A consultation with a therapist, a family, and an audience
"The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase. . ." T. S. Eliot, "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock", 1936
We imagine clients must feel like J. Alfred Prufrock when we gaze at them, make judgements about them using our cool clinical ways of investigating them. Do they feel our fix on them and do they feel ". . . pinned and wriggling on the wall . . .", as did J. Alfred Prufrock? From our fix and gaze and interrogation of them, what is it they should presume about our intentions?
Therapists tend to hypothesize about individuals and families before they have met them. It is a part of the ritual of figuring out what we want to know and how we intend to go about finding out. It relieves feelings of uncertainty and powerlessness. It provides the illusion that we are knowers and doers and that we can figure out what is wrong with others and fix them. We hypothesize mostly