A Bridge Too Far
Why are you here?
Because my best friend made me promise to seek therapy.
If your best friend told you to jump off a bridge, would you?
Of course not. No….well maybe if she was jumping with me. Don't you want to know what is bothering me rather than opening up by judging me about my relationship with my best friend?
I'm not judging you. I'm analyzing your response. I ask all my patients the same first question. You didn't answer about yourself, and I was trying to point that out to you. Your response leads me to believe you are defensively posturing yourself, hesitant about the truth, and perhaps dependent on your best friend. Perhaps codependent, so why don't we start by talking about that?
All that analysis from one sentence? Look. Who's paying who? Don't I get to choose what to talk about if I'm paying for your services? And if I'm coming here to talk about my mental health, do you think it's a good idea to lead with a question about me jumping off a bridge? How do you know I'm not suicidal?
Good. So my comment was not out of line. Why don't you just take a breath and let me help you. Of course you get to choose what you want to talk about, but it's my job to assist you, to guide you towards a better understanding of yourself. That will involve me asking questions. And after I ask a question, if I see a red flag, I'm going to point it out. If any of my comments to you seem harsh and make you angry, perhaps we should peel that onion, so to speak. I like to dive right in with my patients, perhaps even intentionally rile them up, because often times they don't understand their own problems, and my style has been proven effective to reach that ultimate goal. Why don't we start over. What can I help you with today?
Truthfully? Today, right now my biggest problem started when I walked into your office and started talking to you. Let me ask you this? Are there any bridges nearby?