Sunday, January 27, 2019

When a Therapist Utters a Curse

For today we have a good example of the problems that therapy causes. I have long since postulated that therapy is more often the problem than the solution, and today’s Carolyn Hax column shows how it’s done.

Without too much introduction, here’s the letter:

My adult son, now 29, lost his father in a freak accident the day before my son turned 13. For more than two years after the accident, his dad lingered in a near vegetative state. A grief counselor I consulted back then told me that as a result of this experience, my son could have difficulty later in his life forging intimate relationships.

My son and I have talked several times about this possibility and about how counseling could help.

Now he is having trouble in his intimate relationships, but he's closed to the idea of therapy. He is otherwise a really good man, thriving in his career and regarded by many as a really charming guy. How can I help?

A good man, doing very well in his career, charming and personable… and yet, overhanging his life is what I will call a curse pronounced by a grief counselor. Said psycho professional has no real idea of the lasting effects of the father’s death will be. But, he feels compelled to make a prediction, to look into his crystal ball and pronounce what will happen in the future. He is not a scientist, but a prophet. And yet, he is pretending to be able to foretell the future. 

Naturally, the young man’s ever-so gullible mother has bought the prophecy. Now she is doing her best to ensure that it will come to pass… by nagging her son about going into therapy. It might be that her nagging about this issue has become an impediment to the son's relationships. 

We must notice that said mother probably does not know all there is to know about her son’s romantic relations. If he has good character and is thriving in his career, he probably attracts young women, like catnip. And if he has trouble with these relationships, it seems never to have crossed his mother’s mind that the fault might lie in the young women. Depending on what he does, who he hangs out with, how he meets these women… none of which is reported… the fault might well lie elsewhere.

This being the case, Hax sagely advises this woman to mind her own business and to stop trying to drum up business for therapists. Though Hax unfortunately seems willing to accept that the young man needs therapy.

The moral of the story is that one therapist’s ignorant pretense to be able to predict the future has caused damage to this family. 


Sam L. said...

I have to ask: HOW many intimate relationships does he have currently? Is he spreading himself too thin?

Anonymous said...

Therapists see no problem in predicting the past either. If you happen to have a so-called major life event somewhere in your past, take heed. If that isn't the obvious cause of your current problems, at least it must have a huge and everlasting influence that needs to be explored. The more you resist the idea, the more the therapist becomes convinced that there is something you are hiding. You are doomed either way.