Sunday, August 16, 2015

Author and Therapist

     With the success of Irvin Yalom's novels and the general critique on literature that any good author has the ability to find the "inside voice" of any character they have created, as well as his or her deepest, darkest motivations, a broad statement could be made that a writer could be a good therapist, or perhaps be a satisfactory therapist as a second job. 
     Frequently when I read good fiction or literature, an author will lead me down a rabbit hole of thought and emotion, lighting up side alleys of inquiry discussed perhaps later on in the work. I have been very often surprised by the depth that many good authors have entered to convey the real motivations of their characters.
     It makes me think that we should be training more English majors as therapists. Alas, this might not work for myriad reasons. First of all, I'm guessing that most English majors would like their careers to have something to do with English insofar as teaching or studying it further. I'm not sure that we would necessarily want every would-be author rooting around in the back channels of their unfortunate clients' heads.
     A clinician must be willing to work with the client, not in spite of them. This is tricky for me, sometimes, as I would like to delve into the topics that clients would not necessarily want to cover. I think that many authors-turned-counselors would ride down the client's path, making assumptions about their feelings and thoughts, possibly because they themselves are use to having the helm in their work. 

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