Saturday, July 15, 2006

Psychotherapy in the twenty-first century

I recently saw a woman for a medication consultation who was quite shy about expressing her feelings directly to others. She was having difficulties with a boyfriend and had gone into therapy to discuss her feelings about this. In relating her story to me, she clearly was having a hard time talking about what she was experiencing. After a few minutes, she paused and said, "This would be easier if I could read you my texts." With that, she took out her cell phone and proceeded to read me a series of text messages that she and her boyfriend had exchanged. I was quite struck by the nuanced account of the evolution of their relationship that could be gleaned from these very short and often eliptical messages. I asked her if she had read these texts to her therapist. "Of course," she replied, with some surprise in her voice, "I read them to her at each session. It helps me understand how things are going." I could believe that, though it was not quite the psychotherapy that I was taught way back in the twentieth century.

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