“Before I became a therapist my professional background was in corporate life. Needless to say there are many differences between the two occupations, but one that now feels particularly striking is the difference in my own state of mind when I am working. In my previous career multitasking was essential and the merits of working in this way unquestioned. Concentration on any discrete task was always subject to the superseding demands of an email, phonecall or the appearance of an instant messenger conversation obscuring the work on my laptop screen. At meetings it was acceptable to respond to emails while simultaneously attempting to keep abreast of discussions.
Now however, when I am with a client, all intrusions – technological and otherwise – are silenced. For fifty minutes my entire focus is on the person with whom I am sitting and this is one of the many aspects of my work that I love.
This single-minded giving of attention has always been integral to therapy, but I wonder if at the present time it has a value that is of greater than ever significance. Certainly I am aware that when I am with clients, the uninterrupted nature of our time together is somewhat atypical of much of the rest of my life.
Given the ongoing questioning of the negative effects of ever-present smartphones on sleep quality, relationships and powers of concentration, to mention just a few areas of life, I wonder if therapy now offers something particularly pertinent. When sitting with a therapist, the client does not have to fear the competing demands of the enticing world of entertainment and information to which we now have almost constant access. By mutual agreement external distractions are set aside for the duration of the session, by client and therapist alike.
My training and work with clients have shown me the many benefits of therapy. However I wonder if its most fundamental characteristic, that it is a dialogue in which two people give one another their full attention, is significant at the present time to an extent that it has never been before. It seems to me that there can be something profoundly healing in this aspect of therapy alone.”
Contact Emma via the Clinic on 07468 573866 or directly on 07834 576853