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Unread April 24th, 2005, 04:54 PM
John Simon John Simon is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 45
Default Re: Therapy as Craft

Mr. Lankton,

The main thing that I have been trying to do when working with clients is to "chunk big" by following a few key principles rather than trying to dissect the client while in the room. The basic principles are to err on the side of empathy and using the client's language before I begin interventions, to help the client prepare for change by developing resources, such as confidence or creativity, through metaphors, and to show the client the positive side of their symptoms and suggest adding to their experience rather than trying to take away their symptoms. Paradoxically, when I work in this way, the interventions (chunking small) begin to come more naturally as if I am finally getting out of my own way. If I can not think of a specific intervention for that client at that time, I will review my options before I meet with the client the following week rather than taking a shot in the dark during the current session.

I agree with Stuart that a Master's intervention that is mistimed by a less seasoned therapist will not produce results. I believe that this ties in with Mr. Lankton's point related to observation. It is difficult to replicate all of the observations that a Master Therapist saw in the room while writing about an intervention in a book. Pulling the intervention out of its context is like trying "the triple pump reverse finger roll" at half court while the baskets have been raised to the rafters for cleaning purposes. It just doesn't work. Therefore, I agree with Stuart that each therapist must integrate an intervention into the flow of therapy rather than just letting it loose on a client because he or she saw it at a workshop. On the other hand, I believe that I have become a much better therapist by watching Mr. Lankton and the other masters than I would have by simple trial and error. Using Stuart's metaphor, if I wanted to learn to play basketball, I would rather watch Magic than Rambis because Magic will help me learn to elevate my game more effectively. I may not be able to always complete the behind the back - no look pass, but I might not have even known that it existed if I ignored this player. I believe that Mr. Lankton has said that he became a much better therapist because of spending time with Erickson. I realize that I will never be Erickson or Lankton but I think that by learning from these masters I will become the best John Simon that I can be, which is why I continue to ask questions.
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