The Therapist’s Job

“What do you do?” is a question I hear from time to time. What is the job of the psychotherapist? It’s a reasonable question. Here’s one way I see it:

When someone feels stuck, I create opportunities for change. I do this by opening their perspective. Usually when people are stuck it’s because they don’t see any other way to go. When they become aware of more possibilities they are no longer stuck. Now they have a choice. They may choose to stay where they are. But that’s no longer stuck, that’s becomes their conscious choice.

Sometimes after I have helped a client see more of the paths open to them, they ask me which one they should take. They want me to tell them which way to go.

I won’t do this. It’s not my job to make the choice for them. It is my job to help them see more of the alternatives available to them. When their perspective is less limited and more possibilities are open to them, my job is done.

Now their job begins.

They must assume responsibility for deciding which is their best path for now.

It’s my job to expand their map. It’s their job to choose the road! When we both do our jobs well, the result is greater satisfaction.

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