Not Your Typical Couch Therapist
Mental health counseling has come a long way since Freud. This therapist is actually looking at his client. Freud sat behind his patients smoking cigarettes. Eye contact wasn’t part of the psychoanalytic process at that time in history. The therapist was considered a blank slate or sounding board. After the client talked and talked to the therapist behind their head, they’d finally hear, “well, let me tell you what I think.” Not, what I heard as in reflective listening, but rather how the therapist interpreted what the client offered for information about their life and the current struggles. Many of the current therapeutic interventions involve what we call cognitive interweaves. We move the therapeutic process along by offering insight into what the client reveals during their session.
Our mental health theoretical frameworks have evolved since Freud. Don’t’ get me wrong, I love psychoanalysis and at the same time I believe the client-therapist relationship requires connection and an appropriate amount of disclosure.
I need to know my therapist suffers from the human condition. As I’ve said in previous posts if you see a therapist who’s “arrived” you better run in the other direction. We don’t arrive. We evolve every moment of every day. Therapists grow and learn from every human interaction.
Before you choose a therapist, do some investigating. What kind of therapy does he/she practice? What type of issues does the therapist typically treat?
Then, meet with a couple of therapists you’ve reviewed online. The client-therapist relationship is the key to a successful therapy experience. Connecting with someone you trust and feel safe with is where it all starts. Once that connection is established, the work begins.
PS: The therapist in this photo is holding her arm. Maybe he’s bracing her for some bad news? I’ll talk about touch in another blog. Stay tuned.