Peter Bishop, Ph.D.
In the course of doing my job as a therapist I’ve heard the comment many times, “I couldn’t do what you do, sit and listen to people’s problems all day.” But that’s like telling a carpenter, “I couldn’t do what you do, sit and look at broken down houses all day.” That’s not what carpenters do. They collaborate with home owners to restore the integrity of damaged or outworn structures. And that’s pretty much how I approach my practice.
Working with individuals retains its energy and fascination for me (after almost thirty years) because I continually get to witness the best side of people. Certainly there is sadness and pain, but my clients’ striving, determination, earnestness and even humor make this work so compelling. It’s not hard to like people when you see things from their side, and also come to know the wounds and pain they have so often deeply internalized.
Transformational change usually requires a new kind of learning: finding new patterns of thinking to alleviate anxiety; mobilizing resources to move out from under depression; developing new ways of communicating in order to enrich relationships; or activating a major shift in one’s self view. This process involves continuous expansion and learning for both patients and therapists. I’m moved by the challenge of helping a person undertake such an important change. It is the kind of evolution of thought and feeling we are meant to do and that I have come to feel I am made for.