Criticizing Feelings in Therapy

The central purpose of therapy is to help patients create solutions to their problems in thinking. In certain cases, the therapist might achieve this aim by validating some of his patients’ feelings, for example to eliminate some hindrances to creative thought that prevent those patients from inventing viable solutions. Yet the therapist should not strive to validate his patients’ feelings as an aim in itself, because such validation will entrench emotional hindrances to creativity afflicting his patients. Entrenching such hindrances contravenes the central purpose of therapy and represents a fundamental failure of the therapist, who, through this blind offer of validation, will have violated the responsibility his patients vested in him.

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