Therapy can be compared to many things: a healing journey, adventure or quest; a fateful detour; serious play; even searching for the right meal or clothing. It’s rarely like getting your car fixed. At best, it is shaped by the needs of the client, and generates learning, of new skills and abilities that can carry through life, usually with a new perspective, and some hard-won wisdom. Often the client and therapist meet for a while, and stop, sometimes meeting again as new difficulties in living arise. There are many therapists, and approaches, and it’s important for the client to find the match that’s right.
I’m a licensed clinical social worker with a MSW from the University of Michigan, and over 25 years’ experience with a wide range of clients: children and families; couples; and individual adults. I’ve learned that a therapist needs to be flexible and efficient; have a variety of tools; and be able to use an array of approaches and modalities, depending on the needs of the client. The art comes in knowing what is needed, and when, and how much is enough. It helps to be able to listen, to what is said, as well as what is left unsaid. A sense of humor is useful too.