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Walter Logeman


Misunderstanding, it could be said, is at the heart of psychotherapy. Somewhere in every personal psychotherapy journey it is bound to happen between the client and the therapist. Is this unfortunate? Painful perhaps, certainly to be carefully avoided, yet the moment it happens could be the turning point in your therapy. A turn in the right direction if the misunderstanding is resolved.

it could be the turning point in your therapy

It is part of the nature of the psyche that this happens. Let's think of psyche as the essence of your being for a moment. Essence is not about particular moments, it is a pattern at the heart of many moments. That pattern when it appears in therapy where it can be grasped, named and attended to. You can see why Freud said somewhere, that the healing could not begin until the patient's problem impacted itself on him in his room. (I'd be pleased to have the reference. This is the idea as I recall it.)

But is it more likely to have misunderstandings online than face-to-face?

It is easy to project something onto the therapist when there is little to go on. Yet self disclosure by the therapist is often not useful, so there is often little to go on. As an online therapist I am not visible physically yet I reveal quite a lot about myself online. This means that the projections and misundertandings may be a different online than face-to-face.

Language is important in psychotherapy and the written language is particularly important for work online. A therapist needs additional skills in writing and using the technology, and over the years I have identified and mastered quite a few.

Whatever the happens in therapy, misunderstandings, projections and transference need to be resolved, and much good can come from that.

See also:

Transference Among People Online An item on John Suler's useful Psychology of Cyberspace

Last updated: Thursday, 19 July, 2012