Some types of psychotherapy operate under the assumption that the therapist and client form a relationship that mimics how the client relates to all others in his or her real world.
Yet that theory makes no sense. The therapy situation does not represent an equal terms relationship. Instead the therapist sits in the seat of power while the client, consciously or unconsciously, yields to the “wisdom” of the therapist’s experiences.
No two people experience life the same way.
One hundred people watching an event interpret it one hundred ways and tell you one hundred different versions of what happened. Not a single accounting of the event reflects reality. Each person creates his or her own reality according to how he or she filters incoming stimuli.
In the therapy relationship the message sent by the therapist or client may not even resemble the message received by the other party. Result? The likelihood of misinterpretation and the resulting misinformation hamper progress.
Yet the therapist imagines the client interacts with others the same way he or she interacts in the session. Frankly, most people put on different faces depending upon who they find themselves with and what circumstances put them together.
Most people want the approval of others so they act in ways to accomplish that end.
Clients want therapists to fix them. Many therapists believe they know how to remedy what’s wrong in the lives of their clients. They follow through with what they believe to be healthy choices of action telling their clients, or at least suggesting, what steps to take.
Obedient, people-pleasing clients take direction for two reasons: they do not want to think for themselves OR they do not want to take responsibility for how their lives turn out knowing if they continue to be unhappy they can blame the therapist who told them how and what to do.
Therapists are people learning how to live their own lives. They cannot possibly know what is best for anybody else.
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