I can recall back in high school, in literature, we studied a book called “The loneliness of the long distance runner”. The title always stuck in my mind for some reason and I am not sure why. I always thought it was a good name for a book.
The title here refers not to a therapist who is a long distance from the client but the therapist who goes the long distance, that is, is a therapist for many years. Therapy is an odd profession in a number of ways. A long time ago I wrote an article on psychotherapy and prostitution and some of the similarities between them. Both professions require the person to sell them self.
They may say they found my name on LinkedIn or came across my blog or these days even more so they say they found my website. I don’t know if I should let out my trade secrets here, but what the heck! My website is not the usual style of website for a psychologist or a therapist. One particularly odd part is the pictorial history which can be seen here.
What about the long distance therapist? Well therapists spend their working days relating to people and often the relating can be quite intense. Every person has relational needs, they need to have a sense of being in relationship with others and those relationships must be lived out first hand at least semi regularly. If this does not happen (and thus the person is isolated) then psychological deterioration will occur quite rapidly and can lead to quite severe consequences. Accordingly then therapists must be well supplied in terms of getting their relational needs met and indeed they are, one could say. That could be seen as a positive of being a therapist over time.
If their relational needs are met in their work maybe they are less motivated to have relationships in other areas of their lives?