Amy: Something unexpected happened to me when I read David Keith’s “Unconventional Therapy Perspective”. (7/23). I wrote David a note when I finished reading his post and, though I hadn’t intended to, began recounting a rather unsettling experience I’d had the day before with a professional colleague. In this episode, I ended up feeling “scolded” by this colleague for my rather expansive and free teaching style–for, perhaps, not conforming perfectly to the institutional patterns.
Something about David’s post made me tune into my discomfort about this exchange. I have much more experience that the colleague in question, and our students are generally quite appreciative of my rather unorthodox perspective. And my aim is always to operate in a therapeutic way, to offer my students and their patients an opportunity for healing. This may have been stimulated any David’s reference to “abstract intent.”
I’ve never put much weight on the importance of “playing the game” within institutions. I respect my colleagues, enjoy cordial and sometimes deep relationships, and believe that I enjoy their respect as well. But I’ve never invested much energy in cultivating any voice other than my own. That’s the only voice I have, and I’ve never been good at trying to adopt any other. Something about David’s post made me re-engage with myself. It reminded me that I take responsibility for my own living patterns, including as a therapist and teacher. I felt a renewed freedom; perhaps it was David’s affirmation about the importance of our creative, authentic, expressiveness. My colleague’s “disapproval” receded into the background of my consciousness. Thanks you, Dr. Keith, for the therapy.