Friday, December 16, 2011

"What Do You Want For Christmas?"

Here’s Laura Zigman's a wonderful example of a supremely annoying conversation, via our friends at XtraNormal.

A married couple is discussing what each of them wants for Christmas.

The couple shows what happens when you apply the social skills you learned in therapy to your marriage.

Unsurprisingly, for all its talk about the importance of communication, therapy makes it impossible to have a real conversation.

As Zigman portrays it, therapy assumes that everything has a hidden meaning. Thus, if you are a therapy patient, your therapist assumes that you never mean what you say or say what you mean. 

Having done therapy, neither the husband nor the wife in the cartoon knows how to respond directly to the other.

Each keeps repeating an annoying phrase: “by which you mean.” They do not listen; they do not hear; they do not respond; they do not assume that the other person has said what he or she means; they interpret.

This is what happens when you overdose on psychotherapy. 

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