowqueen. I could have used this guide a few years ago. From what I have seen, I have to agree with your assessment. The one therapist I've been to must have been into psychodinamic psychotherapy. It sucked. All the "expressing your anger" deal only managed to alienate the rationals in my life.

I distrust therapists so much I kept away from them when dealing with depression. I can only wonder how much people do they screw up further.
 

Gorgrim

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#7
Nice post... i really had no idea how these people work. intereresting !
 

snoop

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#8
The reason why you go to therapy is not because you need advice. Most of the time, I think INTP or INTJ thought of those solutions anyway. The difficult thing is that you CANNOT do what you know you need to do. So the incentive is that you have someone to talk to when you have ABSOLUTELY no one to turn to... and it's a driving force to draw you out your shell. The physical motions and interactions just give you something slightly positive to turn around.
 

snowqueen

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#9
The reason why you go to therapy is not because you need advice. Most of the time, I think INTP or INTJ thought of those solutions anyway. The difficult thing is that you CANNOT do what you know you need to do. So the incentive is that you have someone to talk to when you have ABSOLUTELY no one to turn to... and it's a driving force to draw you out your shell. The physical motions and interactions just give you something slightly positive to turn around.
That's a really good observation, snoop. Yes - and in that sort of situation, solution focused methods are really useful and maybe CBT. The problem is that if you end up in one of the psychodynamic methods you might end up thinking you've got a whole load of problems you don't have or worse - you don't have the energy to do even the small amount you were doing.

In my early 20s I became a near-complete recluse and it was Yoga that got me out of that.
 
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#10
Out of interest, what type of yoga?

I've found that certain forms of Tantra can quickly reprogram loathing/withdrawal/contempt to love/forwardness/affirmation.
 

The Fury

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#11
Is there a big difference between psychiatrists and psychologists. Or is it just a matter of psychiatrists being able to provide you with medication.
 

Kianara

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#12
I was in therapy for a year and a half. I think it was probably PDPT. It seemed like my therapist's only goal was to get me to cry; she had about 4 boxes of tissues in the room. At the time I was extremely emotionally voltile and it was a strain to not cry, but I did it anyway.

I hate crying. I see it as weakness. Having to go visit somebody who was supposed to "help" me and have them mentally attack me was not what I needed at the time. Or ever for that matter.

Then, after an hour of trying to pry me open and telling me how if I didn't open up I was a hopeless case, she would invite my mother in (I was 14-15 at the time). Then my ENFJ mother would come in, listen as my therapist gave a very grave, sad vision of how I was and would be (unless I "opened up"). She would cry, I'd feel terrible, and we'd write her a check.

I stopped going last summer and haven't let my mother drag me back yet.
 
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#13
......I choose psychology as an elective and spent three years studying it. I found the lecturer had a god complex and saw the whole world in black and white. I've met a lot of therapists (not professionally) and found most of them to be egotists.
so did i.

i also agree (to some degree) with you, cinna.

i'm very interested in psychoendoneuroimmunology and tend to gravitate to more holistic therapies now but i do endorse CBT though (self-study through a workbook instead of seeing a therapist).
 

Jennywocky

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#14
I was in therapy for a year and a half. I think it was probably PDPT. It seemed like my therapist's only goal was to get me to cry; she had about 4 boxes of tissues in the room. At the time I was extremely emotionally voltile and it was a strain to not cry, but I did it anyway.

I hate crying. I see it as weakness. Having to go visit somebody who was supposed to "help" me and have them mentally attack me was not what I needed at the time. Or ever for that matter.
It seems crazy to me to try and force someone to cry when their psychology is directly opposed to it.

I found when I was a teen that I despised tears. I had cried more when I was younger but loathed it because it always happened in context of my parents frustrating me to no end. So it was a sign of weakness and powerlessness and irrationality to cry. I hated being vulnerable to them (especially my father) and so I just stopped crying.

In the past few years I did regain the ability to do it; but now it's to express depth of emotion or release tension and just sort of happens on its own (lasts a short while, then is gone, and I feel better after). Notably, it did not become part of my natural ebb/flow until after I addressed the underlying issues.

"Not crying" was not the problem, it was the other stuff that led to crying being such a crappy thing that was the problem, and resolving those changed the rest.

* * * *

As far as the OP goes (which I thought was pretty cool, thank you for sharing your thoughts):

Psychoanalysis:
...E-types love psychodynamic psychotherapy because it’s the first time they’ve realised they have something going on inside and it’s amazing and fascinating. That’s why they’re always trying to get you to do it! SF-types love it because they can pay someone to listen to the drivel that comes out of their mouths.

However, INTPs can actually use the theory of psychodynamics quite well on their own to analyse some of their patterns. The theory has some merits, it’s just the therapy that’s toxic.
I agree, E's will find more value in it, and yes, I've heard them gush on and on when they finally discover introspection. (It's basically the tree finally realizing it has a core that can be developed, rather than just foliage.) To me, it's too shallow and arbitrary and more about the therapist.

The theories are helpful for some pattern analysis, as you've said; but not for application to INTPs, it's just bu--sh--.

