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This blog is about---You! Each and every post is about you. Use it to challenge your usual patterns, as a tool for self-discovery, to stimulate your thinking, to learn about yourself and to answer your questions about others.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

In A Nutshell

"For me this is a special place I have where I can come and say everything and anything---no holds barred and I won't be judged.  I will be listened to and get some good suggestions." Remember the "I lost 38# since I've been seeing you" patient? This was offered up this week as her experience/description of what therapy is to her.  It's a good, short and to the point statement.

I would add a few things. ~ A therapist listens to you in a different way from what usually happens with a friend or relative.  One of the most meaningful of those is that the therapist listens to what may be unsaid, what is beneath the surface.  The therapist does take in your words, the facts of the
matter, of course, but, at the same time, there is this attention to what might be the deeper significance for you.
~Attention is also something most of us are unable to get or give very well in our demanding, busy lives.  A therapist puts their own issues and other distractions to the side and focuses on you for 45 minutes.  Good attention, quality attention is something that happens in therapy.
~Also, a therapist is trying to get to know you.  This goes beyond not judging; it is trying to know the many aspects of a single individual and to understand how they function in that person.
~The therapist takes a position of trying to promote your own tendencies to grow, improve, do your life better, or make more beneficial choices more often.  She is scanning for signs of a wish to change or an idea for a new direction, or a potential insight about the person's past that might be helpful in influencing new behavior.
~The therapist tries to help you clarify your own thinking about whatever the conundrum is that you bring up.
These particular parts of what a therapist does for a patient afford the patient an experience, an experience that is different from what happens anywhere else.

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