We’ve been having a great discussion over on the post Tell Me…. An Ethical Dilemma. The post talks about a young man who wants to know if he can check “no” to a question about whether he has a psychiatric disorder if his illness is not relevant to the situation. The comments have been fascinating — do read them– and very thought-provoking.
One reader asked, ” If a patient asked if they were boring you, and they were, would you say yes?”
This is a great question, and of course the right thing to do is to explore with the patient what meaning the concern has to him. But is that all? I’m not very good at doing the old psychoanalyst thing of deflecting all questions, and mostly I do answer questions when they are asked of me. This can present a really sticky situation because one can not think of any clinical scenario in which it would be therapeutic to have a therapist tell a patient, ‘Yes, you’re boring, OMG are you boring,’ or ‘No, in fact, I don’t like you.’ And not answering could be viewed as negative response by the patient –if you liked me, you’d tell me, so clearly you don’t like me. So if the exploration of the question doesn’t take care of the issue, and the patient continues to ask, what’s a shrink to do? Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Shrink Rap*