As if I know…

Recently, a client told me something about herself and ended the sentence with,  “I’m sure you already knew that.”

Actually, I didn’t.

Another told me about a choice she made and commented, “But you knew I was going to do that, didn’t you?”

And while I may have had a hunch, I really didn’t know her next move.

I am not one step ahead of you, knowing more than you do about yourself, your life, and your choices.  I am not smarter than you.  And while I (sometimes) wish I were clairvoyant, alas, I am not.  I get bits of information about you from our sessions and then put things together in ways that you haven’t thought of. I create a new framework for helping you understand what you already know about yourself. And based on that framework, your choices in life — big and small — become more understandable. That’s all very different from my sitting in the chair and predicting exactly what you’re going to do or not do when you leave my office.

We all want our therapist to be a mind reader, to help get at the feelings we can’t talk about, to help pull out the stuff that hurts.  Sometimes we dive in and start asking the tough questions; other times we wait for what seems like the right time to talk about the most difficult issues.  We do this because in the end, it is judgment that sets the pace in therapy.