My boyfriend, Julian, is going to school for Sociology. One of the books he was assigned for class was On Being a Therapist by Jeffery Kottler. Becoming a therapist is his goal, so he really enjoyed the book, and thinking I would enjoy it as well, he passed it along. I don’t have any aspirations along this line myself, but there was a lot of good information in it and I really did find it fascinating. (Also interesting was how many people started conversations with me because they saw me reading this book. I took it with me on a trip out of town, and several people in the airport and in planes started conversations with me, thinking I was a therapist!)
One of the sections of the book that particularly caught my eye was a chapter on burnout. It gave a list of questions for therapists to consider when they’re feeling that way. This list really made me think. Although I write a lot about weight loss, the original purpose of the Long View Hill blog was to be a place to chart self discovery. It just so happens that currently part of my journey seems to be heading along the Weight Loss Super Highway. I guess you could say that in figuring out who I want to be – currently I am figuring out the “body” part of the mind body whole.
Anyway, I wanted to share the questions with you, as well as store them in my blog for my own mediation:
- What haunts you the most, especially when you are feeling raw or vulnerable?
- In what ways are you not functioning as fully and effectively as you could?
- What are some aspects of your lifestyle that are especially unhealthy?
- What are your most conflicted or chronically dysfunctional relationships?
- Where do you hold your pain?
- In what ways to you medicate yourself (whether with substances or with particular behaviors?)
- What are the lies you tell yourself?
- What do you spend your time avoiding or hiding from?
- Who is it who most easily gets to you, and what does that mean?
- What are unresolved issues that have plagued you throughout your life?
- How does this affect your work?
- What is it about these questions you find the most threatening?
Note from the book: Because self-identification of the issues stirred up by these questions is difficult, it is advisable to discuss them with a trusted friend, or better yet, bring them to your personal therapy.
Photo credit: Joel Bombardier