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Heart & Soul Counseling Publications

The Talking Cure
By Tina Calabrese, LCSW-R
Executive Director, Heart and Soul Community Counseling, Inc.

Sigmund Freud the father of psychoanalysis coined the phrase “the talking cure” to represent psychotherapy. After his years of experience and his close observations he noticed that his patients simply needed to talk without interruption or judgment. This holds true for therapy today. Many problems cannot be fixed and even the wisest of answers doesn’t always soothe pain. Most of the time you will just need to come in and talk about what is going on in your life, what you feel and think and why you are most angry. Afterward you may find you feel better—just by having talked out everything that was in your mind and heart.

We learn early on to find solutions to problems and in the mechanical or computer or even medical world its true that answers and a fix are needed. But in the world of the

human heart and mind fixes cannot make things better in fact they may hurt by making someone feel unheard or not validated. Quit often we hear these phrases:

“He always tells me what to do!”

“She wants to fix me and change me.”

“He doesn’t listen!”

To really help sometimes you need to DO NOTHING and LISTEN. Believe it or not its hard to do. When we care about someone who is in emotional pain or has a serious

problem you want to help and just listening doesn’t feel like helping. Its very important to accept that listening is helping more than you will ever know. Think about when you are upset what do you really, really need? It feels comforting just to know that someone was a witness to your pain.

Henry David Thoreau said it takes two people to tell the truth:

“one to tell it and one to listen.”  ■

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