Sunday, February 27, 2005

My approach as a future therapist...

I don't have this all fully hammered out yet, but I thought I'd put down some thoughts about what will probably work for me in what areas.

My Prime Analytical Approach
First off, I will never be a true Freudian or Adlerian. I might find it necessary to draw from them occassionally if the need arises, but neither approach is my default for psychoanalysis. I am a Jungian analyst by natural ability and slant.

My Prime Experiential Approach
This is going to be a hard one, because I am an Experiential learner, so I am drawn to all three approaches listed in my text. In the depths of my heart, I am an Existentialist. With Art Therapy and other creative techniques, I am Person-centered, because that is how those techniques work the best and it allows my Jungian bent to express itself at the same time. However, in reviewing how I traditionally deal with conflicted people, I am an Contemporary Gestaltist by nature. (And if I lose my cool, I'm an old school Gestaltist.) I noticed in the office library of a local art therapist I am on familiar terms with, there is a book about using Gestalt Theory in art therapy. I think I am going to have to read that book someday soon. While this may change with time and training, at the moment my greatest personal strengths are aligned with Contemporary Gestalt theory.

My Action Approach
I like the Choice Theory and the demystifying of the Reality Therapy technique. I also agree with the concept of developing a plan of action. But that is about all I really agree with the Reality Therapy approach on. I can see where it would work with difficult people who are being forced into therapy. I just don't think I would be able to apply this approach effectively on a regular basis. I am flexible - I could fall back on it if I had to - but it would take a lot of mental energy on my part. I use WDEP approach on programs and other non-sentient objects and systems, which shouldn't be surprising since Glasser and I both started our college careers in Chemical Engineering. However, I would have a hard time applying this to human beings in such an overt manner, because people under stress are not all that capable of clear evaluation of themselves. The stress needs to be relieved before self-evaluation can be taught effectively and by then you can just as easily help the client to figure it out versus spelling it out for them. There is not enough deep self-examination in this approach. You're only paying attention to the surface and ignoring the deeper currents that guide long-term behavior. And it is too easy in this approach to let you impose your own values on the client. I consider that unethical. And finally, for an approach that carries the name "Reality", it ignores the realities of those whose culture is much different than Western world's majority.

Contemporary Behavioral therapy looks useful enough, but I personally see it as a crutch or another short-term solution to problems. Now, some problems only need the immediate resolution, but most people end up in therapy for deeper rooted issues. I will be studying this and the Cognitive Behavioral approach next week. Scanning over the chapters, though, I see many action therapies to be a "MacGyver" fix to problems - which is great for emergencies, but lacks the quality and long term dependability of the other approaches. If I were in a situation where I needed to apply a "MacGyver" fix to a client to avoid catastrophe, I would probably choose the Cognitive Behavioral approach.

My Systems Approach
This is a no brainer. I am a firm believer in Family Systems. It is an basic tenant of my faith and if I didn't believe that with all my heart, I would have changed religions a long time ago. That being said, I would probably borrow more from Adler than I would from Freud in my departures from Jung.

And my main approach as a therapist would probably be...
Looking it over, I would probably go with the Contemporary Gestalt approach as a default. If there was strong evidence that a client would relate better with another approach, then I would alter my treatment to that.

Some people probably would like to see me go into more depth about all of this and expound, but you're going to have to wait until a later date when I have more fully digested the contents of my current class.


Anonymous said...

great writing... very thought provoking.
Question, since lj is the only journal I have currently, what is the advantage to this blog vs lj... or is it simply that you started here adn later moved there?

Cosmic Siren said...

The LJ came first.