I love this story below in the New York Times about patients finding out what their therapists are thinking. It depicts a new way patients can take in necessary thoughts and feelings from their therapists. Although I can’t understand, if it’s in the notes and can be read, why weren’t those thoughts spoken?
And let’s get real: psychoanalysts won’t always tell our patients what we think. The whole art of doing therapy is knowing what will and won’t be therapeutic to say out loud. If I know and feel something about a patient that they don’t yet know or feel about themselves, it won’t help to say it! Asking questions is what helps people to make discoveries about themselves. And it’s only discovery that works to create change. Knowledge, without that sense of discovery, is flat and useless. You gotta feel it.
When I don’t say what I think and feel, I invoke patience. What a myth it is to believe that as a species we are logical, rational, and therefore, amenable to knowing ourselves. Yes, of course we can know ourselves…but only when the time is right.