Yes, Opposites do Attract!


Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.


We live in a time in which any aberrant behavior is considered to be a symptom of some psychological disorder. To compound the problem, everyone is an armchair psychologist these days, ready to diagnose himself and/or anyone else.

I’ve learned a great deal in my nearly 16 years of working in the field of psychotherapy. I am not a Ph.D.  I have a Master of Social Work degree, which opens the door to private practice counseling. I can’t prescribe medication; I can recommend it, and encourage my client to speak with his doctor or a psychiatrist. However, I’ve developed a broad working knowledge of medications, and I am required to diagnose each client in order for the insurance to pay for the cost of treatment.

So much of my practice turns out to be, in my opinion, not a truly diagnoseable psychological disorder. It is often simply  a problem in communication, in basic human relationships, and in rebellious behavior that is disrupting the entire family. We do have diagnostic codes that we can apply to such situations.

Image result for a rebellious child

What becomes problematic, though, is when someone comes into my office having already decided what his dysfunction is. If I don’t jump on board with it, he is dissatisfied because he can’t blame his behavior on something a pill will cure.

Some people seem to be born with an inherent ability to get along with other people. They are agreeable, pleasant, and find the positive in almost every situation.  The downside of that personality is that they often are in relationships or situations  in which they are taken for granted, mistreated, and undervalued.

My own family tree is pretty heavily populated with people who question authority, refuse to be put down, rise easily to leadership positions, and forge ahead on their own paths. The downside of that personality is the tendency to be critical, disrespectful when authority is “just stupid,”  and unwilling to change for the comfort of other people.

A lot of my time, in my office, is spent trying to help these two opposites, who are magnetically attracted to each other, find a way to continue living together in harmony.

Image result for opposites attract

Sometime, when I finish a day of being a referee, I have a few symptoms myself!

8 thoughts on “Yes, Opposites do Attract!

  1. Opposites do indeed attract: so many marriages bear this out. With my folks, what could have been a blending and softening of my Dad’s severe perfectionist nature and Mom’s gentler, more compliant one rather turned into resentment. She wasn’t perfect enough for him. I imagine you see a lot of that.

    I think most of us would like to blame our worst traits on some disorder we can’t help and just have to live with. Being “at the mercy of” some disorder is easier than trying to change. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Another good post, Linda. Today I spoke to the senior (HS) psychology class at a private school. My friend is the teacher and invited me to speak to them about Dissociative Identity Disorder. They were wonderfully attentive and asked a million good questions. I had a blast. I will do it again. I became an expert on the subject over many years of experience. Now that I am working part time, I don’t take those cases anymore because the work is intensive and potentially risky to the clinician. The standard of care is 2 or 3 sessions a week, and the risk of self-destructive acting out is significant. But I am so grateful I have had the opportunity to help so many people struggling with trauma and dissociation. And I’ve surely met my share of less troubled folks who thought all their problems were caused by and the responsibility of other people.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I understand completely. I’ve worked with many survivors of childhood sexual abuse who have DID; they have learned to just shut down and go somewhere else in their minds. It’s a sad thing, and yes, very taxing for the therapist.


  3. What a wonderful post Ms Linda. Indeed with few examples it could become a research paper of case study! Currently i’m studying Research Methodology in Social Sciences and honestly, your post was so much insightful then those stereotypical study material.

    Liked by 1 person

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