Rogerian psychotherapy (often known as person-centred counselling too)
is a more benign form of psychodynamic psychotherapy because it is much less intrusive and is mainly about providing a safe space for the client to explore their issues with someone who is behaving in an accepting and non-judgemental manner. INTPs can benefit from short bursts if they are stuck on a particular issue. But the INTP will quickly get bored as it offers little intellectual stimulation.
Totally. Very insightful. I think a "safe place" is a great foundation, and my therapist actually did this for me and it worked out well... but I pretty much was driving my own therapy. It was less about her guiding me, more about me feeling comfortable and okay with myself as a person to face the things I had been scared to face but already knew of. It worked because I had already introspected SO much, I knew what I had to do but did not feel safe enough to do it; feelings of acceptance and safety were what I needed.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is a structured method to help the client analyse and understand the link between emotion, thoughts and behaviour. It’s quite J in it’s orientation as it classifies emotions, thoughts and behaviours as ‘dysfunctional’ or ‘functional’ and the purpose of the therapy is to make them functional through making you aware of how they operate dynamically. So if you have road rage, they get you to identify the thought that triggers it, look at it logically and then invite you to substitute a more useful one. So that might be ‘that bastard keeps cutting me up’ to ‘hmm that person is driving erratically, maybe I’ll slow down until he’s out of range’. The trouble with CBT is that the therapists are so up their own smug arses because they think they’ve found the solution to everything. So that will piss off an INTP who is better off just going and buying a few books on CBT and trying out the ideas themselves. There are lots of useful ideas and techniques to choose from.
Yes, I actually really appreciate Cog-Behave Ther, it seems pretty rational to me... and very practical. You don't get hung up on feeling like crap because you've got a problem/weakness, you just look at it as a problem to resolve (which actually is often what most of the issue is -- attaching moral shame to behaviors that are morally neutral and thus undermining ourselves). But in the hands of a J, yes, it can be terrifying.

I don't have a lot to say about the last two, but your assessment of the various therapies pretty much captures the nuggets.
 

EditorOne

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#15
I have found that blowing up stumps is wonderful therapy.

It is somewhat out of vogue these days.
 

snowqueen

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#16
Is there a big difference between psychiatrists and psychologists. Or is it just a matter of psychiatrists being able to provide you with medication.
In the UK psychiatrists are very much doctors who diagnose mental illness and give out drugs etc. Clinical Psychologists are the ones who tend to do specialist therapies and also do various kinds of intelligence and mood testing etc. There are also people who train as psychotherapists from scratch who are neither psychologists or psychiatrists.

In the US I think a lot of psychiatrists are also psychotherapists or analysts.

I could go on about the evils of the psychiatric system at length but I'll restrain myself. Avoid getting involved with it if at all possible!
 

snowqueen

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#17
I was in therapy for a year and a half. I think it was probably PDPT. It seemed like my therapist's only goal was to get me to cry; she had about 4 boxes of tissues in the room. At the time I was extremely emotionally voltile and it was a strain to not cry, but I did it anyway.

I hate crying. I see it as weakness. Having to go visit somebody who was supposed to "help" me and have them mentally attack me was not what I needed at the time. Or ever for that matter.

Then, after an hour of trying to pry me open and telling me how if I didn't open up I was a hopeless case, she would invite my mother in (I was 14-15 at the time). Then my ENFJ mother would come in, listen as my therapist gave a very grave, sad vision of how I was and would be (unless I "opened up"). She would cry, I'd feel terrible, and we'd write her a check.

I stopped going last summer and haven't let my mother drag me back yet.
Oh kia - how horrible - this is exactly why I think this kind of therapy is really toxic for INTP :( I'm sorry to hear this. It may sound a bit extreme but I think this is a form of abuse - sadly your mother has no reason to doubt the veracity of the therapist's opinion because the psychotherapy perspective is so dominant nowadays - it's virtually unquestioned. Your mum is probably doing the best she can - trying to help because she cares about you and doesn't realise how bad it is for you. PM me if you want to discuss alternatives and I might be able to find someone in your area.

i do endorse CBT though (self-study through a workbook instead of seeing a therapist).
Yeah - the workbook is great! I changed a lot of my negative thought patterns.

I have found that blowing up stumps is wonderful therapy.

It is somewhat out of vogue these days.
Bring it back!! I want to blow things up for therapy! (I presume you mean tree stumps ....)
 

snowqueen

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#18
Yes, I actually really appreciate Cog-Behave Ther, it seems pretty rational to me... and very practical. You don't get hung up on feeling like crap because you've got a problem/weakness, you just look at it as a problem to resolve (which actually is often what most of the issue is -- attaching moral shame to behaviors that are morally neutral and thus undermining ourselves)..
The whole of your post was really thoughtful but this stood out for me - a great insight. The moral shame issue is so insidious - in a system of thought where the person is always the site and source of problems then it's inevitably your 'fault'.
 

