Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner

Psychotherapy (?)

Originally posted on December 27, 2013

12-27-2013 04;49;26PM

Let’s ignore this caricature of psychoanalysis. (Really, only a very tiny fraction of psychotherapists work this way.) I included this comic strip to illustrate the idea that many people seeking “help” really want a simple answer that liberates them from any self-doubt. Their capacity to call themselves into question—their inclination to do so—is minimal. This cartoon strip illustrates a common problem—people seek “therapy” about character traits that result in difficulties in life—partners or spouses get fed up and angry, employers are inclined to fire this kind of person, or otherwise treat them in ways that they feel are unfair, and so forth.

What I like about this portrayal is that these folks have a sense of injured innocence that reflects the larger culture, more often than not: People should be confident, and questioning basic attitudes and behaviors is out of bounds. All this is changing, but not easily. The comic strip above shows eloquently how ambiguous it may be.

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