When Therapists Dream

Bob Newhart demonstrates a dramatic form of brief therapy:

Seriously, folks, sometimes a therapist will give “a directive,” otherwise known as telling a client what to do. But some therapists’ training is to never give a directive of any kind. When shopping for a therapist, you might want to see how the prospective therapist feels about giving directives. But no matter what else, if they don’t laugh at the Bob Newhart bit, look elsewhere.

Part of what I’m thinking about is that when you are frustrated by your inability to make the changes you want, or make them as fast as you want, your therapist feels  your frustration. After all, empathy is part of any therapist’s stock in trade. It would be a true wish fulfillment fantasy if a therapist could just tell someone to change– and they did. No such luck. But thanks for the laughs, Bob.

I’m working on some thoughts about boundaries & relationships; probably a multi-part post. Will get part one out soon, I hope.


About jamesmatter

Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT) in private practice in San Francisco. I work with adults, adolescents, and couples, with focus on substance use and abuse and co-occurring disorders (having both a mental illness and an addiction).
This entry was posted in Distress tolerance, Emotions, Feelings, Frustration, handling the unexpected, happiness, humor, mental health, Renewal, Therapy processes, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

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