wadlez

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#19
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rogerian_psychotherapy
Rogerian psychotherapy (often known as person-centred counselling too)
is a more benign form of psychodynamic psychotherapy because it is much less intrusive and is mainly about providing a safe space for the client to explore their issues with someone who is behaving in an accepting and non-judgemental manner. INTPs can benefit from short bursts if they are stuck on a particular issue. But the INTP will quickly get bored as it offers little intellectual stimulation.
I think you may have over looked or have been too quick to summarise this type of therapy.
Before reading in depth about humanistic psychology I thought it was just politically correct bullshit written by spiritual hippys to couter the behavourist and psychoanylitcal movements.
After reading about its approach to therapy and its theorys I would now recommend it as the only form I therapy I think would be affective.
 

wadlez

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#21
I would say effective is positive change in the individual and progress in fixing the problem he/she came in for
 

Carnap

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#22
I like this post, Snowqueen. But just out of curiosity : do you think bipolar disorder does exist? I just don't know what to think.
 

snowqueen

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#23


I would say effective is positive change in the individual and progress in fixing the problem he/she came in for
Hi wadlez,

In research, all therapies have similar outcomes in terms of effectiveness which is around 75%. That means that 25% of people do not find it effective.

What hasn't been researched quite so much is whether one form of therapy is more effective for certain types of people - so the 25% who don't respond to CBT might form part of the 75% of people who do respond to psychodynamic psychotherapy for example. I don't have anything particularly against any form of therapy (though I have serious problems with pure behavioursism) - I have seen all of them work - and not work. But of course there is big competition for superiority among therapies just like among religions and politics! So it's rare for people to focus on the idea that some people respond better to some therapies than others. There are 'integrative' therapists but mostly psychology is looking for the Holy Grail of the one-size fits all therapy.

My point in this post was not to diss particular therapies but to explore what forms of therapy might be more suitable for INTPs both from personal experience and from the experiences of INTP clients I have known. Thus while you are undoubtedly right that Rogerian humanistic therapy is effective for a lot of people, I think that it may not necessarily be that useful for INTPs. There is too little interaction - we are perfectly capable of thinking about things on our own so if we're going to go for help I think we want dialogue/dialectic or a new structure to think things through. That's why I think one of the newer collaborative therapies could be more useful.
 

wadlez

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#24
Indeed I see. It would be interesting to see a study testing mtbi types and different approaches to therapy.
I particularly like the personal growth aspect of humanist psychology. Rather than look for a problem to fix like a cure for an illness it focuses on development.
Psychoanalysis is negative and treats people as static and fixed rather than dynamic and growing. Behaviourist seems to simplistic and does not take cognitive processes into account enough (even the self regualting models of reward/punishment).

In maslows hierarchy of needs the top goal is self actualisation which is striving for a subjective goal which is independent of the lower needs. Maslow took a great interest in his patients who were individuals (didnt fit into a role in society) and who he saw as self actualizing (Not coincidently this is how he saw himself) Here is maslows criteria for people who are self actualizing:
1. Perceive reality accurately and fully.
2. Show greater acceptance of themselves, others and things generally.
3. Are spontaneous and natural.
4. Tend to focus on problems rather than themselves.
5. Prefer detachment and privacy.
6. Are autonomous and thus tend to be independent of the physical and social
environment.
7. Have a fresh outlook; they appreciate much in life.
8. Have mystical or peak experiences.
9. Enjoy a spirit of identity and unity with all people.
10. Reserve deep interpersonal relations for but a few people, usually selfactualizers
like themselves.
11. Possess a character structure that is democratic.
12. Are ethical people.
13. Are creative.
14. Have an excellent sense of humor that is philosophical rather than hostile.
15. Resist enculturation; are not easily seduced by society.

I think that these are great descriptions of an INTP and also point out our unique characteristics (5,8,13,15 in particular). So I think the whole self actualization part of humanistic psychology would be great for intp's.
 

snowqueen

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#25
Yes I can see now where you are coming from. But I don't really have that much time for Maslow - there was nothing research-based in his theory and actually if you look at the hierarchy of needs it also doesn't hold up particularly well as stages. While the notion of a 'self-actualised' person is a nice ideal, the hierarchy is really a blueprint for advertising - the continuous attainment of objects. And it's no excuse that it became popular at the end of WW2.

In fact the whole idea that there is a 'better me' to aspire has been colonised by advertising/consumerism as an excuse for yet more products from house improvements to personal development courses. As all enterprises which depend on selling you something, the first objective is to make you feel dissatisfied about yourself.

So the self-actualised person is both an inspiration and a source of dissatisfaction. We are surrounded by all sorts of mixed messages - be who you are - you can improve your life if you really want - realise your inner strength - be happy - and so on.

When I started working 30 years ago, no one was referred to psychiatry unless they were seriously unwell. Now you only have to be upset after a break-up and you're 'depressed'. And women are constantly fed images of how they should look (to sell make up, clothes and gyms) and once those companies worked out they were missing a whole 50% of the market now men are being fed similar messages (to sell cosmetics, clothes and gyms) and everyone goes around feeling just that niggling sense of not being ok. The fact that house and possessions are lower than self-actualisation suggests that accumulation of material possessions bring us closer to self-actualisation when the evidence from other sources might suggest otherwise. Often people find themselves self-actualising when they have lost everything for example.

