My analyst warned me, but you were so beautiful I got another analyst.

Via on Apr 12, 2011

Questions regarding Therapy.

What good is your therapist if they only know what you tell them? How genuine is a “retail” relationship between a customer (is always right) and a “doctor” (really, a vendor dispensing selective, subjective wisdom inherently limited by the information and honesty of the client, in 30 or 50 or 2 hour blocks)?

The key to getting your money’s worth in therapy, it would seem, would be blatant brave wide-open honesty. But if the client is neurotic, confused, one-sided, lying even to themselves…can a skilled therapist unravel their bullshit?

On the other hand, is therapy in danger of being mistaken by the client as some sort of cocoon, as entertainment? Do we enjoy our problems? If our problems subsided, would we be bored, groundless, unnerved? Would “solving” them or getting to a point where we realize our self-perpetuating samsaric habitual patterns are in fact non-existent and boring…be bad business for said therapist? (of course, yes…but, then, an effective therapist will get more recommendations, I’d think).

~

Bonus.

One of the most famous opening sequences in cinema history:

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Why is life worth living?

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About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now elephantjournal.com & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | facebook.com/elephantjournal | twitter.com/elephantjournal | facebook.com/waylonhlewis | twitter.com/waylonlewis | Google+ For more: publisherelephantjournalcom

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5 Responses to “My analyst warned me, but you were so beautiful I got another analyst.”

  1. Joe Sparks says:

    Our thinking has often been distorted and limited by the illusion that we are livng in a stable society.

  2. randolphr says:

    Choosing a therapist aka shopping for a therapist, can be key. Call around & ask if a prospective therapist will sit down with you for a 5-10 minute, no charge, meet & greet. This gives the opportunity to share what is needed by the client and what is offered by the therapist. Sensing a good fit or no can save valuable time & money. Some therapists will do this.
    Here in Seattle, for instance, there is a free referal service, designed to help match needs w/ providers: " learning about the different therapists and their counseling approaches, you'll discover which counselors are best suited to your needs." Of course, having a clear notion of what one needs is not always easy to articulate. Still, an option worth persuing. Here's the link: http://www.therapysearch.net/

  3. Ben Ralston Ben_Ralston says:

    "What good is your therapist if they only know what you tell them?"
    None, of course. The cause of our problem is always subconscious. If you could tell your therapist about it, you wouldn't need a therapist! So a therapist that doesn't use their intuition is only going to listen to you telling your 'story' over and over – and all that does is enforce it. You'll actually be going deeper into the problem.
    "How genuine is a “retail” relationship between a customer (is always right) and a “doctor” (really, a vendor dispensing selective, subjective wisdom inherently limited by the information and honesty of the client, in 30 or 50 or 2 hour blocks)?"
    First, money had nothing to do with how genuine (or not) anything is. Money is just money. Forget about it before discussing therapy (or anything), because it's not connected. Second: a therapist shouldn't only be dispensing wisdom. If that's all they're doing they're not helping you much. Go to your Grandpa for that shit ;)
    "…if the client is neurotic, confused, one-sided, lying even to themselves…can a skilled therapist unravel their bullshit?"
    A skilled therapist will see through it fast. Can they unravel their bullshit – only if the client genuinely wants to change. You're right with the first sentence of that paragraph – the key is honesty, or more accurately, taking responsibility. When a client takes responsibility for their problems then a skilled therapist can help them. That said, a very skilled therapist will also guide the client towards that point of taking responsibility. A therapist with integrity will discern the client that isn't ready to change, and maybe send them elsewhere.
    "is therapy in danger of being mistaken by the client as some sort of cocoon, as entertainment? Do we enjoy our problems?"
    Enjoying our problems is what I refer to above as 'telling our story'. Yes, it's a big problem, and it comes about when we haven't yet taken responsibility. A therapist who enables the client to keep telling the story, or offers a cocoon… well, I suppose there is benefit for the client, but it's not really healing them. It's maybe what some people need for a while, but I wouldn't call it therapy.
    "Would “solving” them or getting to a point where we realize our self-perpetuating samsaric habitual patterns are in fact non-existent and boring…be bad business for said therapist?"
    When I heal a client, and know that they are leaving me more joyful, loving, and peaceful than before, that's good business. I feel good, they feel good. I get paid, they get their money's worth. The world has just become a more joyful, loving, and peaceful place. Good business. Bad business is sitting in a room listening to people's stories and pretending that you give a shit whilst thinking only of the $$$. That's very bad business. Healing, therapy, personal development is actually easy when the client is ready to change, and the therapist is skilled. Why? Because as all spiritual traditions have told us since time immemorial – we are innately perfect (made in God's image). So healing is just a question of LETTING GO of stuff that isn't really a part of who we *really* are. http://www.elephantjournal.com/2011/03/how-healin

  4. Julian Walker yogijulian says:

    the distinction here is a pretty simple one – it is between good/skillful therapy (and therapist) and bad/unskillful therapy (and therapist.) like any inner work therapy can be powerful and transformative or it can be a superficial gesture lacking in depth and rigor.

  5. Lynn Somerstein says:

    Charlotte, thanks for the acknowledgement. The mutually interactive push/pull, conscious and unconscious, is where balanced communication happens, as you say.

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