Psychotherapy — a useful metaphor

Andre Gregory (AG) interviewed by Family Therapy Networker (FTN)

 

AG: The part of therapy that is the most meaningful to me has to do with getting to know who you are and how to live your life fully. In that process, you develop an appetite for loving others and making it possible for others to live more fully and love more fully. It’s as if a torch is being passed in the therapy in which something is being kindled that you can then kindle in other peoples’ lives. To me, that’s a spiritual discipline, and very hard work.

 

FTN: Why should therapists be the ones to do that? Who ordained them?

 

AG: I really don’t know why therapists should be the ones to do that kind of work. I suppose they’re really the only guides for these times.

 

AG: They (good therapists) have no judgment, and they’re willing to enter into a process where they don’t know where they’re going and where they don’t have opinions.

 

FTN: I can imagine an extremely incompetent therapist who could fit that bill.

 

AG: Let’s say you were guiding somebody into the Amazon 75 years ago, before there were any maps. You had to know a lot about mud, quicksand, serpents, malaria, but you couldn’t know quite where you were going. As a therapist, to know where your client is going is to assume that you know who this other person is, which I think is impossible. Basically the person that you’re sitting with as a therapist is a mystery in the same way that the jungle is a mystery. At the same time, you don’t want the person that you’re guiding to come down with malaria or sink into quicksand. In the end, the uncertainty of where they’re going and how the two of you are going to get through this jungle, I think, is the excitement of the journey.

 

I do think being on a spiritual journey without a teacher is like wanting to be a brain surgeon and then not going to medical school.

 

Andre Gregory, theater director and actor, best known for the movie, “My Dinner With Andre,” interviewed by Richard Simon, editor of The Family Therapy Networker/Psychotherapy Networker.

Andre Gregory (AG) interviewed by Family Therapy Networker (FTN)

 

AG: The part of therapy that is the most meaningful to me has to do with getting to know who you are and how to live your life fully. In that process, you develop an appetite for loving others and making it possible for others to live more fully and love more fully. It’s as if a torch is being passed in the therapy in which something is being kindled that you can then kindle in other peoples’ lives. To me, that’s a spiritual discipline, and very hard work.

 

FTN: Why should therapists be the ones to do that? Who ordained them?

 

AG: I really don’t know why therapists should be the ones to do that kind of work. I suppose they’re really the only guides for these times.

 

AG: They (good therapists) have no judgment, and they’re willing to enter into a process where they don’t know where they’re going and where they don’t have opinions.

 

FTN: I can imagine an extremely incompetent therapist who could fit that bill.

 

AG: Let’s say you were guiding somebody into the Amazon 75 years ago, before there were any maps. You had to know a lot about mud, quicksand, serpents, malaria, but you couldn’t know quite where you were going. As a therapist, to know where your client is going is to assume that you know who this other person is, which I think is impossible. Basically the person that you’re sitting with as a therapist is a mystery in the same way that the jungle is a mystery. At the same time, you don’t want the person that you’re guiding to come down with malaria or sink into quicksand. In the end, the uncertainty of where they’re going and how the two of you are going to get through this jungle, I think, is the excitement of the journey.

 

I do think being on a spiritual journey without a teacher is like wanting to be a brain surgeon and then not going to medical school.

 

Andre Gregory, theater director and actor, best known for the movie, “My Dinner With Andre,” interviewed by Richard Simon, editor of The Family Therapy Networker/Psychotherapy Networker.

Andre Gregory (AG) interviewed by Family Therapy Networker (FTN)

 

AG: The part of therapy that is the most meaningful to me has to do with getting to know who you are and how to live your life fully. In that process, you develop an appetite for loving others and making it possible for others to live more fully and love more fully. It’s as if a torch is being passed in the therapy in which something is being kindled that you can then kindle in other peoples’ lives. To me, that’s a spiritual discipline, and very hard work.

 

FTN: Why should therapists be the ones to do that? Who ordained them?

 

AG: I really don’t know why therapists should be the ones to do that kind of work. I suppose they’re really the only guides for these times.

 

AG: They (good therapists) have no judgment, and they’re willing to enter into a process where they don’t know where they’re going and where they don’t have opinions.

 

FTN: I can imagine an extremely incompetent therapist who could fit that bill.

 

AG: Let’s say you were guiding somebody into the Amazon 75 years ago, before there were any maps. You had to know a lot about mud, quicksand, serpents, malaria, but you couldn’t know quite where you were going. As a therapist, to know where your client is going is to assume that you know who this other person is, which I think is impossible. Basically the person that you’re sitting with as a therapist is a mystery in the same way that the jungle is a mystery. At the same time, you don’t want the person that you’re guiding to come down with malaria or sink into quicksand. In the end, the uncertainty of where they’re going and how the two of you are going to get through this jungle, I think, is the excitement of the journey.

 

I do think being on a spiritual journey without a teacher is like wanting to be a brain surgeon and then not going to medical school.

 

Andre Gregory, theater director and actor, best known for the movie, “My Dinner With Andre,” interviewed by Richard Simon, editor of The Family Therapy Networker/Psychotherapy Networker.

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