But you're right - the list of self-actualised qualities are pretty INTP although I wonder about 1 and 15 sometimes recently ;) Maslow was maybe an INTP so he based the list on himself!
 

wadlez

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#26
There is this really good documentary available on google videos called 'a century of self'. Its about the rise of consumerism in america and its interaction with the field of psychology. As an example it explains how sigmund freuds nephew edward bernays used psychoanalytic techniques in advertising to create a desire to purchase objects people dont really need. that was pretty much the start of consumerism. It then follows the field of psychology and its development through untill today, its really good.

Carl jung was an intp aswell. Looks like all the greatest minds were intps
 
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#28
snowqueen, thank you for the resume of what therapies are about and how they affect us INTPs. I wish I had found someone as knowledgeable in these matters and helpful as you some 15 years ago when I went to some therapy. To be honest, from my very short experience, I find psychologists to be one of the most useless groups on earth and psychiatrists to be little better for the common folk who just feel sad and awkward about everyday life and don't really have any serious mental illness (in my country, Portugal, psychologists and psychiatrists are pretty much like you described in the UK).
I don't know, maybe as an INTP I'm just too full of myself but I thought the psychologist - have no idea what school of thought he adhered to – had less insight into the human psyche than myself. He didn’t strike me as a particularly intelligent guy and that drove me away really fast. Understanding how human beings function has always been my favourite subject, I have a strong F and use the T to understand it both in myself and others (I often say I study myself to understand others and study them to understand myself). I think I know myself very well and there’s only a slim chance you’ll ask me something I haven’t analysed and overanalysed before. That’s exactly what happened with the psychologist, he added nothing new to what I already thought and knew, actually I had the feeling he was the one who was lost, not me. I remember particularly well telling him how much I loved playing RPGs (like AD&D and such) and how he gave me a “that’s a thing for kids” sort of look. Well, I was a kid then, but I still love playing them for the exact same reasons. And those reasons are the chance to tell stories and develop imagination, but above all, they allow me to study my playmates in depth, they’re one of the best ways I know of digging deep into people (no matter how many different characters one plays in how many different settings, after a while you’ll see patterns of behaviour emerging and the true self being revealed. I learned a lot about myself too this way.) I think the psy just dismissed it giving it little importance and never realized my true reasons and honestly, if he couldn’t read me, then what was the point of being there? I never returned and turned to psychiatrists instead since my problem’s not sleeping, to the point I get so tiered just preparing my meals is an Herculean task and I simply can’t function. I just need something to help me sleep, because if I do I may still feel like not seeing people and such but that’s just normal for an intp, isn’t it? Unfortunately, to this day I never found anyone or anything to fix my problem and I’m right now going through one of those sleepless phases. That’s why I can’t help but find them all useless.
 

snowqueen

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#29
Hi Nocturna,

Glad you found the post useful. I agree about psychologists - they are a very odd bunch of people indeed. They seem to hide behind their 'expertise' so that they don't have to relate normally to people - I suspect most of them are more messed up than the people they see. Not all though I hasten to add! Sleep disorders are the most difficult to treat. I know some people have success through never staying in bed for more than 10 minutes trying to fall asleep - if you're not asleep after 10 minutes then you have to get up and do a boring or unpleasant task like cleaning the toilet. Then you try again for another 10 minutes and so on. Apparently if you stay awake in a bed you stop the association between bed and sleep - so the more times you end up falling asleep in 10 minutes means that the association between bed and sleep is reinforced.

I presume you have been tested for biological conditions that might contribute to sleeplessness like thyroid disorder?
 

walfin

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#30
I read some CBT stuff before and it talked about the "Robinson Crusoe" method; kind of found it a bit...silly. Seems like just comforting yourself to reduce cognitive dissonance, I especially disagreed with stuff like "at least I'm better than other people in worse situations", but that probably doesn't always happen in CBT. The behavioural stuff seemed to make sense though.

Going through some kind of counselling now (for talking to myself), with an ENTJ who believes in CBT. After about 2 months I don't find it has really helped that much (plus I feel she's getting a little ticked off about me). She also seems convinced that nothing is actually the matter with me since I appear functional (although she does believe that I talk to myself, she says it's very common and not really much of a problem for many).

Narrative therapy. Seems like something to try, since it takes "constructive memory" into account. The problem with all these "it's all about how you look at things" solutions is that there are certain things you just can't look at from a different perspective; you'll just end up admitting that some parts of your life are just purely shitty. And after that most people will just say "Why don't you change it?", and many will conclude that because you haven't done so although you want to, you must be "weak". That doesn't help at all.
 
