The Humourless therapists?

I was recently doing a search on Steve Andreas after his passing and came across an old article I had never seen about a communications trainer berating Frank Farrelly’s work after being a demo subject in a workshop. I remember the event very well and I remember even more how this individual began a crusade after this event telling everyone (except Frank) how she has been ill-treated. I heard from another trainer who was not even present at the training and who had not seen any video about how “person X was savaged” in the demo. The reality, of course, was quite different and the client’s actual issue was interestingly  their inability to talk to a relative for decades despite being “a self-proclaimed communications expert”

The trainer was an advocate of an approach that for all intensive purposes removes any form of human expression during client sessions and rather defaulting to a series of pre-prescribed questions. I have always found this way of working very odd as its the polar opposite of working conversationally with the client and is, in my opinion, a very lazy cerebral way of conducting client sessions.

This humorless approach is of course not new and Farrelly found the exact same resistance in many cerebral/academic groups who insisted how “all therapists should behave” I have long given up convincing such folks about the benefits of working conversati0onally with clients to connect to the human being. Frank used to say “throw away your professional in the service of the client” 

Steve Andreas similarly was only interested in what was effective and stayed away from all the status seeking that is a real issue with many humourless approaches. The provocative approach is all about working for the 100% service of the client and not parroting a series of nonsensical questions in an attempt not to influence the client. The aim of provocative work is to empower the client to discover their own ability to resolve their own issues. This means the practitioner has to give clients their full attention and IMO that can only be a good thing.

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