I also give the same response every time. In my years of being a clinical psychologist, I’ve never come across the same type of person twice. I have worked with many people who have presented with depression, anxiety, family conflict, etc., but each person had their own unique background and story.
Yes, common themes do arise in therapy: grief from losing a loved one, anxiety related to control, reoccurring relational problems, poor self-esteem due to a chaotic, neglectful home life. However, each person has their own experience, and the same experience can have a different impact from person to person.
Even the loss of a loved one can impact people differently. One person could be grief-stricken for months or years, while another may process the loss by becoming more active in personal pursuits as life isn't limitless.
People are complex, and it’s immensely rewarding and actually energizing to be able to work with people from different backgrounds. It’s a privilege to be allowed access to others’ experiences.
To be completely honest, sometimes there are moments of feeling disconnected during a session. Some might describe this moment as boredom or disinterest, but it's different. It's more about the interaction being superficial versus meaningful. It's getting caught up in the minor details instead of focusing on the central issue.
The disconnect during a session refers to the emotional connection between the patient and therapist. The patient or therapist can feel disconnected in a moment, the feeling isn't exclusive to either. Part of the therapy work is verbalizing and exploring this emotional distance, and recognizing if and when the same disconnect occurs in other relationships.
So for those who have that friend who only wants to talk when there is a problem, or only shares their own successes, take a moment and reflect on the relationship. Consider your perspective, but also connect with the perspective of others.
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