Interact Journal Integrative Ideas for the Process-Oriented Psychotherapist

Categories Supervision Dialogs

On “you’re not doing it right”

I stepped out of the therapeutic role last time and just lectured to an uncooperative client. Now I feel bad because, as he pointed out, I’m just one more authority figure who tells him he’s not doing it right.

While you (on your own time) work through your issue of wanting this man to be different than he is, in session take advantage of your countertransference and find a way to use it in the work.

  • One way to clean up therapeutic messes is to tell the truth about yourself. In your case two things are true at the same time.
    “The words I said to you in session last week were true for me. At the same time a part of me Was telling you you weren’t doing it right.” (Then put the attention back on him.) “Who else thinks you’re not doing it right?”
  • Since he delights in watching you instead of himself, invite him to let you know whenever he catches you or mistakenly perceives you judging him. As he perceives less danger he may be more willing to be aware of his own process with as much enthusiasm as he has been aware of yours.

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