Diary of a Country Therapist  book cover
1st Edition

Diary of a Country Therapist

ISBN 9780789021168
Published August 5, 2004 by Routledge
288 Pages

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Book Description

Gain remarkable insight about practicing therapy in a rural community!

In Diary of a Country Therapist, Dr. Marcia Hill chronicles more than a decade of her thoughts and feelings about practicing therapy in rural Vermont. The author reveals her empathy for her clients, her frustration in money matters, and her anger at the maltreatment of women. This book focuses not on the specifics of her clients' cases, but on the trials, successes, and fulfillment of working in this emotionally challenging profession.

“What a strange line of work this is, where the ability to feel is such a primary tool. Who would think that one's heart could be harnessed and used intentionally as a resource? It's such a paradox. My feeling response is what it is; it cannot be commanded or faked. Yet it is not a matter of giving in to emotion, but one of using feeling purposefully, like a scalpel. It's an experience of simultaneous yielding and restraint. The job of the professional empath is like that of an artist or poet: to take raw experience, direct emotional response, and somehow make it a vehicle for change and enlightenment.”

From liberating breakthroughs to personal anguish, Diary of a Country Therapist is witness to a decade of changes, both in Marcia Hill's practice and in her personal life. With the advent of managed health care, she struggles to give her clients the best care she can. She talks about many of the clients she met over the years—what therapies worked and which didn't, her discomfort when she interacted with her clients in and around her small country town, and the valuable lessons she learned about life from her sessions with them.

“If therapists are exposed to what is most tragic in life, we are also privy to what is most inspiring. We have the benefit of experiencing many lives. If my work has offered me the opportunity to learn wisdom and compassion, my wish is that through these essays I may pass some of that gift along to you.”

Diary of a Country Therapist is the honest scrutiny of a psychotherapist's life from her own heart and soul. While this text will be enlightening for mental health professionals of all kinds, its accessible, jargon-free style makes it an excellent selection for nonprofessionals who want insight into the mind of a practicing therapist.

Table of Contents

  • But First, a Word from My Sponsors
  • Welcome
  • 1989
  • Putting the Heart to Work
  • Let Me Go!
  • Professional Loneliness
  • The Gift of Transference
  • The Feminist Gets Nervous
  • Be Careful What You Ask For
  • Courage
  • Failure
  • Feeding the Soul
  • Coming Home
  • Christmas As a Defense Mechanism
  • 1990
  • Faking It
  • The Witness Protection Program
  • Visibility
  • Weightlessness
  • Identity
  • Heal Thyself
  • Doing It for Free
  • Neighbors
  • Zen Landscape
  • What’s It Worth?
  • 1991
  • Back to Kindergarten
  • The Bright Line
  • The Cost of Silence
  • Remembering What’s Sacred
  • Pain Makes the Best Therapist
  • Bending the Rules
  • The Politics of Therapy
  • Finally Getting the Drift
  • 1992
  • Spiritual Winter
  • The Feminist Therapist Diagnoses Oppression
  • How Magic Works
  • A Surprise
  • Working When It Hurts
  • Ignorance
  • The Delicate Balance
  • Worth a Thousand Words
  • Getting Done
  • 1993
  • A Known Evil
  • Paying the Price
  • One of the Perks
  • The Expensive Gift
  • Up from the Ashes
  • It’s for You
  • Pissed Off
  • Trusting the Experts
  • Living Outside the Lines
  • 1994
  • Nowhere to Hide
  • A Slump
  • The Curative Powers of May
  • Hear What I Do, Not What I Say
  • The War Against Women
  • Soul-Searching
  • Emotional Whiplash
  • It Takes Guts
  • 1996
  • Ripped Open
  • Managed Care Rears Its Ugly Head
  • Life’s Vicissitudes
  • For Love and Money
  • Breath
  • Transformation or Technician
  • It Takes All the Running You Can Do
  • And Now, a Word from Mother Nature
  • Turning Gold into Lead
  • The Therapist Finally Matures
  • A Punch in the Gut
  • Still Hurting
  • 1997
  • Trying to Stay Sane
  • God Visits the Therapist
  • There but for the Grace of God
  • The Trauma Attack
  • Leaving Where the Edges Are
  • The Knowledge of Death
  • Heroes
  • Sucking the Soul out of Therapy
  • Ode to November
  • No Winners Here
  • 1998
  • Panic
  • Keeping Perspective
  • Grounded
  • The Therapist Lets Go
  • Working While Drowning
  • Powerlessness and Joy
  • Grace
  • The Noose Tightens
  • The Terror Time
  • Darkness
  • Hedonism Cures Overresponsibility
  • Slipping the Bounds of Self
  • Becoming Visible
  • 1999
  • The Truth About Sin
  • On the Way out the Door
  • Hard Work
  • What I’ve Learned
  • Invitation to Joy
  • Honor
  • Still Miles to Go Before We Sleep
  • The Truth About Relationships
  • The Lesson Repeated
  • Choice
  • Acceptance
  • Taking Stock
  • Authenticity
  • 2000
  • Coming to Terms
  • The Existential Moment
  • Forgiveness
  • What to Do When You Don’t Like It
  • Midlife
  • Omnipotence
  • Searching for the Truth
  • The Other Path
  • Counting My Blessings

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