Clients and others ask me why therapists usually don’t give answers or advice. ‘What would you do?’ is a question clients sometimes ask me.
The answer to this question can be found in the following Scandinavian parable.
A man sits on a jetty fishing and beside him is a bucket full of fish he has just caught. A woman walks by, sees the fish overflowing in the bucket and asks the fisherman if he could spare one for her to cook for her dinner. ‘I won’t give you one of my fish but I’m happy to teach you how to fish’ he replies.
“I had an idea when I started therapy that it was quite an indulgent thing to do, that I should get in and out as quickly as possible. In fact, it became a regular meeting for around two years
A lot of the early sessions were quite emotional, I cried a lot. It helped to have someone to talk to who really listened. I think the greatest progress came after those initial sessions though, once I had let out some of the more raw emotions that I was feeling and built up trust with Allan through doing so. Allan helped me to explore assumptions about myself and other people’s opinions of me that I hadn’t even realised I had been making. Self awareness only takes you so far – having someone reflect back to you, in the safe space created by therapy, what it feels like to talk to you, to build a relationship with you, brought me far more insight that i could have found on my own.
Over time, the process of therapy greatly changed my view of myself and my approach to social situations, and a number of people close to me have commented on how much more at ease with myself I seem.”