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  1. #1

    Therapists down-to-earth when treating themselves

    When therapists treat patients, they follow the
    prescriptions of their theoretical orientation. But the amazing thing
    is that when therapists treat themselves, they become very pragmatic.
    In other words, when battling their own problems, therapists dispense
    with the psychobabble and fall back on everyday, commonsense
    techniques--chats with friends, meditation, hot baths, and so on
    .
    Psychology Today: Why Shrinks Have So Many Problems
    This is not a big surprise since therapists tend to be pretty practical people, especially since most therapists are not traditional psychoanalyists.

    Initially, it was surprising for me to read that the greatest source of distress for therapists is personal relationships rather than depressed patients and cheap HMOs:

    At least three out of four therapists have experienced major distress within the past three years, the principal cause being relationship problems.
    "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

  2. #2

    Therapists down-to-earth when treating themselves

    How do you deal with problems? Are you as pragmatic? I would think that it would be the best way to go since, while it's good to delve into why you are who you are, it's even more important to "fix" the situation.

  3. #3

    Therapists down-to-earth when treating themselves

    Of course, overanalysis is something to avoid. Freud analyzed himself until death, and it didn't seem to help him (or his family) much.

    Personally, I try to take a behaviorist, "just do it" approach for practical things like trying to watch less TV, etc.

    For more cerebral problems like thinking life is more like a car crash than a dream come true, I try to rely on a positive, philosophical perspective:

    If life as we know it is indeed a fantastically unlikely accident, all the more reason to appreciate it. (Plato Not Prozac)
    "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

  4. #4

    Therapists down-to-earth when treating themselves

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel
    Initially, it was surprising for me to read that the greatest source of distress for therapists is personal relationships rather than depressed patients and cheap HMOs:
    At least three out of four therapists have experienced major distress within the past three years, the principal cause being relationship problems.
    Why does that surprise you? Issues with some sort of relationship or the absence thereof, even if it's relationship with self, are at least an associated problem with almost all psychotherapy clients. Why should therapists be immune? They are not superbeings... just people with a bit of training and a modicum of intuition and skill.

  5. #5

    Therapists down-to-earth when treating themselves

    Yes, it wasn't surprising after I thought about it since a therapist with good personal relationships would be better able to cope with suicidal patients, patients angry with the therapist, etc. I can imagine most therapists more troubled by their own children than their suicidal patients since the latter are seen professionally and for much shorter periods of time.
    "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

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