Research documents that, yes, psychotherapy can be effective for some conditions. Among them is clinical depression.
Lawyers I coach usually agree that about eight sessions with a psychotherapist, along with medication, have played a part in their recovery. They would recommend that treatment to others.
Once they begin exiting a depressed state, then we can go on to create solutions for underlying career distress. Here is my approach Download BACKGROUNDERJaneGenovaCoaching
Being overwhelmed by the status quo in the workplace, as the new book "Dying For a Paycheck" by Jeffrey Pfeffer documents, is not unique to the legal sector.
"I love what I do," goes the dominant meme. "But, how I have to do is killing me." Or, triggering medical problems and substance abuse.
One of its major current challenges which is determining the future of psychotherapy, though, (along with its high price) is its branding.
Perception is, well, everything. Game-changers, ranging from Steve Jobs to Donald Trump, proved that out.
The controversy surrounding the psychotherapy brand isn't new, of course.
Way back on September 29, 2013, the influential The New York Times published an article about psychotherapy's image challenges.
In that thought leadership piece, Kerr observes:
" ... in the mental health field, experts aren't always perceived as transparent, and consumers have become more self-reliant, including conducting their own research through the Internet on what ails them."
This concern about transparency goes beyond the individual in treatment.
Institutions paying some or all of the bill, ranging from employers to insurance companies, also need to know more about approaches and outcomes. This push for data and evidence about outcomes is happening in a growing number of industries. Even in the creative field of public relations, clients demand more accountability about results. Among the tools in public relations has been the AirPR software.
Back to the level of the individual consumer ...
In the early 1970s, an era of blind faith in psychotherapy (at least in some circles), I began three years of treatment at the University of Michigan Psychology Clinic and then the psychiatric outpatient facility at the University of Michigan Medical Center.
The therapist was then graduate student David W. Harder.
Years later, when I was an entrepreneur struggling with the values of careerism I again turned to Harder for psychotherapy. Along the way I requested access to his clinical notes about my treatment. I was sensing the fit between therapist and consumer was not authentically productive.
Harder refused to provide the notes.
I had matriculated at Harvard Law School so, of course, I thought: lawyer. Since 2005, I have been a syndicated legal blogger.
I ponied up the fee to have a lawyer in Greenwich, Connecticut request the notes.
Actually, I was not surprised.
Reading them confirmed that, no, the fit was not for me. The tone and the content of the clinical reporting on my treatment did not align with my criteria for the therapeutic relationship. Even back in the 1970s I had a hunch Harder and I were not communicating. But psychotherapy had become the religion of so many educated at that time. Who was I to question the high priest?
What I recommend to those I coach who ask about the possibility of psychotherapy:
- First, request a complimentary introductory session with a therapist. Assess if you are being heard - or being communicated to from a hardened school of psychology.
- After a few sessions, request a copy of the clinical notes. If they are not turned over, that might represent a red flag. See a lawyer.
- Go over those notes with someone you trust and who cares about you.
- If you continue with this therapist, request the notes on an ongoing basis. Relationships, like everything else, can change.
- Experiment with self-help tactics such as meditation, exercise, and simply taking breaks from work.
- Consult with others on your "recovery" team, such as your medical doctor, coach, 12-step sponsor, and close friend when it might be time to terminate psychotherapy.
Earning a living currently requires outsmarting the forces which seem tilted against workers. To do that demands being sound in mind and body. Psychotherapy could be a tool which gives a coping edge.
But everything about the process must be transparent. Voodoo is what we have fun with when we reach out to a psychic in Salem, Massachusetts. That experience is shaped by hocus-pocus.
Contact Jane Genova firstname.lastname@example.org.