What You Want in a Shrink
This article is excellent, and an easy read. This is the kind of material that makes a subscription the Times ($15 a month) a good investment. Here is the final paragraph:
The field has evolved since Freud said that the goal of psychoanalysis was to convert neurotic misery into ordinary unhappiness, but it’s not that far from what most therapists still do. I hate to think that therapy is an outdated idea, too slow and too private to satisfy a population that has come to expect immediate responses and constant gratification. The truth is, I’m just a person trained to sit in a room and — if I’m really doing my job well and am attuned to all the subtle suggestions and gestures at play in an ongoing, face-to-face therapeutic relationship — help people understand themselves better so they can live more fulfilling lives. When I shared this description with ShrinkWr@p’s Alison Roth, she laughed out loud: “Not sexy!” she said. She wasn’t surprised to hear that I still have spots open for referrals.
In my book, there are two kinds of people in the world – those how know they had a miserable childhood, and those that deny it. There must be those who had a happy childhood (or at least a good-enough one) but I haven’t met too many of those.
One friend back in Silicon Valley (he called it Silly-Con Valley) told me how his mother tried to kill him once – and as a result had herself committed to a mental health institution, until she got better. He was about to have a child and was afraid he would be abusive also. I remarked this was what motivated many parents to go into therapy themselves – to protect their children. And I suggested he might do this also.
He practically exploded ”What me? Spill my guts to a shrink?”