Clinically Speaking is a blog that will allow anyone to learn about Social Work, case presentations in psychotherapy, and the relationship of pop culture in psychology. Come one...come all!!!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Therapists=Handy Men/Women

If you are a therapist, you will hear at least once a day "Can you fix my child?" or "You need to help fix me". I didn't realize I was a handy man, apparently I have Masters in Tools or Construction...(do they even give such degrees out?)

So I ask, Why is it that so many people come with this question and desire to be fixed?

For those who ask, they must believe that something is wrong, because if ain't broke they wont fix it. More often than not, the individual is referring someone else to get the fixing, they aren't seeking help for them self, but rather a child, a spouse, a mother-never for them self.

Maybe they should...

In a interesting article written by Michael J. Formica in Psychology Today, he talks about expectations of the world and ways you can free yourself of certain pitfalls that lead you to misguidance. He lists 5 different ways to avoid these pitfalls, but I found that the most poignant point was "Check Your Premise" as he writes:

"Checking your premise means taking a hard look at whether
or not what you believe actually matches with reality.
Neurosis is often touted as doing something over and over
again expecting it to change. The belief system version
of that is a sort of frozen world view - "That's just how it is"
or "That's just the way I am". Taking a step back from a
consistently disappointing experience and looking at whether
or not we're starting from a realistic place will help us adjust
our perspective in such a way so as to more accurately match reality and get a potentially different outcome".

When someone comes in and says fix that about my son or fix my wife, yes that individual may have some deficiencies, but if you were to take a good look at yourself and the situation you will realize that it takes two to tango, something that you are doing or not doing is causing and may be exacerbating the issue at hand. Again, the person who is need of therapy may need it, but it may be that they are not the only one who needs it and it could be beneficial for the referring person to get help as well. When you self -assess you will realize that maybe I didn't handle the situation in the right way, or maybe I could have said something different, or maybe use a different tone. It will really open your eyes to a whole new perspective of the person you are dealing with who "needs to be fixed".

Getting fixed isn't like bringing your car to the shop and have the mechanic say "Ok I know that this car needs some new brake pads and needs the tranny needs to be fixed, pick it up on Tuesday"(thank you Marissa Tomei). It is more like being a farmer, you need constantly rake, plow, hoe, plant, seed, harvest until you have the perfect produce. Therapy is the same. Coming for therapy, working on the issues, utilizing the skills learned in session, it may take months could be years, but it certainly is not done by pointing fingers and no effort or work on the part of the client/patient. As therapist, we are assistants in your endeavor to correct certain habits or behaviors, we in no way shape or form do WE fix you, YOU fix you!

To read the full article from Michael J. Formica, Click the link!

Have a Great day!

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