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Re: The Introduction (In Session)

Posted by pegasus on May 18, 2005, at 17:10:18

In reply to The Introduction (In Session), posted by Dinah on May 16, 2005, at 19:29:08

Yes, such interesting things to discuss here. Daisy, I tend to agree with your comments about therapist authenticity. I guess as long as they are consistent with each client, it is fairly irrelevant to the client whether they act differently away from the office. But I think to the therapists themselves it might make a difference. My thinking is that if they're putting on a persona in the office that isn't their natural self, it'll show through in some way or another and the therapy will suffer. I think to be a good therapist, one would need to be pretty authentically themselves in some form in the office.

Dinah, oh, I have to disagree with your stance on the paragraph about therapy being tragic! I've always felt that way very strongly. It's part of what charges the relationship for me. Maybe the difference between us is that I do expect to one day stop seeing my therapist. If only because of lack of money. My life isn't stable enough to sustain therapy forever. And anyway, I think the therapists generally do expect to terminate with each client eventually, for one reason or another (your therapist excepted - I know he expects to see you forever, so you're safe). So, that being so, I wish they could more often acknowledge the tragedy in forming such a close relationship that is expected to end.

The thing that hit me hardest about the intro is the discussion about how all the literature about therapy is from the therapists' point of view. I always thought that was a bit goofy. Who better to comment on the effectiveness, or even the effect of therapy than the client? I don't have the book in front of me, but she mentions at one point how therapy theories are often proposed and implemented without checking in with the clients who've experienced those methods. Whatever evaluation is done is based on external metrics that are observable by the researcher, not on what the client says about their therapy. What an oversight!

Makes me think about Irvin Yalom's book "Every Day Gets A Little Closer", where he and a client write notes about their sessions independently. I loved reading both sides. In particular, the client writes her notes *to* him, and he writes his notes to himself. Says volumes.


P.S. I just read Yalom's new novel "The Schopenhauer Cure". It's essentially about an idealized therapy group, where every member is a perfect, idealized group member. (Well, allegedly it's about a collision between Schopenhauer's philosophy and modern psychotherapy, where therapy wins, of course.)




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