Conclusion: It Depends - RonaldMah

Ronald Mah, M.A., Ph.D.
Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist,
Consultant/Trainer/Author
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Individual therapy is not prescriptive and couple or family therapy which is often more complex also cannot be prescriptive.  What is therapy?  What should therapy be?  It depends!  Therapy needs to first and foremost come out of sound diagnosis and assessment.  Depending on the diagnosis and assessment, implied principles and sound concepts direct clinical strategies and interventions.  Actual choices ultimately will always depend on the therapist's judgments with specific clients in the moment of therapy about what is clinically sound.  Therapist's interventions and relationships with the individual, couple, or family needs to be constantly evaluated for effectiveness as anticipated or their effect as unanticipated.  With change or growth, or the lack thereof, further assessment and diagnosis leads to further theories and therapeutic interventions.  What is therapy and what does the therapist do as it dynamically evolves through stages of treatment?    It always depends!

1. Therapy depends on what therapists see, hear, or feel.  

2. Therapy also depends on who and what therapists are.  

3. Therapy depends on what clients bring or present, on what they reveal or hide.  

4. Therapy depends on what therapists think it might be about.  

5. Therapy then depends on choices by the therapist and what is done.  

6. Therapy depends on choices by clients and what they do… and don't do.  

7. Then, therapy depends on what happens or doesn't happen.  

8. Then therapy depends on what happens next.  

What determines what happens next?  That depends on what happened before!

9. Therapy now depends on what the therapist saw, heard, or felt before, AND what the therapist sees, hears, or feels.  

10. Therapy also depends on who and what therapists were AND are.  

11. Therapy depends on what clients brought or presented, on what they revealed or hid, AND what clients now bring or present, on what they reveal or hide.

12. Therapy depends on what the therapist thought it might be about AND what the therapist now think it might be about.  

13. Therapy then depends on previous choices by the therapist and what was done AND new choices by the therapist and what is done now or next.  

14. Therapy depends on previous choices by clients and what they did… and didn't do AND new choices by clients and what they do… and don't do now.  

15. Then, therapy depends on what happened or didn't happen before AND on what happens or doesn't happen now.  

16. Then therapy depends on what happened before AND on what happens next.  

What determines what happens next?  See #1!  What is therapy?  Psychotherapy may be the most complex and varied process of human services.  Individual, couple, or family therapy may be the most challenging and most rewarding work for psychotherapists.  Individual, couple, or family therapy may the most crucial mechanisms for change, growth, and healing.  Therapy may be the last or only hope for distressed individuals, couples… children, and families.

ADDRESS:
433 Estudillo Ave., #305
San Leandro, CA 94577-4915
Ronald Mah, M.A., Ph.D.
Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, MFT32136
CONTACT INFORMATION:
(510) 614-5641 or (510) 582-5788
fax: (510) 889-6553
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