By Mike McMahan, LPC
“What do fiction writers get wrong about therapy?” I was asked recently by my friend, blogger, novelist and musician Sanford Allen. Turns out, the answer to his question is “quite a lot.”
“We all know the cliché. You go into a therapist’s office, they have you look at some weird inkblots and nod and mutter when you respond to “tell me what you see.” You then free associate about your mother and whatever prompts the therapist gives you. He rubs his beard and then gives you probing insight into your psyche and whatever underlying, twisted, psychosexual traumas are driving your current challenges.
Except it’s nothing like that. Generally speaking, therapists these days are behaviorists, though there are many specific schools of thought. A therapist will generally draw from one philosophy, which is said to be their theoretical orientation. Most clinicians these days will help you consider behaviors in your life, and ask you to think about how feelings about events impact your reaction to those events.”
You can check out my full response on Sanford’s website.
Mike McMahan, LPC is a psychotherapist based in San Antonio, Tx.
Get new posts straight to your Facebook news feed by following Therapy Goes POP.
Therapy Goes POP
Perspectives on therapy and mental health as viewed through the lens of popular culture