- Mental Health
HAVING FUN IN THERAPY
THERAPY HAS TO BE FUN OR ELSEClick thumbnail to view full-size
If I Didn't Have To Worry About Getting Sued!
From time to time, I get all kinds of silly thoughts and fantasies about the way I would like to "do" therapy. If only I didn’t have to worry about getting sued!
For starters, I’d like to get a slew of phone calls every Tuesday morning during football season (You know, the night after Monday Night Football) requesting emergency appointments! I might be able to earn enough during football season to be off the rest of the year!
I also thought about getting a Rottweiler as just a part of the ambience of the office! And on Tuesday mornings, I’d intentionally forget to feed the little guy! I'd call him Fred! You can see Fred's picture there to the right!
So here are a few scenes from my alleged therapist mind!
CASE ONE The couple is on the couch. She goes on and on telling how he neglects her, never listens, never takes her out to dinner, never kisses her, never really makes love, just gropes and grabs and gets off. She is on the verge of tears, and he is sitting there looking a little guilty. He is, after all, like most of us men, a good guy, and he protests very little.
So I say to him, "Look at your sweetie pie. Make a little eye contact with her. Hold her hand, for crying out loud. Now tell her, ‘Honey, I am SO SO sorry.’"
He says, "I don’t talk like that. That’s not me."
So I say, "No, Duh. You think that’some gigantic revelation? Everyone knows you don’t talk like that, and everyone knows that’s not you, especially your wife who’s sitting right there next to you dying for a little lovin from you. So, look, Man, do you want to hang on and just continue being a JERK, or are you ready to give it up and say those simple words?"
At that very moment, I snap my fingers and in comes the hungry Rottweiler who puts his head in the guy’s lap, sniffs a little, and growls a little.
Mr. Macho Man, says, "Okay, I’ll say the words," and he does.
She jumps on him and screams. "Oh honey, I love you so much, kiss, kiss, kiss......."
And at that exact moment, I push the Staples button, "That was easy!"
And off they go for another week of bliss until he gets together with his buddies for Monday night football!
CASE TWO Then there’s the cop who comes in with spouse. The husband says to me, "I guess you know she’s a cop! She gives me tickets left and right. She writes me up for everything, especially when we’re having sex."
"What does she write you up for?" I ask.
"For parking in the no parking zone, for making illegal turns, for not giving her the right of way, for going too fast in a fifteen mile an hour zone, in general, for speeding, but sometimes for going too slow in the sixty five mile an hour zone, and heck, I can’t even keep track of when to speed up and when to slow down."
"Can’t you just give him a few warnings, maybe traffic school?" I ask her.
So the next week they come back and he’s complaining because she has signs painted on her entire body. Stop, Yield, 15 mph, No Turn, One Way, Radar enforced.
"Is it helping?" I ask.
"I can live with the signs. In fact, I got to admit. They're helpful. But the siren. Very distracting. Every time I make a wrong move, a siren goes off."
So I say to him, "So why not just get with the program and there wouldn’t be a siren." Then I turn to her in an attempt to appear neutral, " Hey, come on, can we desist with the siren? I mean, that would drive me nuts too."
"You men are all alike," she complains. "You get all weird when we won’t follow your rules, but then you just dismiss our rules and boundaries like they’re nothing."
"I’ll tell you what," I responded, adding a compassionate nod. "I’ll lend you Fred, my Rottweiler, for a week and you can have your very own K9 unit."
"That’s okay," he says. "I think I can learn siren or no siren."
At that very moment, I press the Staples’ button, "That was easy!"
And off they go, for a week of marital bliss until he falls asleep "at the wheel" again next Monday night!
CASE THREE Or how about the couple who comes in complaining and complaining and complaining? So I start giving them some homework, but then they don’t do their homework. So I pick up the phone and call their kids. I don’t even have to call in Fred!
"Hey guys, you get into trouble for not doing your homework? Yea? Well, guess what? Mom and Dad aren’t doing theirs either. Have any ideas for consequences? Put parental controls on Dad’s cable stations? What’s he watching? Tell Mom she can’t cry for a week? And if she does, then what? Can’t watch Sex and the City reruns and Desperate Housewives? Sounds good, kids. Thanks for the help.
I do love my job, and work with folks quite successfully in my own style, which may have a hint of the above, but at times I wish I could go all the way!!
If you’re interested, there is an amazing book, entitled "Provocative Therapy." It’s been awhile since I read it, but it has some funny stuff, but REAL!
Milton Erikson also has some funny stuff..
If you’re a therapist, share your fantasies of how you would like to conduct a session. If you’re a client, share your fantasies of how you like your therapist to conduct the session. Am I opening a can of worms? Well, let’s see!
THANKS FOR READING AND THANKS FOR YOUR COMMENTS