Are you a lazy therapist? If not, could you try to become one?
To me a lazy therapist is one who does only what needs to be done. He or she will relax and let the therapy session move into whatever direction it needs to take without feeling like he or she has to control it. Lazy therapists go with the flow and even sometimes shift the flow in surprising ways.
Most of us have been taught that if we are working harder than the client then something is not right. It may be that we want to the change in the client more than the client wants it. It could also be that perhaps we are attempting to get the client to fit into our therapy model. If we are lazy therapists we just let new therapy models happen all by themselves. We take whatever the client gives us and we use it to create new possibilities for the client. If we are trying to force a client into a model it feels like “hard work” and that means you aren’t being a lazy therapist.
To be a lazy therapist does not mean you have to be an ineffective therapist. Quite the contrary. You may find that the more you let go of control and let the client do whatever he or she is going to do, often magical openings appear for you to do great therapy. These openings may not appear if you are working hard to get the client into a set pattern of interaction.
To be an effective “lazy” therapist I believe you need to do two things:
Improvise and Utilize
When we improvise we let the client takes us on a journey. We see what magically appears and we do things which seem natural in that specific moment.
After that we then utilize what has occurred in our improvisation to move our clients toward new resources for healing.
This is so different from “working hard”. This can be quite a fun, lazy way to help people.
Instead of badgering a client to change their thinking, why not start a discussion about something they enjoy which could lead to an experience of interaction which might shift their thinking in ways beyond anything you might have thought possible?
Instead of pushing a client into facing his or her fears, why not do an out of the ordinary activity where he or she can feel in charge of the situation and access the resource of confidence?
Instead of working hard to label a client, why not pull out your DSM and ask the client what label they would like to have, which could start a great discussion about the power each of us has to choose our own labels?
You could easily do all these kind of things but you may feel you are being lazy. That is a good thing.