This reflection is your response to reading Yalom’s “The Gift of Therapy, an Open Letter to a New Generation of Therapists and their Patients”, with special attention to content from introduction through chapter 28.
Identify your initial thoughts after reading this material and beginning clinical. Where do you see yourself and what growth are you going to focus on in clinical?
Beginning clinical thoughts: related to Chapter 1 & 2.
I plan on reminding myself I don’t have to change my patient’s life in one session. Learning to remove obstacles one by one, so as to make life more manageable for the patient will be a goal.
Also, if I can avoid thinking of my patient as a diagnosis and more as a whole person that has this specific diagnosis they are managing, my hope is that I will not overlook aspects of the patient that do not fit into that particular diagnosis.
(1st page Ch 1): “My task was to remove obstacles blocking my patient’s path. I did not have to do the entire job; I did not have to inspirit the patient with the desire to grow, with curiosity, will, zest for life, caring, loyalty, or any of the myriad of characteristics that make us fully human. No, what I had to do was to identify and remove obstacles. The rest would follow automatically, fueled by the self-actualizing forces within the patient.”
(Ch 2) pg.4- 5, Avoid Diagnosis
“diagnosis is often counterproductive in the everyday psychotherapy of less severely impaired patients. Why? For one thing, psychotherapy consists of a gradual unfolding process wherein the therapist attempts to know the patient as fully as possible. A diagnosis limits vision; it diminishes ability to relate to the other as a person. Once we make a diagnosis, we tend to selectively overlook aspects of the patient that do not fit into that particular diagnosis, and correspondingly over-attend to subtle features that appear to confirm an initial diagnosis. What’s more, a diagnosis may act as a self fulfilling prophecy. Relating to a patient as a “borderline” or a “hysteric” may serve to stimulate and perpetuate those very traits.”
You only need to cite Yalom.
Limit Journal Entry 1 to no more than 2 double-spaced line pages (not counting the cover page and reference page).