When people ask me what kind of therapist I am, I tell them that I’m not someone who uses all sorts of therapist techniques. Sure, I know the tricks of the trades, but I’ve realized that people don’t want someone who acts like a therapist. Instead, they want a normal person. And I’m a normal person. Or at least I think I’m pretty normal.
In many schools of thought, therapists are taught to sit quietly and let the person start. We are told that we need to be ok with silence and people will start when they’re ready (or not.) “Back in the day,” I often had long periods of silence in my sessions. And I couldn’t stand it.
Over time, I’ve learned that clients can’t stand it either. People often tell me how their previous therapists just sat and stared at them. One kid said that he spent the entire hour in silence. He was incredibly uncomfortable and, obviously, didn’t go back.
With this in-mind, I engage my clients. My job isn’t to set the agenda, but if people struggle finding their way I ask questions and help them find a direction. My clients seem to appreciate this.
Am I the right person for everybody? Absolutely not. Sometimes people really want to have “traditional therapy,” in which therapists act like therapists and use typical therapist techniques. And there is nothing wrong with that. But if people want traditional therapy, with a traditional therapist, using traditional therapist techniques, I’m not that guy.
I’m also not the right guy if you want to bring your young child to see me. Sure, I have fifteen years’ experience working with kids in K-8 schools. I also have a 10-year-old son. Between him and his mates, I have no desire to counsel little ones any longer.
Where am I the right guy? I’m skilled with a wide variety of adults: men, women and couples. I facilitate an ongoing men’s group. But my particular joy is working with middle and high school students and their parents.
So that’s me. If you’re interested by what I’ve written, I encourage you to give me a call.