When confronted with uncertainty, it is natural to seek some reassurance that our solution is reasonable, rational, “makes sense,” or otherwise good enough. We all seek out the type of reassurance that works well to calm a doubt, allay a worry, solidify a plan of action, or guide a decision.
A normal problem-solving mode of mind draws clients into the idea that where they are isn’t desirable and they need to be somewhere else. Jobs need to be changed, relationships fixed. More often than not, therapists go along, but this view directs attention toward getting, not the dynamics of doing.
In 2014, as I approached writing my weekly blog post, I decided to describe some of my patients who, when first seen, didn’t seem melancholy, agitated, or even sad. They were highly engaged with life and appeared very successful, expressing uncertainty and even guilt about coming to therapy.
Broaching microaggressions that occur in therapy tends to be challenging. As the therapist, you are faced with the decision to address the microaggression or let it go. This choice is difficult for many therapists who don’t want to hurt the therapeutic alliance, but also want to be transparent about their commitment to social justice.