OpenNotes: Good intentions gone awry

OpenNotes is “a national initiative working to give patients access to the visit notes written by their doctors, nurses, or other clinicians.” According to their website, three million patients now have such access, generally online. Participating institutions include the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Texas, Beth Israel Deaconess in Boston, Penn State Hershey Medical Group, […]

Psychotherapy branding and marketing

I just read a mildly disturbing article in the New York Times called “What Brand Is Your Therapist?” The author Lori Gottlieb was a full-time journalist who took six years to retrain as a psychotherapist — her website, but not the article, says she has a master’s degree in clinical psychology. Yet she found herself […]

“Have you seen a therapist yourself?”

Recently a patient asked whether I’d ever been in therapy myself. Without answering his question directly (see my post on psychotherapist disclosure and privacy), I replied that many of us have, and asked what it meant to him. It would be a bad sign: “How can you help if you need help too?” We went […]

Is your therapist biased by money?

Earlier this year, blog commenter TK wrote:

“Isn’t this the greatest countertransference, in this age of fee-for-service psychotherapy as opposed to psychotherapist-on-salary: How do I work around my own economic motivation in deciding whether to continue with a patient or terminate?

“In other words, how does one reconcile the consistent economic incentive to keep a […]

Countertransference, an overview

I attended a very good lecture this week on contemporary views of countertransference. It inspired me to write a brief overview of the concept here, with more to follow.

To understand countertransference, it helps to tackle transference first. As I’ve discussed previously, transference was a word coined by Sigmund Freud to label the way patients […]

Therapist disclosure: why all the secrecy?

Happy Chinese New Year (Gung Hay Fat Choy!). As you can see from the photo, I attended the New Year’s parade in San Francisco’s Chinatown this year. This disclosure introduces my topic for today, directed toward patients and would-be patients: Why do therapists disclose so little about ourselves? Why all the secrecy?

The standard answer […]