Do You Work With Your Clients Like This?

OK – I know you don’t but I needed to hook you in!  This sketch has me laughing every time I watch it.  I guess it’s a good refection of how some people think about mental health issues.  It can be hard to get our heads around why people do certain things, especially if they are self destructive and repeatedly cause emotional or physical pain for the person who is doing it.

In the sketch Bob Newhart’s therapist shows a complete lack of any of the skills we need as therapists: empathy, genuineness, kindness and the curiosity needed to work out what is going on for our clients.  Eric Berne talked about this as seeing with ‘alien eyes’; what would the behaviour look like to an alien beamed from outer space who had no understanding of our human ways?

Anyway, enjoy the clip.  Please comment on the post in the “speak your mind” section and let me know how long you laughed for (and if it brings anything up for you).


  1. Lindsey Wilde on May 5, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    More CBT style than TA;) I see his point but don’t think he would get many clients, they’d all leave more neurotic than they came in! Wonder what Freud would say

    • Ian Tomlinson on May 5, 2013 at 3:02 pm

      Hi Lindsey. It’s funny you mention CBT, someone in the comments on YouTube mentioned the similarity! Not knowing much about CBT I couldn’t possibly comment. The NHS would like this style though, think of the number of patients you could treat in an hour!

    • Sandra Manning on May 5, 2013 at 3:50 pm

      Had I received the clip as a model of behaviour to avoid in conducting a therapy session, I should have found it amusing.
      As it was, my reaction was to observe and, although acknowledging the skit aspect, for me the sketch portrayed the worst aspects of a poorly trained NLP practitioner and I grimaced rather than laughed.

      • Ian Tomlinson on May 5, 2013 at 4:03 pm

        Hi Sandra, there is a real grimace factor to the skit. Thanks for the comment.

  2. Heidrun Karin Peters on May 6, 2013 at 10:49 am

    Funny and frightening!

  3. Susanna Hoare on July 29, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    Really enjoyed this! Being told to “stop it” reminded me of being a child and being scolded by my mother. Stop it never worked then or now.

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