Ten reasons why therapists find it tricky to make suggestions
‘I suggest that you.. ’ is something I rarely say to clients. This is an
example of therapist directivity that sits toward one end of the continuum. If
you are deciding how much you want to be led by your therapist – how directive
an approach you want – the following may help. For the purposes of this piece,
I’m defining directivity as the ‘I suggest’ kind of comment.
This is not a ‘ten ways to be more mindful during lockdown’ article. I considered writing something similar given that these have their place; and at the same time I’m cautious of endorsing a ‘quick fix’ mentality.
So, this is me unpicking the relationship between self-disclosure and peace, instead. I choose this topic because this is ultimately what many clients are grappling with: the fear of being – and showing – themselves. Of disclosure. The great Dane-ish philosopher Soren Kierkengaard said that an individual’s deepest despair lies in choosing to be another than themselves. Continue reading “Disclosure – and a Great Dane”
But how does talking help?’ is a question that I’m frequently faced with, and one that I frequently struggle to answer, despite the fact that in the young and old alike, I see changes afoot on a daily basis. A lady called Bonnie Badenoch is helping put an end to my opaque responses as to how and why. Badenoch wrote a book called Being a Brain-Wise Therapist. Below I attempt to translate the basics so you may be ‘brain-wise’ yourself – if you are not already that is. Continue reading “10 ways that talking – to a mate or therapist – can trigger helpful changes in the brain”
Love is love – familial, romantic, fleeting or friendship. And love can be a bugger.
ten years of listening to clients, I’ve heard many speak at length about their friendships.
One of the first things I ask suicidal clients is “are there are any friends in
your orbit?”. This is because friendships are pivotal to our sense of community
and belonging in the world. Put another way, ‘friendship is vital to human
wellbeing because this form of human love gets under our skin quite as much as
any other’ (Vernon 2012). Continue reading “Love is love: on friendship”
Just a wee reminder to you and me that not saying or doing something, not making a choice, is indeed doing too. It is an action with attendant responsibility. Silence is a powerful stance; those on the receiving end could be significantly impacted. Continue reading “Silence is a responsibility”
I hope – and don’t think I am – evangelical about ‘the talking cure’. Keeping shtum I’ve found vitally protective at times. For example, when I’ve tried talking and that has been damaging, having not been ‘received’ in that communication. Continue reading “Could NOT talking be the key?”