There is something in every one of you that waits and listens for the sound of the genuine in yourself. It is the only true guide you will ever have. ~ Howard Thurman
I recently read a book by Thomas Moore called, “A Religion of One’s Own.” Here, Dr. Moore, a former Catholic monk and now an author, therapist, and professor, tells his story of pulling in religious and spiritual traditions from various places and developing a “religion” that works for him. He also leads the reader through a process of doing this for him- or herself. In this spirit, if you engage me as your therapist, I will guide you toward a “psychotherapy of your own,” one that works for you in every possible way.
As the “Expert Guide” for your journey through life, I have no investment in any one way of doing therapy. Yet at the same time, I have a strong knowledge of quite a few approaches. It’s like being fluent in a whole bunch of languages and finding the particular one or ones that you can understand and that best help you understand yourself and your journey.
When engaging someone like me to be your “guide,” you should know that there are certain factors that are common to all effective psychotherapy methods. These include such things as the therapist’s caring, warmth, empathy, acceptance, and encouragement of risk-taking and mastery on your part. The most important of the common factors in psychotherapy have to do with you, however. Research in effective psychotherapy has consistently shown that things like …
the attitude and amount of hope you bring to therapy sessions
what happens to you outside of therapy sessions
the match between your personal way of making changes in your life and the therapist’s approach in helping you change
… have far more importance than the particular things a therapist does. While this tends to deflate the egos of some therapists, it makes sense that you, the client, are the most important factor in your own therapy. So, to me, it makes sense to develop an approach to therapy that supports and aligns with these common factors. In other words, with you!
Lastly, I consider it my job to work myself out of a job. So, after a while, you can use the psychotherapy we develop for you on your own. I wouldn’t have it any other way!
As always, let me know what you think of this article. Thanks!
Copyright 2014 Daniel J. Metevier