Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Free "therapy"

I'm a psychodynamic therapist, which means I do a whole lotta listening, while the client does a whole lotta talking. (I also do a whole lotta educating, responding, searching for insights, etc.) Carl Rogers, who created humanistic, client-centered therapy, is one of my heroes. I'm a big fan of the work of John Bowlby, who is synonymous with Attachment Theory. I give all praise and hazzuhs to William Worden, who (literally) wrote the textbook on grief therapy and grief counseling. Each of those psych professionals had their roots in psychoanalytic psychotherapy (aka Freudian therapy.) I'm a big fan of Freud's work. (Okay, not all of it. I'm not a fan of his Drive Theory or his ideas regarding women's sexuality. He was a Victorian, after all, and subject to the influences of his time.) And, philosophically, I'm an Existentialist: in short, a major believer in the concept of personal responsibility.

If it isn't clear already, I'm not a cognitive-behavioral kind of gal. I don't buy the idea that changing your behavior is enough. That seems much too much like putting cream on a rash: yeah, it'll get rid of the itch, but it doesn't "cure" the cause of the rash.

Having said all that, I do, happily, use one technique from the Cognitive-Behavioral handbook: journalling. Personally, I journalled like crazy all the days of my own therapy, and even when I wasn't in therapy. I always considered it free "therapy." So, from time to time, or maybe even regularly, I'll include a journal question or topic for readers to explore.

Write from the heart. There is no right or wrong answer. Don't worry about spelling or grammar. This doesn't have to be poetry or worthy of publishing. No one has to see it except you. It's simply you talking with yourself, so enjoy the conversation. And, if you want to share it with me, send it to my email. I'll be delighted to hear from you.

The first 3 journal topics are:
My first memory is...
I have tried to forget...
I wish I could remember...

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