Marc Levin, Psychologist and Jazz Musician 🇬🇧🇩🇰
It's possible that you came to this page with the expectation that I would present the techniques and widely recognised therapeutic schools I apply in my work, and, though I’ve referenced a few quotes with people with whom I’ve studied or by whom I’ve been influenced, the actual schools and techniques generated by the client and me are, in that sense no different than the existing and acknowledged ones, which are also the products of interactions between people in therapeutic settings, that have influenced theories and models for schools of practice.
The therapeutic interaction, though purporting to have a scientific basis, varies widely among practitioners regarding viability and adherence to such a foundation and is more fairly presented as a tradition, with anecdotal and formalised bits of theories and episodes, perhaps parallel to or supplemented by applied research.
The term and notion of psychotherapy is as broad as it is high, full of many terms and definitions, often confusing and difficult to consistently apply by the health care professionals trained in it. It can require agreement in interpretation, not only of the language, but how it relates to the case or situation at hand.
After years of experience and training in theoretical and applied psychology with masterful teachers, supervisors and clients, the world of psychotherapy, has brought me to several valuable conclusions and lessons:
Regarding techniques and schools, it is not them that create self-empowerment, and solutions to the challenges of living.
I don’t believe that using Picasso’s brushes will make me a master painter, though using them might inspire me and, if of appropriate quality and context, could give me a better chance of expressing and creating beauty.
Good professional and personal skills and experiences, unabashed curiosity, genuineness and honesty are among the tools, brushes and paint pots that masterpieces of life-quality are made of.
The magic comes when therapist and client meet each other as two or more artists with their toolboxes and energy, with shared visions, values and intent in their process; and with dreams and miracles being outrageously encouraged where possible and appropriate.
“….You meet the patient, she/he presents her symptoms, you fall in love with them, embrace them, knowing that they have another side that heals….”
“…..Be humble, vigilant and prepared to be of service to the client as their witness, at times offering to hold their burdens until they’re prepared to integrate them as enhanced empowerment…..”
“The fruit of love is service, which is compassion in action”
And, perhaps most important:
"Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care."
Regarding his work, musician/composer Miles Davis referred to the role of attitude as 80% of the [musical] creative process and notes as the remaining 20%, and, though his notion of attitude is more vernacular than clinical, his observation illustrates the its importance in creativity and effective outcomes in the vernacular world shared by the therapist and client.
Taking the role of attitude further into the therapeutic space, one can see it as a combination of one’s beliefs and root values (what’s important for an individual or group). If attitudes resonate between or among the participants, and trust and security emerge and prevail in the communication, then the authenticity and conditions for generative growth in the therapeutic space are insured
“Reparative” therapy, where fixes and solutions can be suggested (sometimes called 'gaffer-tape' or 'quick fix' therapy), can be upgraded to “generative” therapy, where the client and the therapist discover solutions and perspectives, not only for the challenges presented, but for others to come. Lessons are learned, peptides make new cell connections, the psychological immune system, so to spoke, is enhanced.
Traditional views of psychological problems as pathological, where the therapists’ study, wisdom and authority can be expected to give answers and advice to reduce mental and existential distress, can be ethically redefined in the space of discovery, where, indeed the therapist can witness and hold the burdens of the client at times (Schneider) while still acknowledging, the courage of the client whose symptoms have another side that heals (Gilligan).
So there you have it. That’s what I could come up with at this time.
So much more awaits us. You know how to contact me with your comments, questions or supplemental information.
The best for now from here,
Who are these gentlemen and what are they doing?
What are some differences between coaching, counselling, training and psychotherapy?
What are the characteristics of an effective coach and coachee interaction?
Answers to these and other questions will be coming in October-November, though you’re always welcome to contact me.