Hello Emma, did you
find this therapy centre OK?
Yes, thanks. The
directions on the appointment letter were very
Good. Im Doctor
Harris. Your doctor referred you to me for a
series of counselling sessions to help you deal
with social situations. Would you like to tell me,
in your own words, what the difficulty is?
So you think
Ive got a difficulty.
Well, no. Im a
therapist. If you think youve got
a difficulty, then I might be able to help you
have a problem, but I was hoping you could help
me deal with all the other people who do.
What problem do all
the other people have?
Everyone is just so
challenging and argumentative. Its
impossible to talk to anyone without them using
some angry or sarcastic facial expression or tone
Can you give me an
doing it too!
Youre asking me
sarcastically, and with a patronising expression
on your face, if I can give you an example of
something which must be bloody obvious to you.
Whats the matter with you? I thought you
were supposed to be a therapist.
Im so sorry, I
didnt mean any offence. Its just that
its normal practice for any therapist to
ask the person they are seeing to explain their
concerns in their own words.
Oh yea, right. As
soon as I challenge your sarcastic, patronising
attitude, you turn it against me as if Im
the one being bloody unreasonable. Youre
just like all the rest.
I swear to you that
wasnt my intension. Im sorry if it
came over that way. Lets start again. What
would you like to get out of these sessions?
So now youre
getting at me by doing the opposite of
being aggressive. Youre trying to trick me
into feeling valued so you can subtly rubbish my
viewpoint. I can tell it by the expression on
your face. God you make me sick. I came here for
help in dealing with people in a way that stops
them being nasty to me and, before we even get to
know each other, youre being as unpleasant
as everyone else. Well, Im not putting up
with it. Im leaving.
Im sorry you
feel that way, Emma. I would like to try to help
you really, I would.
No you bloody
wouldnt. I knew my doctor was having a
laugh when he referred me to you. You could tell
by his facial expressions, body language and tone
of voice that hed just thought of another
way of humiliating me. Just like my last twenty-five
doctors and ten therapists. Im just so
desperate, I hoped youd be different.
Look Emma, Im
not usually this frank with the people so early
in the therapeutic process, but dont you
think it odd that everyone is unpleasant
to you? Do you think you might sometimes be
misinterpreting their non-verbal communication?
you all want me to think. Thats
why no one ever says anything nasty; they just
look at me aggressively or talk in sarcastic,
patronising or angry tones. Well, Im not
staying here to put up with your unpleasantness.