Q & A

These questions and answers are intended as a follow up to the article "Couples and Money in Harsh Economic Times". Look for the article under "What's New"

Q & A For Professionals

Q

 

Since there are so many people who lost their jobs and their homes right now, why did you choose to write about a couple that was actually comfortable?

A

 

Emotional resilience is relative. We often misdiagnose based on our own social experience. This case was close to PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), and yet the couple seemed not to report about any "real" trauma.

Q

 

It seems like you spent a lot of attention on Bill's resistance. What about Linda?

A

 

In this case it was obvious that Linda made Bill into the I.P. (identified patient), which helped her to ignore her own anxiety. Additionally, Bill was vocal about the fee issue. I addressed his challenge, while I was aware of the fact that she might be stressed about the fee as well.

Q

 

Did you feel intimidated by his bluntness about the "stupidity of spending money"?

A

 

Not at all. I expected it, and was ready for it. I also made sure to use language that pertains to business and investment, in order to create a connection with him.

Q

 

How did you recognize that he is "hearing voices from the past"

A

 

Quite often, when people overreact to a stimuli, or appear to behave differently then their familiar habits, one can assume that some past experience or trauma got triggered.

Q

 

Why did you guide Bill to experience his anger through his body?

A

 

He appeared to be very intelligent and eloquent. I was afraid that starting with "talk therapy" would produce intellectualization and rationalization.

Q

 

Why did you ask him to stroke his head?

A

 

Often times, when a couple is angry, they stop showing physical affection, and their bodies feel "touch deprived". My intuition and assumption were that he has not been touched or caressed for a number of weeks, and therefore he might be more emotionally touched by the physical sensation.

Q

 

Why did you not ask more questions about his parents and his childhood?

A

 

For the following two reasons:
1 I did not believe that he was capable of going deeper, and I wanted to honor his capacity.
2 Linda had been an observer up to now; and I did not want to ignore her emotions any longer

Q

 

It seems like a big part of the session was psycho educational (the explanations about sleep deprivation and dreams), wouldn't you be better off processing more about their emotions?

A

 

I made the decision to be more didactic based on their personalities. These were very bright and accomplished professionals who had never been in therapy before. Therefore, I made an assumption that there is some embarrassment about "needing therapy". I figured that if they would look at part of what we do as imparting some teaching or information, they would be able to justify "needing" me.