From The Guardian, Therapy under lockdown: ‘I’m just as terrified as my patients are’:
For the 35 years I have practised as a psychotherapist, I have discouraged people from seeing themselves as hapless victims of forces arrayed against them. That’s the whole premise – that whatever brought you to my office, it is hampering your ability to direct the course of your own life. So let’s name your pain and then do something about it. Tell off the boss, walk out on the husband, confront the perpetrator, whatever it takes, and then move on, become the agent of your existence.
It’s a profession that has been good to me, and I hope good for my patients. But what if the premise is undone by circumstance? What if it turns out that we are hapless victims of a force arrayed against us, that will mercilessly hijack the machinery of our lives, that is silent and invisible and leaves us with nothing to do but cower in our homes and wash our hands and hope that it will pass us by? Is there a role for therapy in a pandemic?
I love this for its clear-eyed look into the practice of psychotherapy.