Love For Sale
From the outset, the author critiques the actual position of psychotherapy from a rare perspective, highlighting complex issues established in the formation of a psychothepeutic dyad. Psychotherapists assume a complicated role of offering professional assistance guided by several elements of professionalism and social responsibility. Despite the fact that the extent of personal relationship between the therapist and the client is restricted by professional boundaries mitigating dual relationships, it is difficult to isolate professionalism from practical client-therapist relationship (Bromley n.d.). In view of the author’s choice of title that captures the theme accurately, the responsibility of the therapist in professional exercise is inseparable from emotional attachment extended in the dyad as sympathy and empathy for clients goes.
A critical examination of the role of the therapist within the principle of empathy and responsibility over clients, it is difficult to draw the line between profession and social relations. By likening the psychotherapist to a ‘paid friend’, the apparent emotional attachment such as observed in friendships is illustrated. Contrary to ordinary friendships, the dyad is guided by professional practice which attracts fees for the service. The empathy principle needed for the dyad to discharge its obligations captures the friendship aspect, while the fee paints the payment concept.
In view of the endless demand for money during the entire therapy period for the services rendered, the author shows how the dyad is different from a friendship that is generally not conditional. Termination of remittance of the fees translates to the termination of the therapy sessions, even if friendship aspects are present during the sessions. Giving a listening ear as needed by the client is the sole responsibility of the therapist, which makes some sence for the charges. Listening is an important principle in therapy, which supports the client’s psychological composure needed for the healing process.
Alternatively, it is the role of the therapist to accommodate the errant social attributes of the client for the healing process to be sustained. The author reckons that the therapist must pose as a ‘tolerant acceptant…transgressions’ to depict the weird social sacrifice that the therapist makes to ensure comfort of the errant social nature of the client. This is a trade trick that instills a sence of self-worth, even in times of grievous social mistakes that would otherwise attract social judgment, isolation and torment. Perhaps the accommodation offered arises from the compulsory reward expected by the therapist, to cater for the social cost incurred.
Paying attention to the client’s needs and undertaking to facilitate their development and healing is described as rare social coat specially worn by the therapist. The author shows the high standard set by the profession in terms of the measure of willingness to accept weaknesses of social weaklings in need of professional assistance. The therapist reserves ordinary public criticism for certain psychological conditions affecting psychotherapy clients and must give the clients a ‘morally uncritical reception’ in order to attend to their psychological worries. The therapist must be closer to the client than the rest of the world is, particularly at the height of their weaknesses and make timely interventions instilling belief than showing hatred. The profession is therefore, perhaps, a balance between love and psychotherapy trade.
Bromley, E. (n.d.) “Love for Sale: ‘Psychotherapy as Prostitution’ Revisited,” [Online] Available from: <http://www.davidsmail.info/talk95a.htm> [Accessed 25 May 2012].