Sunday, November 12, 2006

10 things your therapist will never tell you.....

  1. They almost certainly come from a family that is only mildly less dysfunctional than your own. It is a well-known fact that we train to be therapists in order to heal our dysfunctional parents, and that we usually fail in this task. Those who do not have dysfunctional parents realise quickly that this is not a job for the fainthearted and that there are much easier ways of earning a living (cf #2)
  1. You probably earn more than they do.
  1. They will row with their partner about who last did the washing up, whose turn it is to cook dinner and why they have to spend christmas with his/her parents again. Do not be perturbed by this fact. The post-row analysis definitely has therapy-speak written all over it.
  1. They fantasise about stacking shelves in Sainsbury’s.
  1. They almost certainly watch crap TV and read beach novels. Personally I draw the line at soap operas and most reality TV (note the crucial use of the word ‘most’ in that sentence), but I do not spend my evenings listening to Mahler and reading Russian novels. And nor does any other therapist I know.
  1. They go to conferences for the opportunity to flirt and consume large amounts of alcohol, just like everybody else.
  1. They are not cured. Nobody ever is, so abandon all such lofty ambitions now. The best we can hope for is the capacity to regulate our internal world in a marginally better way than that taught to us by our parents. Hopefully your therapist can do this.
  1. They don’t like it when you get angry with them. They will most likely know that is an important part of the relational dynamic, the transference is useful therapeutic information, the process itself will become transformative etc etc. But they still don’t like it.
  1. They actually do care about you.
  1. They don’t do it for the money (cf # 2 again)

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