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Tips For Adulthood: Five Things Psychotherapists Shouldn't Do

Every Wednesday I offer tips for adulthood. Daphne Merkin’s recent essay in The New York Times Magazine about her lifelong search for the...

Every Wednesday I offer tips for adulthood.

Daphne Merkin’s recent essay in The New York Times Magazine about her lifelong search for the perfect psycho-therapist has generated quite a bit of buzz.

As I noted last week, when I first read Merkin’s piece, I was fairly sure that it would serve as another great example of the age-old aphorism “there are two types of people in the world…”. On the one hand, I knew that some people would be turned off by this five-page, detailed meditation on Merkin’s ongoing relationship to psychotherapy, using it as confirmation that psychotherapy really is just an extended exercise in (pointless) narcissism. On the other hand, I also imagined that there would be people (like me) who — while acknowledging the self-indulgent nature of therapy — find both the process and analysis…of analysis…endlessly fascinating. Which is another way of saying that I couldn’t put the article down.

Those predictions turned out to be right, as a quick scan of the Letters To The Editor on that post in The New York Times will attest.

But while I’m generally in the supportive camp on therapy-as-life-strategy, I think it’s worth looking at the critiques that are emerging from the article about psychotherapy more generally. They seem to come in three varieties.

Read the rest of this article at www.PoliticsDaily.com

Image: dr_sigmund2 by zoria via flickr under a Creative Commons license.

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