When Seismic Change Becomes the Norm

When Seismic Change Becomes the Norm

The Therapist in the Real World

By Jeffrey Kottler

March/April 2016

One of the most significant changes in the role of a therapist during the past few decades has been a shift away from the tradition of serving as a dependable confidante over a lengthy period of time to that of a very temporary advisor. Some practitioners have even rebranded themselves as a “personal coach” or “personal consultant” in order to increase their “market share” and expand new opportunities. This might work fine for those described as the “worried well,” who require only assistance in their growth or development, but it leaves quite a number of people with more severe disorders or intractable problems without sufficient support. These are often individuals suffering from deep-rooted intrapsychic struggles, certain personality disorders, or chronic conditions that aren’t necessarily amenable to a “quick cure.”

It was during the Golden Era of our profession when insurance companies would subsidize treatments to the tune of 90 percent of whatever fees were reasonably charged, no questions asked. It was perfectly normal that therapy might last a year or longer with a focus not only on the presenting complaints, but also on underlying issues that might be brought into the conversation. While there were certainly abuses of this system, not to mention unnecessary client dependence, there were also far more opportunities not only to address current problems, but also to provide an ongoing forum for future growth.

What a luxury it would be these days to work…

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