Convincing people who are convinced they don’t need help

I popped in to see Jennifer last week to see how she was doing and to find out if she had started the Focused Listening program (which she hadn’t). She seemed in need an outing so we got in my car and went for a coffee at a hotel by the lake. No sign-out procedures at the hospital. I doubt anyone knew she was gone. This made me think that the staff believed that the headphones that I gave her a few weeks ago posed no suicide threat. Because of the hospital’s liberal policy of allowing patients to wander off-site I figure she has ample opportunity to kill herself and so I don’t need to go wireless for her.

Conversationally, she’s much improved. I disregarded the occasional forays into paranoia. (The bloodbath is still raging in town.) She said she’d like to work again, and that was my chance to reinforce the music therapy by saying that that my son hoped to work, too, and Focused Listening might help get them both there. Any chance I got, I put in a plug for listening to the music. She went to the washroom. I donned my headphones in her absence so when she came back she could see how much I was enjoying them.

We got back in the car and she suddenly suggested that I drive her to her old apartment so she could pick up some summer clothes and shoes. People (she didn’t say who) have been cutting holes in her shoes. She showed me where there was a hole.

When I got home after dropping her back at the hospital I wrote her a letter and posted it later that day. I wrote that the next time I came out, I’d like some reassurance that she had been doing the therapy. I would bring my headset and we could go for a walk.

4 thoughts on “Convincing people who are convinced they don’t need help”

  1. Rossa, you make me smile! What a strategist you are!

    I have found with bipolar people, who may be extremely resistant to change, that if you bring up a necessary but distasteful subject and refrain from pushing your own agenda too far, the sparks drawn from the first encounter subside and the germ of an idea takes root in the right-brain. On the second encounter, the person may even come up with the solution as though it were her/his idea from the outset.

  2. Hi Rossa,
    Good job. Wish you could meet my son n convince him on certain issues. He loves to listen to music, he is much better than before, we told him he should do something constructive, he agreed to do some short computer course but he has not taken the initiative to move. We do not want to pressurized him. In the meanwhile we do take him out on weekends, as he loves nature. Let’s hope for the best.
    Sheela.

    1. Hi, Sheela
      Initiative is what is sadly lacking in this condition. We tried encouraging my son to take short computer courses, and he did not complete many of them. Save your money in the meantime. The focused listening that I write about seems to be the spark that is making my son take initiative and enroll in courses (and complete them!) Good luck!
      Rossa

    2. Hi, Sheela,
      What you call “initiative” is the flow of sound energy in the brain. It has a specific direction through the brain, like a river that normally flows along an efficient, downhill route. In the brain, that direction normally is driven by the asymmetrical neurology that favors the right-ear stream and that makes the left, rational brain dominant in the integrative processes of the two halves of the brain. Messages flow from left-to-right before they can flow back again from the right-brain to complete the circuitry. Your son literally lacks enough energy in his brain to respond to his thoughts about what would be good and useful things to do. The interruption in that circuitry is a weak muscle in the right ear. Focused Listening music therapy strengthens that muscle. When it reaches the necessary level of strength and flexibility, the flow of sound energy integrating the cerebral hemispheres flows faster and more accurately. Those changes are reflected on the audiogram, although we are not sure yet what the profile is for schizophrenia. People in contact with me now are sharing their schizophrenic relatives’
      audiograms with me to see if we can clarify that profile. Meanwhile, the people who have been using Focused Listening are showing signs of improvement despite their medications. We hope (and I expect) that when they have tapered off their medications that their integration speeds will normalize. Many of these people have been schizophrenic for 10 years, which means they have lost 10 years of normal learning. They are very vulnerable socially and need to continue to support their ears with Focused Listening and a rich sound environment while they begin the long road to reintegration into normal society. If they have addictions, including addictions to their medications, that issue will have to be addressed. The road to recovery does not end instantly with normalized cerebral integration, but the capacity for learning has been restored and full rehabilitation becomes possible.

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