“Techniques for Truth-Telling” Comments, Page 1

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2 Comments (One Discussion Thread) on “Techniques for Truth-Telling”

  1. I enjoyed reading this article, Gordon but I simply must beg to differ with you on one issue (my pet peeve). While you adeptly point out that we can lie to ourselves as well as others, lying to ourselves is not the same as “denial,” despite the fact that you rightly say denial is the term often applied to this behavior. But the true defense mechanism of denial is an unconscious protective mechanism that keeps the conscious mind from even knowing what is simply too painful to acknowledge. The person has no idea they’re doing it. It’s not at all the same as kidding oneself. Also, the presumption that shame and fear are almost always culprits in the motivation to lie, ignores the fact that some folks lie purely for the tactical value of manipulating others, seeking not just to avoid negative consequence, but sometimes simply to get something they want or successfully running a con. Then there are those who lie even when there is no obvious peril in the truth or the truth would do just fine …………… but that’s another diatribe!

    The reason I felt compelled to speak out in defense of real denial is because therapists not only often misuse the term, but also sometimes incorrectly perceive denial to be at work when the client is actively engaged in a con. And when I’m trying to help someone whose extraordinary pain has them in a true state of denial, I’m going to approach things in a much different manner than I would someone who needs to be confronted on their con game, is probably not too serious about getting help, and might waste a lot of our time.

    There. I feel better now. And really, great article!

    1. Thanks for the kind words and the invitation to go deeper into a subject (denial) I believed I understood. Perhaps a denial vs. repression vs. con-game article is called for.

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