|Great Attachment Debate Narcissistic Clients Clinical Excellence Wendy Behary David Schnarch Community of Excellence Mind/Body CE Comments Linda Bacon Ethics William Doherty The Future of Psychotherapy Anxiety Gender Issues Couples Mary Jo Barrett Challenging Cases Brain Science Symposium 2012 Diets Etienne Wenger Mindfulness Trauma Couples Therapy Future of Psychotherapy Men in Therapy Attachment Theory Clinical Mastery Attachment Alan Sroufe|
|The Tao of Improv - Page 5|
As therapists, this is what we're fundamentally about—active listening, Rogerian unconditional positive regard—and we do our best to try and pass this along to our clients. The notion that a client's problem somehow makes sense, that solving it means unraveling and understanding it, rather than forever pushing it away, may be part of our clinical philosophy. But even then, our own anxiety sometimes takes over and the Yes . . . and becomes Yes . . . but.
Mary says that she's decided to stop taking her meds, or that she cut herself again yesterday when her supervisor said she was late, and you find yourself saying: "Hmmm, Mary, I don't think that stopping the meds is such a good idea. You know, your depression symptoms will probably start coming back" or "I thought we agreed you were going to call your sister when you got upset." Mary makes a face, gets quiet, and stares at her shoes or starts to sound defensive. Rather than really listening to what she's saying so we can build on her reality—"I understand what you're saying, Mary. Can you tell me why you decided to stop your meds; why you felt you needed to cut?"—we seem critical and controlling, and undoubtedly sound to her very much like her supervisor. Rather than "moving the scene forward," we're in danger of stopping it in its tracks and creating a clinical impasse.
Brad and I start acting like teenagers competing for a girl's attention. "We don't get many pretty visitors like you," says Brad, "more fat truck drivers and guys with tool belts. Have a seat," he says, dusting off the chair onstage. "You want a cup of coffee? It's fresh."