Wednesday, August 30, 2017

mind the gap

A colleague is counseling the husband of my friend.  He has not met with my friend but apparently feels qualified to diagnose her as “borderline”.  My colleague (a psychologist) thinks my friend has abandonment issues and has in fact suggested that her husband end the marriage for his own mental health.

This infuriates me.  As a couple/family therapist I am trained to look behind the client’s narrative at the hidden perspectives it may eclipse.  Even with that training, I can only hypothesize, speculate and surmise about someone’s perspective if they’re not in the room.  There will be gaps.  If my advice is based on a bias, as in the case of my colleague, it will be misguided, if not harmful, to my clients and their significant others. 

Without the input of persons’ attached to our clients, therapists cannot see the big picture.  We are not qualified to give third part diagnoses or relationship advice based on assumptions which fill in the gaps. 

We should get out of the way.

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