The way I work, and hopefully other modern psychoanalysts work, is that I bring a ‘healthy ignorance’ to every patient. Yes, I’m well-trained, I’ve been schooled, I’ve spent a lot of time studying, but, the person that walks in that door is different than the person that just walked out the door, or the next person that’s going to walk in the door. I have to learn from that patient, what they need from me. I may have some ideas, thoughts about how I might want to work with them, but, they really have to create in me, with my help, the analyst they need. I need to be a certain way for each person and that may be different for every person.
The other thing I do is I meet people where they are. I don’t tell them what they need to talk about. I don’t tell them how they have to act. My feelings are that my role is to help people find their answers. I can help guide them, help the conversation, but I typically don’t tell people what to do. Yes, if they ask me, I may answer the question, “Hey, in your situation, I would do this.” As opposed to, “You should do this.” I think over a time, that this is a maturational experience. That the relationship forms that is curative… I think also that I bear witness to people’s stories, and their traumas.
One of the things that I did is I took extra courses in trauma and resilience because I think we all have our own traumas. I think a lot of time, people just need somebody to bear witness. ~ Rafael Sharón, NCPsyA, SCPsyA, Psychoanalyst in Princeton NJ