Thursday, June 30, 2011

Client Comments

Among some old files I found a group of notes I’d written of comments that various clients had made, which had impressed me as particularly insightful or pithy, and which I'd written down after asking for, and receiving, permission to quote anonymously:

•“You think, because you’re brought up with a set of rules, that you have a set of values.”

•A client, describing early family history, said: “They were practicing Catholicism at the expense of Christianity.”

•“Her way of healing old wounds is to open them up and play with them.”

•“I’m so open-minded--but with gates.”

•"It's the unquiet spirit that breaks down the body."

•A client said, “You have to think through what you want to do and what goal you want to achieve.” I said, “Let’s do some of that now. What do you want to do, and what goal would you like to achieve?” She said, “That’s a loaded question.”

•Speaking with a client on the autistic spectrum, I said, “I’m trying to teach you that there’s something more to relationships than self-preoccupation and manners.” The client replied, “I don’t agree.”

•A client said, "I know that I've always felt like a dunce in my family. I just never said it out loud." I said, "Congratulations," for saying it out loud. "What difference does that make?" asked the client.

•Palpably describing what psychodynamic therapists call "dissociation," a client described coping with a mother's harangues: "I'd sit tight, put on a face, and not be there."

•A former client who returned to see me, commented: "Gee, the last time I saw you, you had a little more brown in your hair. What'd you do, eat something grey?"

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