Sneak a Peek into My Sketchy – Life’s Not Always Black & White

As a psychotherapist I knew that one of the biggest pitfalls of all relationships* was  “seeing” others through the clouded lens of our own eyes.  We humans tend to think everyone feels as we do and should understand what we know.  It’s hard to take someone else’s position because we live in the bubble of our unique experiences and interpretations.  In psychological terms it’s called projection.  I was surprised to see this phenomena in artwork.

During the breaks in life drawing I noticed that many (not all) drew the model in “their own image”:  Short students tended to draw the models legs too short; stocky students drew her a bit too stocky and; muscular students created muscular images.

Although all art, whether dancing, singing, painting etc. is  ultimately a “projection” of the artist I’m wondering if what sets apart renowned artists from amateurs is a true reflection of the artist rather than an “accurate” rendition of the subject?

Charcoal, 20 minute sketch

Conte Crayon, 20 minute sketch

DSCN7226

Each sketch, 20 minutes

To read about the pitfalls of relationships click here:  

*6 Factors that Can Predict Divorce or Separation 

Mervin the Mole Rat sez: “Her art is a projection of wishful thinking . . .”

Judge Judy is All Fired Up

Had a conversation with a friend about judgement.  My friend thought it wrong to judge others until you really got to know them.  She knows I’m guilty of judging people rather quickly.  Yes, sometimes my initial judgment is wrong.  But he older I get the more my initial judgment proves to be right . . . at least right from my criteria and perspective.

I’m judgmental and I like it that way.  I judge people, animals, right from wrong, hot from cold, good from bad.

As a therapist I was trained not to judge, just accept people for who they are and help them become more aware  and make their life better. Never blame the victim.  Empathize with those who stuck.  Listen, listen, listen and help clients find their own solutions.

One of my earliest lessons in judgement involved a woman who saw me after she was raped in the park by a man she picked up at a bar because she wanted to get pregnant and have a baby.  After dealing with the trauma I tried to help her learn to judge when it’s safe and when it’s not.  She left me for another therapist who listened more.

Another lesson in judgement was a beautiful young woman who was a wealthy man’s mistress.  She would come into the community clinic where I was interning, pay her $5 fee, wearing real diamonds, after having returned from Europe or South America or Fiji or some other exotic destination. . . . .complaining about her life.  You bet I judged.  What was she doing with her life that would be a good model for her 3 children?  She liked me but she liked her current life style more.

I judged when a couple came to see me  because they had horrific fights whenever they had alcohol to drink.  I told them to stop drinking.  They fired me.

I judge myself too.  Sometimes I listen and sometimes I don’t.  It’s just hard to fire me.

#152 – VITAL

Judgement is vital

for the spring to know it’s fall

letting go of leaves

Discrimination

Vitality of judgment

Comes with each season

Would I Make an Appointment with Myself?

I am a bit at a loss for words.  Those who know me will find that almost incomprehensible.

just read an excellent post on Phylor’s blog

http://phylor.wordpress.com/2011/03/18/easy-for-you-to-say-hard-for-me-to-do/

You need to read it in its entirety.

It made me stop and think. She wrote about how easy it was for therapists to tell her what to do without really knowing who she was or her circumstances.

Over the years I’ve thought about seeing a therapist to talk to about my struggles with fibromyalgia.   As both a patient  and a psychotherapist Phylor’s post made me wonder if I would see me as a therapist.

I’m stubborn (NO! you are thinking . .), am more of a leader than follower (learning to take the back seat).  I have strong opinions and some have hinted I’m not very patient (which I vehemently deny !).

I know that I have changed in the 25 years I’ve been in practice . . .  . . . . .For the best?

My training was psychodynamic –  finding insight into the  unconscious which is to lead to life changes.  The bulk of the training was to erase my own personality,  listen and help the client find their own answers.  This sometime taking years and years with no discernible changes – just lots of insight and money (unless you have insurance . . .)

Insight without action is meaningless.  Now I lean toward what is called a Cognitive-Behavioral approach. I still find lots of value in unconscious meaning and motivation but  I frequently offer clients “options, actions and possibilities” and often hear myself saying to them “It’s very easy for me to say and not so easy to do.”

There is a fine line between having “answers” and empowering people to take right action – whatever “right” might be for them.

Hundreds, if not thousands, of clients later I know all I really can offer is being witness to their, hurt, confusion & pain, with patience, love and a few behavioral options..

Guess I found some words.

Now to find a therapist that’s right for me.  Easier to say than do.