Your Turn

What do you think of therapy?


  1. Connie says:

    I think therapy is valuable only when there is give and take. Too many therapists listen but seldom speak and the time is wasted for both parties. Too much evasive side-stepping on the client’s part guarantees failure. BOTH sides have to be willing to do the hard work.

    • Marcia Naomi Berger says:

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Connie. I agree that good therapy is a collaborative process between therapist and client. A competent therapist listens well to what is being said so that the person feels understood. Most people benefit from working with a therapist who also gives sensitive feedback, asks pertinent questions, makes “process” comments, and individualizes the therapy to fit the particular person and situation.

  2. Richard Posner says:

    I’ve benefitted from therapy, once significantly. Three planets must be in alignment: the therapist must be talented, the client must be genuinely ready for therapy, and there must be some chemistry between therapist and client. Too many people “go for therapy” expecting some Dr. Phil 5-minute miracle ending with a hug and a good cry. Therapy is work, and the client must be committed to doing the work, not just by “opening up” at a session but by trying to change destructive thought processes and behaviors. As a teacher, I’m interested in how you get clients to do their “homework.”

    • Richard, thank you for your thoughtful comments. Yes, the therapist’s skill, the client’s readiness, chemistry (the client’s comfort with the therapist), and patience with the process on the part of both therapist and client(s) all contribute to successful therapy.

      About how I “get clients to do homework,” this is ultimately up to them. The short intake form I ask clients to complete during their initial visit includes this statement and question: “Completing homework assignments between sessions is likely to speed up your progress. Are you willing to do homework?”

      If a client, for one reason or another, doesn’t do homework after having agreed to do it, I might wonder what got in the way. If the person needs more direction or prefers to do the homework in the perceived safety of a therapy session, I’m fine with helping with homework during a session, if/when the client is motivated.

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