Can Therapists Really Share Power with Clients?

New post on my blog, “Making Meaning: Constructing Understandings in a Confusing World.”


Share the Road

Source: By cogdogblog / flickr [via Wikimedia Commons]

When a therapist gives power away, what does this mean? Does the client get to decide how long sessions last? Where they are held? What diagnostic code goes to the insurance company? What theoretical orientation the clinician utilizes? What the therapist’s fee is? Some of these items might be up for discussion with clients, but my guess is that many others are typically nonnegotiable. If so, then isn’t at least some therapist power inevitably retained?

New Blog Post: Reclaiming Diagnosis

Photo courtesy Stuart Miles /

New blog post:

Raskin, J. D. (2014, May 20). Reclaiming diagnosis [Blog post]. Retrieved from


. . . the word diagnosis does not technically mean “cause.” Actually, the word has origins in ancient Greek and literally means “to discern or distinguish.” . . . To discern or distinguish something is far broader than presuming to have uncovered its cause.

Discerning or distinguishing is essential to effective counseling and psychotherapy. Without making distinctions and using them to strategize about how to talk to clients and think about their difficulties, psychotherapy is not likely to prove very helpful.

Does Going to a Psychotherapist Mean You’re Mentally Ill?

My first blog post on The New Existentialists:

Does Going to a Psychotherapist Mean You’re Mentally Ill? | The New Existentialists

EXCERPT: Does going to a psychotherapist mean you’re mentally ill? If you want it paid for by your health insurance, then the answer is yes. Why? Because in order to get paid, your therapist is required to diagnose you with a mental disorder. Another way to think about this is that insurance companies cover health problems. From their perspective, if they are going to pay your therapist, she better be providing medical services that fix something wrong with you. If you’re simply there to shoot the breeze about your feelings, they aren’t obliged to pay.  Read the full post.