Dr. Pamela Mark
Licensed Psychologist                                                           

Psychotherapy is rational and accessible. It is not some esoteric,
undefinable, mystical process. It is a logical process which
anyone can understand and follow. There is no reason for
anything in a session to be unreasonable or mysterious. On the
contrary, in good psychotherapy every step should make
complete sense to you. You may end up in strange territory, but
it should be entirely clear to you how you got there.

This notion that facts and logic drive the psychotherapy process
goes a long way in countering the flood of abstract hypotheses
that can clutter and confuse us when we try to think about what
makes us tick. You may have heard yourself or others
wondering "Maybe I sabotage myself", "Maybe I resent my
wife", "Maybe I don't want to be the boss", "Maybe I'm afraid of
commitment", "Maybe I need a vacation", "Maybe I'm the type of
person who ...", "Maybe I'm a compulsive, an addict, a
depressive, a type A, a type B, a ..." One can only answer,
"maybe the sky turns green every time you stop looking at it";
the only way to know is to back up and look at the facts. Facts
are not only external, but include your feelings, your reactions,
your perceptions. In sessions, it will be important for you to
take an active role in trying on your and your therapist’s ideas.
The most important proof that an interpretation or suggestion
from either side of the room is correct is your reaction to it.

Psychotherapy is a dialog. It is not a teaching session. You
present data, the therapist offers ideas about that data, as well as
her (or his) own data -- her feelings, her past experience, her own
theories -- then you pick up the ball, and so on. Has the therapist
helped you discover truth about yourself, your life, your
feelings -- and is this material helping you make the changes
you want -- or is he up a tree? If the latter, you must speak up.
No therapist will be right all the time. You have to sort this out
together, but the final word is yours.