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#31
snowqueen: Yes, I've been tested for thyroid disorder as well as breathing problems and such. I've tried your suggestion before, though with a longer period of time because I'm never asleep in only 10mins, but if anything it's counterproducent. The main problem is I'm nocturnal, ideally I'd go to sleep at dawn, also my days are longer than just 24h, which means each day I tend to get sleepy later, as we well know ordinary life isn't compliant to this sort of lifestyle. Also, when I'm tiered it's harder for me to fall asleep, that's why getting up and doing some chores doesn't work well, since it leaves me more tiered and therefore less prone to sleep. On top of all of this, when I'm having one of these really bad phases my mind doesn't seem to be able to shut down and so I think, I relive a situation over and over again, or start thinking about the stories I like to write until I have every single detail figgered out, or about the implications of the theory of relativity, it really doesn't matter, I simply can't stop thinking. Long time ago I began trying to shut down my mind by shutting down the input from my senses, sight was easy because I can only sleep in full darkness, then I disconnected tact by remaining perfectly still, tried to disconnect hearing too and then focus on totally emptying my mind. I never learned any form of meditation or anything, it was something I did on my own, and then one day i succeeded and the weirdest thing happened: I had an out of body experience! It was all like how people in near death situations describe it, I was floating above myself, surrounded by light untill I began feeling this coldness from inside and got back. It was an interesting experience though I was never able to repeat it because I have mixed feelings about it, so now my mind seems to have a mind of its own, it works how and how much it wants and not how I'd like it to behave! I'm like a computer that won't shut down even if you unplug it. I don't know what else to do and doctors don't help because they're always prescribing me things for depression and I think that's not the main problem, I've been taking that medication for months and I'm still having one of my sleepless crisis, I have this feeling doctors don't really hear me or maybe there really isn't any way to fix me. When I'm like this the only way to recover is by not caring at all about anything, be it school, work, anything at all no matter how small. Unfortunately, this has consequences like not being able to keep an ordinary 9 to 5 job which obviously makes my life quite complicated and is a major source of stress leading to more sleeping problems.
So, in conclusion, there are like 10 different things that lead me to not sleeping, I guess it's actually a miracle when I do.
 

merzbau

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#32
wadlez said:
There is this really good documentary available on google videos called 'a century of self'. Its about the rise of consumerism in america and its interaction with the field of psychology. As an example it explains how sigmund freuds nephew edward bernays used psychoanalytic techniques in advertising to create a desire to purchase objects people dont really need. that was pretty much the start of consumerism. It then follows the field of psychology and its development through untill today, its really good.
this may be covered in the doc you mention: bernays also wrote "propaganda", a book that detailed how to control the public via deception. it's ironic that bernays was considered the father of public relations, when he treated the public with such contempt!


Going through some kind of counselling now (for talking to myself), with an ENTJ who believes in CBT. After about 2 months I don't find it has really helped that much (plus I feel she's getting a little ticked off about me). She also seems convinced that nothing is actually the matter with me since I appear functional (although she does believe that I talk to myself, she says it's very common and not really much of a problem for many).
i suspect you'll find that most introverted thinkers talk to themselves all the time. especially when they're analysing something. it's the best way to rehearse conversations & clarify thoughts.

probably not a good idea to do it on the bus, though.
 

Jordan~

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#33
Live in the UK, or another socialist democratic country, if you want psychological/psychiatric therapy. The shrink's getting paid by the national health service, not you, and so they gain from curing you, not from keeping you sick.

I've tried CBT and didn't find it very valuable. When it comes to emotional matters, I think we might be too muddled and confused, as well as too fixed in our distinction between the rational self and the emotional self, to expect to change how our emotions influence our thoughts. My psychologist's forever trying to get me to "see things a different way"... That would be fine if I was choosing the way I see things from an emotional standpoint. Yes, I can adjust my rational beliefs about something, but that doesn't change the emotional beliefs at all. I can acknowledge it's ridiculous, but why should that stop me from feeling it?
 
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#34
I wrote this some time ago, it is factual and the reason for my rent-a friend user name...

"Have we, as professionals, been participating, knowingly or unwittingly, in a billion dollar scam, a literal confidence game with the American public as the shill? I am referring of course to the dubious validity of psychotherapy in general and specifically the statistical methods by which success rates are empirically verified.
Hans Eysenick, a British psychologist, was perhaps one of the first to point out the error implicit in measuring the effectiveness of interventions by professional counselors. While it is true that the majority of their clients self-report improvement after a intervention conducted by a professional, Eysenick showed that most of those clients were destined to improve in any event, due to interventions by nonprofessionals. As we know the belief in one’s ability to improve, coupled with the motivation to improve are key components to every client’s recovery. The remaining portion of the clients, who apparently benefited from professional intervention, might as well reported benefiting from consulting the local witch doctor. In other words, they benefited simply because they believed they would benefit. Unfortunately, their belief in the placebo of professional consultation did not even come close to the usual numbers associated with a sugar pill, placebo. That means that the professionals were not even able to deliver a believable ‘product’ to their clients. How many programs can honestly claim to produce recovery rates of above 35%, the lower end of the range of the placebo effect?
Again an other study was designed to discover which of the various methods used by professional counselors was the most effective. The results showed no significant difference between the therapies. A followup study showed that most people simply getting involved in a therapeutic relationship with a lay person, (a friend, for example) benefited just as much as if they had gone to a professional."


