Thursday, October 6, 2011

I Don't Trust Psychotherapists

I DON'T TRUST PSYCHOTHERAPISTS. Well, most psychotherapists, at least. It takes a lot for me to trust anyone's opinion about anything and when it comes to matters about life and well being, the threshold is even higher. And it should be. I'm skeptical until someone convinces me that they have better insight and accuracy into my life or life in general than I have myself. And I'm not easily convinced about anything.

A lot of therapists out there, especially older therapists, come from a school of thought that was embedded in classical Freudian psychology. Freud, as you know, believed that your problems now are a result of unconscious conflicts you failed to resolve. This creates a big problem because no one knows for sure what this unconscious mind is saying, precisely because it's unconscious. The therapist has to take a guess, and the client, not knowing what's real and what's not, has to take a guess too. No one's sure, and that leads to a lot of speculation and confusion. What's worse is that problems that can be solved directly are analyzed on a symbolic level at which point the solution is less obvious.

Not all therapists practice this way, and some therapists can use some of the Freudian concepts correctly and efficiently. One of the things I ask myself when I evaluate a therapist is "has the therapist adopted a style uncritically, or have they merged certain ideas into their own natural style?" If you've got any question about anything, write me.

1 comment:

Chris said...

Here's one for you, gathered in person: European therapist famous for treating some tough, very weird cases; highly respected in academia. Own personal life a mess, gone through two divorces, suffers from claustrophobia since childhood. Leads a remote, lonely life outside of the professional field.
One of the doctor's patients was a gay man from a very conservative background. This man chooses early on in his life to become a priest in order to hide his sexuality from his family and friends and decides to completely suppress his nature. Seeks therapy at one point and is "kept afloat" (in the doctor's words) for 10 years. Changes therapist after this period and commits suicide just a few months after.
My question is: was the second therapist not very good or was the first one a fan of decade-long cat and mouse games?