Psychotherapy is a process in which people in pain and/or turmoil purchase the time and expertise of a therapist who helps them:
1) define the problem;
2) figure out what normal people might do under these circumstances;
3) expose the misinformation, the misplaced loyalty, or the uncomfortable emotion that keeps the customer from doing the sensible thing;
4) provide the customer with the courage (or fear of the therapist’s disapproval) to change—that is, to do what needs to be done.
Psychotherapists vary widely in the rapidity with which they provide their customers with answers to the questions being raised, and the degree to which they take credit for providing the answers. Some will simply tell people what to do; others will make the customer guess for a few years before subtly signaling they’ve finally gotten it right.
To help you understand my style – I tell people what to do! I will provide you with various strategies.
When you go to a psychiatrist for medication or shock treatment, or to a psychologist for psychological testing, it may not matter very much what sort of person the professional is. But if you’re choosing to bring a psychotherapist in to your life as a consultant, his or her value system is more important to you than training, credentials, or even a professional degree.