I have a degree in Psychology, but because of the basic deceit of the field (it's nothing more than a type of scientific philosophy of the mind), I chose to get my Master's in Human Relations and not Psychology. The successful psychologists in private practice utilize more from the field of Human Relations to gain their success than the clinical psych. stuff. A successful counselor would not shrink from the label of being a Rent-a-friend... Many people will listen to a friend, when they would not listen to a "shrink"...
 

Vrecknidj

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#36
I have been in counseling a few times (disclaimer: and am presently so engaged). My wife has probably seen 20 counselors over the course of her life.

Since we've been married (21 years), we've been to a few counselors together. Sometimes, we've seen social workers, sometimes psychologists, sometimes psychiatrists, sometimes simply a medical doctor.

I have found by working with many different people, with varied backgrounds, and by doing a substantial amount of reading (but without much focus), that a HUGE factor in successful counseling is the individual counselor. Sure, people get trained to see things one way or another--I understand that. But, there really are individuals out there who are drawn to practice therapy and some of them are quite good.

For me, I prefer counselors who have had some life experiences and who have been practicing for at least 15 years. I have had a few contacts with green counselors and they've really been of no help to me (though I understand that every seasoned counselor was once a green one). As far as I'm concerned, a counselor or therapist is, like any other medical professional, "for hire." When I'm seeing someone for whatever personal reasons have led me there, that person is somewhat on trial. I'm willing to lay out some stuff about myself, and if I get crap back, I see someone else. I can't waste my time developing a relationship of trust with someone who doesn't have the insight and compassion to be for me what I need.

Dave
 
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#37
I've taken several personality tests and always get the result INTP. I'm only 19 though so my personality is still developing. I only say this because I find it odd that no one here seems to view psychology or therapy in a good light the same way I do.

I've seen 3 psychological counselors. I absolutely love the expereince because there's always something new to learn or observe either about myself or the therapist or about the process of therapy. I do wish to do some kind of work in psychology. I'm not too keen on being a therapist but want to do research in psychology and writing about it. I use the therapy really to learn more about psychology, how it's done and how it can be improved.
I do have some emotional issues and I actually act quite weird in therapy. As soon as we start talking about emotions, my face turns bright red and I avoid eye contact the whole time. I know my body is in a panic but I don't seem to react to it, I don't respond to it probably because I'm so bad at identifying how I feel about something. Reflecting, it's obvious I'm uncomfortable in therapy but during it I really don't feel anything or it's that I don't think I'm allowed to feel anything.
Well I digress, therapy is quite fascinating. Someone listens to all my ideas and musings where I can't so easily express to others or others just isn't interested :confused:
The emotional aspects are challenging but I like a challenge. I'm surprised so many of you are quick to dismiss emotions, it's a side we need development on.
To me, emotions are another thing that can studied and dissected.

I've never had an unpleasant counseling experience, even though I feel shaken up from raking my brain about how I feel. The counselors have been very nice and attentive. That whole caring thing they do is very effective. They're fair and reasonable too, which is not something I experience a lot in daily life.

Therapy is just such a relief from me....


:phear:
 

crippli

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#38
The beginning of the century was a dark time, with many horror stories about psychologists. They where viewed by many as vampires, and many was. Mental institution the closest you could get to a trailer park horror house. It was the stuff parents used to scare the kids with at night.

It does seem to have been a substantial quality improvement amongst psychologists. And their reputation is on the rise. I think many was confused about helping and learning. And they tended to focus on learning, and the result was the opposite of helping the individual - created fear. Ex - Lobotomy. And the use of violence and neutralizing substances. It's all pretty scary. I really hope it has improved. I'm all in for gaining knowledge. But my bet is within reason. It's a field it's very easy to abuse authority.

My own experience with therapist reflects that above. I'm glad I went. I feel like I gained from this. I should probably utilize the service more. Therapists are potentially everywhere. The trick/difficulty is to let them help you.
 

digital angel

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#39
Snow Queen, thank you for starting this thread. It's good. I also like your disclaimer (what can I say, I'm a lawyer). My understanding is that emotion is an INTP's least developed function. As a result, therapy can lead to horrible results and yes, you do have to keep the individual therapist in mind. A good relationship with a therapist is important.

Personally, I find the theories in psychology interesting. It's not an area I would want to practice though.
 

Crystabelle

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#40
I'm a female ESFJ married to a make INTP. (Yes, I'm sure that sounds like most of your worst nightmares but it really was good for a while.) We're pretty much at our end and I'm grasping at straws.

My husband tried marriage counseling once a few years ago but the counselor and I both agreed "his heart wasn't in it" and it wasn't working. My INTP husband still insists he was doing what was asked better than i was so what does it matter if his heart was in it or not -- and that I'll never be happy.

Just this week, he hit me with a new revelation: "You (Crystabelle) are the cruelest person to me" and extremely hurtful and THAT'S why we will never work (not the fact that our needs & wants are so different which is where I have been operating from and the area I was trying to fix by finding the perfect compromise that always somehow seemed to allude us). He brought up a few horrible things I've said to him in the past (over the past 10 years) as proof. I've apologized and feel bad but he's right, eventually i get so hurt and angry I lash out and do it say something that I know isn't nice but honestly didn't realize would hurt him so badly or be an unforgivable offense.

