|Attachment Linda Bacon Challenging Cases Gender Issues Mindfulness William Doherty Anxiety Narcissistic Clients CE Comments Future of Psychotherapy Attachment Theory Wendy Behary Brain Science Men in Therapy Symposium 2012 Etienne Wenger Clinical Mastery Couples Couples Therapy Trauma Diets Clinical Excellence Community of Excellence Mary Jo Barrett Ethics David Schnarch Great Attachment Debate Alan Sroufe The Future of Psychotherapy Mind/Body|
|Screenworld - Page 8|
If I felt the need to consult what would be my fifth (or sixth?) therapist, I'd be stepping into a space that's rarer and rarer: an American environment, an American institution, free of Screenworld. In fact, psychotherapy, by its nature and purpose, is Counter-Screenworld, Anti-Screenworld.
Consider the psychotherapist's consulting room: quiet, intimate, a place to which Screenworld has no access. Oh, there may be a computer about, but it isn't likely to be functioning during my 50-minute hour, because the purpose of my being there is to engage with my therapist in a face-to-face encounter. Rather than a devalued physical reality, in the consulting room, physicality is magnified. Client and therapist register every sigh, every glance, every fidget—and either they're looking at each other or they aren't, and both are intensely aware of that, either way.
My therapist and I meet privately to do a job of work, the work of understanding—as opposed to, say, conducting business, negotiating a contract, or any of the task-oriented reasons for which one may meet formally face-to-face. We meet in the consulting room to understand why I'm there. To do that, we try to understand who I am—because I don't understand anymore, or I wouldn't be there. To use the indelicate expression of my old Bronx neighborhood, I'm fucking up, or something's fucking with me, or both, and if that weren't so, I wouldn't be in your consulting room, and that's what you and I, therapist and client, face-to-face, will try to understand. And in that attempt, some foothold of understanding, however basic or tentative, whether achieved intellectually, intuitively, or emotionally, may spur wanted but unexpected personal change.
I wouldn't be there if I didn't want to change something, to feel more alive, feel more myself, deal better with whatever I've been unable to deal with. The therapist's sole job is to try to understand another human being, or at least another human being's situation—and in my hour, that human being happens to be me. In a world that's become Screenworld, incessantly inviting and/or goading me to pay attention to something other, only this Counter-Screenworld exists for the express purpose of making me face myself while facing another, and of inviting another to face the real me.