“I do what I do because I love doing it.”
The therapist, Irvin Yalom, said it all for me in this quotation:
“And I rarely hear therapist colleagues complain that their lives lack meaning. Life of a therapist is a life of service in which we daily transcend our personal wishes and turn our gaze towards the needs and growth of the other. We take pleasure not only in the growth of our client but also in the ripple effect – the salutary influence our clients have upon those whom they touch in life. There is extraordinary privilege here and extraordinary satisfaction too.”
I see psychotherapy as a key to unlock perception, interpretation and living. I facilitate a process, express opinions, and also ask questions to assist my clients to crystallise their as yet unidentified answers. Gentle persuasion may be used.
Prof. George Wiehan, a lecturer at UNISA when I was doing my MA degree course, said the following: “the primary function of the psychotherapist is to bring the patient/client to an optimum interaction with his environment’. He went further to suggest that there are three central prerequisites for effective therapeutic relations, namely empathy, warmth and genuineness. These are also the values guiding my work.
This tried and tested approach and many years of experience, complimented by ongoing training and reading, has stood me in good stead and hopefully benefited my clients.