There's way too much to recount. I could go on & on spewing feelings & emotions but my guess is half of you have already stopped reading this by now. Here are my main questions for you INTPs:

1) MIGHT A DIFFERENT COUNSELOR & APPROACH COUNSELING WORK? (If so, what?) My husband says he now hates counseling & that it only serves to make him angry at me (do any of you have insight on this? I don't understand it.). My sense is that A) we were doing it wrong with the focus on our needs -- mostly mine -- and maybe not the underlying issue of these things I kept doing to hurt him & betray his belief and trust in me (WHICH HE NEVER MENTIONED IN COUNSELING!). I don't think I'm crazy but I also don't think my husband is crazy so when he told me this week that I'm actually most of the cause for the way things are in our relationship, I can only rationalize that perhaps he's right. It actually makes me FEEL crazy bc I cannot reconcile both truths: that he's not crazy or a liar and I'm not crazy or a liar but if what he says is true and I don't see it I must be crazy or liar (head explodes).

2) IS THERE ANY HOPE? How can I convince him to try counseling again? Without it, how can I understand? If I can't understand, how do i fix it? How can I convince him to actually share what he sees the underlying issues are? If he won't get help with me, what else can I do? I can't fix something I don't see out understand. I can't see with INTP eyes. I want to try but I need the tools and some sort of hope. I feel like those things are within ability to give but he's knowingly withholding. It seems like he is set in his stance that "there is no hope for our marriage" but he refuses to exhaust all options.

We have been separated about 2 years. He told me this week that he isn't interested in getting a divorce bc it wouldn't make anything better for him but if it made things better for me then I should do it. I accuse him of giving up. I tell him if we both are functioning human beings and we both want to fix this, we can as long as we don't give up.

I'm nervous posting this bc I feel I'm in a room of enemies. Please be honest with me but give me the benefit of the doubt and try to not be harsh in your responses. I'm only here bc I truly want to understand and I believe somehow it must be possible for us to find the happiness we once had. Maybe it is mostly my fault but if that's true then maybe I can mostly fix this. I wish I weren't ENFJ.
 
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#41
Hi. Not sure if you are ENFJ or ESFJ (last and first sentences respectively).
But it seems to me like your husband has decided that overall your presence in his life is a net con (and not a pro) after weighing everything. I honestly dont know if your situation can be salvaged. But if you want to try anyway, here is IMO some fantastic advice for you:

1. http://www.intpexperience.com/Dating.php

2. http://www.intpexperience.com/Romance.php


The other pages are also probably of interest to you.

Here is IMO the most awesome type description I have seen :
http://www.intp.org/intprofile.html

Best of Luck
 

Crystabelle

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#42
Hi. Not sure if you are ENFJ or ESFJ (last and first sentences respectively).
But it seems to me like your husband has decided that overall your presence in his life is a net con (and not a pro) after weighing everything. I honestly dont know if your situation can be salvaged. But if you want to try anyway, here is IMO some fantastic advice for you:

1. http://www.intpexperience.com/Dating.php

2. http://www.intpexperience.com/Romance.php


The other pages are also probably of interest to you.

Here is IMO the most awesome type description I have seen :
http://www.intp.org/intprofile.html

Best of Luck
Wow, INsTeP -- Thank you. The author calls out my exact questions. Still reading but I believe this will be very helpful -- although it seems not likely to be the answers I wanted.
 

Grayman

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#43
If he isnt willing to try why does he shift the moral burden of getting a divorce onto you?
 

Crystabelle

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#44
If he isnt willing to try why does he shift the moral burden of getting a divorce onto you?
I've wondered this for a few years and I've asked him repeatedly. He always answered by saying, "I said I'd only marry once and never get a divorce."

I asked him again a couple weeks ago and he said, "It won't change anything for me. If it'll make things better for you, you should do it."

I want to believe his not divorcing me and his still paying for everything is maybe his way of still caring for me but from a very far distance where he isn't uncomfortable or hurt. But I'm an ESFJ and I don't really trust my judgment about him on much of anything anymore. Does that sound like an INTP thing to do?
 

Grayman

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#45
I've wondered this for a few years and I've asked him repeatedly. He always answered by saying, "I said I'd only marry once and never get a divorce."

I asked him again a couple weeks ago and he said, "It won't change anything for me. If it'll make things better for you, you should do it."

I want to believe his not divorcing me and his still paying for everything is maybe his way of still caring for me but from a very far distance where he isn't uncomfortable or hurt. But I'm an ESFJ and I don't really trust my judgment about him on much of anything anymore. Does that sound like an INTP thing to do?
I don't really have all the information... Who wanted/wants to be separated and why still be separated?

What he is doing doesn't make any rational sense to me unless I view it from the perspective of 'value/feeling based system'. It just sounds like he is a person who has certain principles that he will never violate even if there is a good logical reason for it. Maybe I am wrong and am missing key information...
 

