There are so many ways, so many careers we can choose where helping people is the central thing.
And the type of helping that we are interested in and pursue says at least as much about us, if not more, than the fact that we want to help in general.
Yet, if you ask a therapist why we decided to get into this field, the answer you're most likely to get is to help people.
But what are some of the other deeper, more complicated, maybe less flattering answers to why we became therapists? And why is it important to look at those reasons up close?
Today I’m joined by Ben Fineman and Carrie Wiita, co-hosts of the Very Bad Therapy podcast, where they not only feature client stories about negative experiences with therapy, but they also call into question a lot of the conventional wisdom about what makes therapy effective and what makes therapists skillful.
We’re discussing the reasons we become therapists, consciously and unconsciously, and how that shows up in the therapy room for us and for our clients.
Ben Fineman is the co-host of the Very Bad Therapy podcast. He works as the Clinic Director of Sentio Counseling Center and the Chief Operating Officer of Sentio University, two new nonprofit organizations which use the emerging science of Deliberate Practice to improve the quality of therapist training and education. Ben is also an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist in the state of California.
Caroline Wiita is a marriage and family therapist trainee in Los Angeles, California. Her interests include the professional development of therapists, postmodern approaches to psychotherapy, and the finer points of cheap wine. She also runs MFT California, an online catalog of marriage and family therapy (MFT) programs in California, and offers personal coaching for anyone thinking about becoming an MFT.
Riva Stoudt is a therapist based in Portland, Oregon. When she's not working with patients, she likes to talk about all the things a therapist isn't "supposed" to talk about.