When you have a brain like mine, you can’t help but be an existentialist. My brain is the equivalent of a bunch of philosophers sitting down and arguing about the meaning of life and what the heck is going on 24/7.
The first time I learned what philosophy was, I fell in love. To have a whole field of thought dedicated to pondering the deep meaning of life and reading what others have pondered before me was 100% bliss. Even the name Philo (love) and Sophia (wisdom) makes me happy. In the deepest sense, philosophy has saved my life. If I never discovered it, I don’t think I would be here today. Being able to entertain multiple competing ideas, challenge every belief, and peel back layers and layers of reality is what allows me to tolerate pain and hopelessness.
I see human beings as complex and unique and I abhor any therapy that reduces any aspect of what it means to be human. In many “evidence-based” therapies, human beings are reduced into clusters of symptoms or traits in order to measure them and monitor progress. Although my autistic brain loves reducing things into quantifiable parts, this is dehumanizing when done to complex living beings. If you want to kill my soul, send me to work in a program that tells me to assign worksheets to my clients and “prescribe” skills practice all the while measuring their “symptoms”.
I am not saying these types of therapies don’t help, they can (or at least, their symptoms can reduce). But it doesn’t resonate with me and the work I want to do in this world. I like treating my clients like the full, unique, mysterious human beings that they are. Because I am also a full, unique, mysterious human being. And the fullness of the work we do together can’t truly be measured.
My impact as a clinician (and human) is not linear and can’t be captured on a worksheet or rating scale. Doing good work means I show up as an authentic human with an intention to help and serve my clients with the knowledge and insight I possess. That cannot truly be measured.