TheMan with the Beautiful Voice: The White Hat
TheMan with the Beautiful Voice: The White Hat
LillianRubin, a psychotherapist, explains her experience with Eve Gordon, aclient who feels lonely and went through hardships during herchildhood. The client, Eve, is a woman who suffered from thechildhood abuses that has haunted her to the time of visiting thetherapist. From the description provided in the case, she obscuredher face with a white hat, which implies that she was trying to hideherself from her father, who repeatedly harassed her sexually whenshe was a little girl. This harassment gave a perception that all menare bad, which explains why she wears unattractive clothing. Shekeeps herself untidy with the objective of avoiding men’sattention. Eve is successful at her job, but her childhoodexperiences coupled with the nature of her current job have deniedher the opportunity to make friends or develop socially.
Examinationof comments made by the therapist
Thefirst interaction between Eve and Rubin indicates that the therapistfeels pessimistic and doubts whether the sessions will be rewarding.When thinking about the clients comment that she expected to befriends with the therapist after the first session, the Rubin’sinner voice states, “Uh-oh, what are you getting yourself into? Doyou really want to take this on?” (91). However, a furtherinteraction reminds the therapist of her similar childhoodexperience, where she was also harassed by her parents. At thispoint, Rubin realized how her past was so fragile since the client`semotions got transferred to her and tears filled her eyes (Rubin,2012). Rubin tried to manage this transference by avoiding expressingher personal experience to the client by encouraging herself with athinking that such a move would violate everything that she wastaught about revealing personal experiences to the client.
Assessmentof the effectiveness
Theeffectiveness of the therapist is first seen when she avoids being afriend of the client. At the end of the first session, the clientasks, “I thought we were going to be friends”, but the therapiststell her that a therapist is not a friend. A personal friendship withthe client is avoided for two reasons, including the need to keepobjectivity to serve the best interest of the client and the need toprevent conflicting dual relationships (Lu, 2013). The therapistsalso gave the client enough time to cry and talk uninterrupted whileholding and listening to her. This is an effective way of letting theclient express herself and talk to someone, an opportunity that shelacked in her lifetime (Patterson, 2014).
Helpfuland unhelpful interventions
Thereare two key interventions that helped the therapist succeed inhelping the client, Eve. First, allowing the client to talk more thanthe therapist is a strategy that empowers clients to discover theirown challenges and allow the therapists to facilitate the healingprocess, instead of acting as a healer (Lu, 2013). In the case ofEve, she talked while Rubin listened, which gave an ample time toexpress her internal feelings and experiences that she had concealedfor many years. Secondly, Rubin complimented the client when shestarted changing the type of clothes she wore stopped concealing herbody and covering her head with a white hat. This was an intrinsictype of reward that motivated the client to continue changing herattitude towards life and her own body (Thomas, 2009).
AlthoughRubin had been instructed at school to avoid personal disclosureduring the therapy, there are special circumstances that require thetherapist to narrate personal experiences. According to Patterson(2014) a limited self-disclosure encourages client’s disclosure andcreates a perception that they are not the only ones who have gonethrough their present experiences. Therefore, a decision to avoiddisclosing Rubin’s childhood experiences was unnecessary.
HowI would have worked differently
AlthoughRubin was successful in helping Eve overcome her negative past andchange her view of life and the world in general, there is one thingthat would have increased efficiency of the therapy process.Self-disclosure, as an aforementioned is a strategy that has beenproven to be effective in helping clients who isolating themselvesafter going through difficult experiences (Patterson, 2014). The factthat Rubin also had a difficult childhood was an opportunity to sharea bit of such an experience with Eve and inform her how she managedto overcome the challenge. This would have given Eve more confidenceat an early stage and help her recover faster.
Asuccessful therapy depends on the interventions that the therapistsused to address the psychological challenges affecting the life ofthe client. The selection of suitable interventions is, on the otherhand, influenced by the extent to which the therapist is able tounderstand clients and their experiences. In the case of Eve, herchildhood experiences that were characterized by sexual harassment byher father coupled with isolation reduced her ability to makefriends, which culminated in a feeling of isolation. Therefore,giving her ample time to express herself was an effective strategythat allowed her to narrate experiences that she had no one else totell after being betrayed by her parents.
Lu,G. (2013). Why can’t my therapist and I be friends? GoodTherapy Organization.Retrieved October 12, 2015, fromhttp://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/why-cant-my-therapist-and-i-be-friends-0705137
Patterson,C. (2014). Therapistself-disclosure.Monterey, CA: The Therapeutic Relationship.
Rubin,L. (2012). Theman with beautiful voice: And more stories from the other side of thecouch.Boston, MA Beacon Press.
Thomas,K. (2009). The four intrinsic rewards that drive employee engagement.RichardIvey School of Business Foundation.Retrieved October 12, 2015, fromhttp://iveybusinessjournal.com/publication/the-four-intrinsic-rewards-that-drive-employee-engagement/