September 1, 2017

Over the next few weeks, I would like to debunk a few common assumptions people seem to have about therapy, therapists, and clients. Since these assumptions limit the mental health field in a variety of ways, I am a strong advocate for interrogating them. Today’s post...

August 26, 2017

I was trained as a therapist to understand that there is only one rule of therapy—all talk, no action. In other words, the therapy hour can accommodate anything being said, but cannot accommodate any action beside the action of speaking. I tell my clients, “You are mor...

August 19, 2017

People come to therapy when things aren’t going well for them. Sometimes it’s an isolated thing (e.g., an unfulfilling sex life), but usually it's more pervasive than that. Either way, they are at a low confidence level. The way they have been going about things is not...

August 11, 2017

Our culture has the attitude that complaining is a waste of time. The idea is that complaining about something (like not making enough money) will not change the thing itself, so you would be better served by actually doing something about the problem. 

This relies on a...

July 29, 2017

The way I see it, therapy is not about teaching you tools and techniques to live your life, for the simple reason that they don't exist. Think about it: if they did, wouldn't we all know them by now? Therapists are educated not on tricks, techniques, or strategies that...

July 21, 2017

Thinking about things is like driving a car, whereas saying them is like walking. Much of the scenery is inaccessible to a person in a car—details that may seem trivial, but cannot be when your goal is to understand the land you are traveling through. The act of talkin...

July 13, 2017

Therapeutic work is characterized by a series of delicate balances. For example, your counselor should not come across as another friend of yours, but he or she should not seem like a stranger, either. Something in between is best. 

One of the more important balances to...

July 1, 2017

Problems and goals are part of the common narrative of getting help. It's an easy narrative to tell, which is why it is told over and over again: figure out your problem, set a goal to resolve it, determine the steps to get there, and begin completing those steps....

June 23, 2017

Entire books could be written about eye contact, but for the sake of brevity, let’s limit our consideration to eye contact in the therapeutic context. Except even before that, we must zoom out and understand the cultural context in which therapy is taking place. Eye co...

June 2, 2017

An interesting hypothesis is that the effectiveness of therapy has an inverse relationship with the culture’s acceptance of therapy as a practice. In other words, if the culture is intolerant of therapy, and sees those who go to therapy as "wrong" in some way, then the...

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