Crystabelle

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#46
Hi. Not sure if you are ENFJ or ESFJ (last and first sentences respectively).
But it seems to me like your husband has decided that overall your presence in his life is a net con (and not a pro) after weighing everything. I honestly dont know if your situation can be salvaged. But if you want to try anyway, here is IMO some fantastic advice for you:

1. http://www.intpexperience.com/Dating.php

2. http://www.intpexperience.com/Romance.php


The other pages are also probably of interest to you.

Here is IMO the most awesome type description I have seen :
http://www.intp.org/intprofile.html

Best of Luck
Sorry -- typo. I'm ESFJ.
 

Crystabelle

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#47
Thanks for the feedback. My first post on this thread was actually my first post to this forum last week. Apparently, it had to be OKd by an administrator before posting. I've found a lot of really helpful information on this site and many folks who have shared input to shed some light on INTPs. I appreciate it.

I still have many thoughts and questions but I think I'm going to go to a counselor who specializes in personality types because the more I read the more I see things I need to work on myself regardless of my husband. My hope is that he'll be willing to go, too, but like several people on here have said, it seems like he might just be done.

I guess if there's a silver lining it's that I'll come out of this a better, more balanced person -- hopefully. Unfortunate that it had to take this to get there.
 

Rixus

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#48
@Crystabelle

The fact that you've actually taken the time to find better ways of relating to your husband is a good sign. I can't speak for all INTP's, but one thing that is true of us in relationships that I've seen is that we are exceedingly loyal. I stayed with my ex-wife for 5 years of believing things were broken, and tried every approach I could to fix things. The problem was that she had no interest in fixing thrm. However, once I'd made the decision to end things, it was over. Unequivocally and irreparably. As perceivers we will wait to make a decision until it is absolutely certain that a decision should be made. But once it is made, there is no going back.

I can't personally understand how an ESFJ and an INTP could make it work. It's not that I dislike ESFJ's, it's that my experience of meeting one is a lot like trying to communicate with a strange alien creature that doesn't speak the same language, I can find no common ground with and that simply defies any explanation to me.

I know we INTP's are often used to facing a lot of rejection throughout our lives and many struggle to find someone they want devote any time to, or that can even accept us for who we are. Sometimes it seems like the best we can hope for is someone that finds us endearingly weird, but in the long run, this will leave us drained, depressed and feeling even more alien. What we really want is someone we can feel normal around, who doesn't see us as being an odd creature to amuse them. I worked this out the other day when I was with someone and a little perplexed that they didn't make me feel drained or apprehensive or socially anxious - just normal because I didn't need to be on edge. I didn't need to watch what I said in case it was weird or act normal at all - just be me. When an INTP feels that with someone, we can show the loyalty of a dog. We don't let them go.

If he really is an INTP and feels this normality or ease with you then you can be assured that he will show you that loyalty and your will to make things work can save your marriage. If, however, he has realised that you can't truly understand each other and that you find his oddness endearing and not normal, then all the counselling and trying in the world won't help.
 

Crystabelle

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#49
Can somebody shed some light on this:

It's very normal for me to share my thoughts & feelings with my INTP husband and him have no response. It usually happens via text or email. It used to really upset me when I open my heart and become vulnerable to only feel totally disregarded. In latter years, I've mostly come to accept it and I usually don't expect a response when I'm sharing anything emotional or relationship related. I'd still like a response of course, but it's just the way things are.

Can anyone tell me what might be going on in his INTP head? As an ESFJ, if I ignored somebody, it would likely be because A) what they were saying was annoying the crap out of me, or B) I was already upset with them.
 

Cogitant

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#50
Can somebody shed some light on this:

It's very normal for me to share my thoughts & feelings with my INTP husband and him have no response.
Many 'T' types just don't 'get' emotional effusiveness. It confuses us.
It's hard for us to relate to feelings (even our own feelings), and dealing with feelings in general can make us uncomfortable.
This could be avoidance for that reason.

Can anyone tell me what might be going on in his INTP head? As an ESFJ, if I ignored somebody, it would likely be because A) what they were saying was annoying the crap out of me, or B) I was already upset with them.
Like I mentioned, he's probably simply avoiding the emotional content of the situation...

-I don't know the dynamics involved, so can't comment about what scenario might evolve in the future

I can tell you that my dad is INTP, my mum ESTJ (similar but not quite).
They've been married over 40 years but have little in common.
Mum is DOMINANT, dad is usually in another room, on his PC, soldering circuit boards or reading sci-fi and comic books.

I can't understand it myself, although they do say opposites attract.
They have entirely different minds:

-Dad likes science and solitude, mum likes soap operas and going out.

I'm pretty much a female clone of my dad, we're both INTP for a start...
So I can tell you, from my perspective what it's like for us vs her:

-When dealing with mum, I learned to only broach subjects which she enjoys discussing. It's like treading around eggshells.
-She is sensitive and needs to be handled with care
-She is pretty irrational and shouty at times (eep), but I'd guess that you become distressed rather than shouty, right? (ExT-ExF difference)

But parents been together for an amazingly long time, so it goes to show that it can work.
I'd guess it would depend on effort and monumental understanding/tolerance from both sides.

Personally I tend to choose other NT types because a mental connection is of supreme importance to me.
But we're all different.

-Good luck :D
 
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