What’s the IT?

questionmark-puzzle-transparentThere are many ways to practice psychotherapy. As I have mentioned before, the artistry is knowing when to push someone, when to offer an opinion, and when to let someone see things for themselves.  I believe in offering my opinion when I think it might be helpful. I also believe strongly in naming things.  When you name something, it’s no longer a ghost haunting your life.  Growth and change can happen.

Nothing illustrates this better than the case of a client who spent twenty years in treatment with a therapist who hadn’t been very forthcoming with her opinions during the session.  After listening to his history during the initial visit, I mentioned that while there was no physical or sexual abuse involved, I mentioned how traumatized he must felt through his father’s bullying and mother’s absence. When he returned for our next appointment he asked me why his previous therapist never acknowledged the trauma. Just hearing those words (“trauma,” “bullying,” “absence”) changed everything for him. Now he’s in a position to tackle the real issues in his life and move on.