Thursday, September 10, 2015

Creating a Unique Psychotherapy

     There is some wisdom to the teaching assertion that counseling/therapy students should have a theoretical orientation. I think of all the theories out there, especially the well-known and most authored ones, and do agree that it can be difficult and often intimidating to try to research and incorporate some or many of them into a coherent practice. I imagine all these theories as dark boxes lined up in rows and columns on the floor of a large, non-descript, vacuous room. A student must open boxes, peruse (in the true meaning of the word) their contents, and then move on to another, always trying to find a perfect match. He or she might feel some large stress due to the search and need for personal identification with/through the theory.
     Now, I must admit that this is mostly auto-biographical (as if anyone thought any differently). It is probable that many students do not have the drive, patience, or tenacity that I do in finding different theories and techniques and attempting to integrate them into my own practice. I do feel a sense of need to create something for myself . . . something that is mine exclusively. I've always had this urge. I think I've written this before, but it seems to me that every clinician should have their own theory. For many, perhaps most, this means that they make combination theories: theories that add whole sections of different psychotherapies together to create a chimera or hybrid theory. I'm thinking that this could work when the particular cogs in the created theory (cogs are the specific techniques or the general orientation of the theory) really do work with and for one another.
     For some reason for me, such a combination theory is unattractive. It still has too many restrictions that exist in the component parts. It is best, for me, to create something from scratch that I can believe in and that seems to be useful in session. So it seems to me that a good clinician really does base psychotherapy off of themselves; after all, when we take a look at the progenitors of different psychotherapeutic means, can we not see a glimmer of themselves in their output?
     I don't know . . . the more I talk about creating a theory from scratch, the more I think about not only how difficult such a thing would be, but also that I have already been influenced by so many established ways of thinking.

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