Therapists & Engineers

I was an engineer for many years. Now I’m a psychotherapist.  People frequently find this transition an odd one, but I don’t.

You can always take the point of view that engineers enjoy working on everything but people and therapists tend to view technology in much the same way that engineers view people. So how could anyone switch from one camp to the other? These are broad generalizations but they generally hold.

However, in my experience engineers and therapists actually do very similar work. We are all trying to comprehend and assess complex environments in order to optimize or repair them. Each camp has it’s own vernacular to describe this activity, which reinforces the illusion that they are different endeavors… but this is an illusion.

Therapists and engineers are all systems analysts. The difference is that engineers tend to work on external systems and therapists tend to work on internal ones. The approaches are quite similar. The tool sets, on the other hand, are incredibly different.

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