In response to the article from The New York Times Magazine: What Brand is your therapist?
Today I woke up fairly happy, no particular dreams left an emotional footprint in my mind. As I went by the morning routine, I saw an email from one of my colleagues, he kindly shared the article that was written in “The BIGGIE”. So, I started to read it. Very clearly the journalist has a bad sense of humor bringing up to the light a conflict issue that only will enable the masses to throw their opinions rather than have an awareness of pointy issues that are present in American so and elsewhere cultures. To me, psychotherapy in general is a representative of what the culture, society and most importantly people as the direct representatives facing in today. Yes, the problem of ambiguity in psychotherapy world exists, no doubts, and yes it would be rather convenient if psychotherapists were taking responsibility of their clients thoughts attitudes and actions sending them free with the message that life is a playground for you, dont you worry about the consequences – it is all been taken care of. This type of mentality reminds me Middle Ages for some reason where rich or shall I say wealthy people were “forgiven” for their wrongs for substantial amount of money, we all remember that right?
I guess, there is a misconception regarding the psychotherapy or in my case music psychotherapy process. Clarity is an ethical responsibility for music therapist (speaking for myself and myself only) as well as clear communication. When I begun studying to become a music therapist, I had little to no idea what actually the field do for me. Safe to say, that my life changed 100%. I entered personal therapy on the second year of my master training, most out of professional point of view than for personal reasons. Like many people, I was convinced that the therapy can do very little for me and that my life was my responsibility and I will be the one facing the consequences. As the time went by, my confusion was getting stronger, I understood on a cognitive level the work and the interventions I was taking on and their value, somehow, I could not find the “rock” to hold on to. Emotional pain that I carried within me for years were surfacing and tolerating it was close to impossible. As a client, I went through the entire spectrum of emotions and I became aware of all of them, therefore, I continued to grow. I often questioned myself – how much did I really wanted to change? How much I really wanted to say that I stand for who I am knowing rather than pretending? How much did I really wanted to understand and most importantly accept myself, love myself and to develop capacity to love others?
The journey seemed dark and the passages at times were shadowed with fears self-criticism, self – judgment and the memories of traumatic events that were paralyzing at times. Going through all of this myself, and continue to meet my needs on emotional level that help me to grow and evolve in safe environment (music therapy) had open many avenues for healthier way of living. Some of that came by chance and some of that was the consequences of rediscovering my true self.
When I see someone who come to me for “advice” and I mean friends and not clients, I see how much they want another person make a decision for them, take responsibilities for what they did or enable them to continue unhealthy actions toward themselves or others. I see their wounds and their pain that was never healed, their use of the services through “solution based approach” – fixing a situation not a problem. I know, that the mentality, the culture, the environment where the values were misplaced people are only a reflection of a bigger cultural, economic and spiritual sickness..
The ages of darkness are back – and it does not matter how well it is decorated, the “matter” stays the same.
Yes, perhaps not every professional can be the right person for the client and not every client may benefit from a particular professional but the difference is, unlike in corporate world, psychotherapists have ethical obligations to make the best choice for the client, regardless of any financial or socioeconomic situation.
And…. let’s not put everything in the soup – yes, client and the therapist are both sides of the same coin called “society”; however, it is important to understand and to know the difference.