An article in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal says that people nowadays whine too much and that some therapists are adopting new ‘tough love’ strategies that tells them to cut it out.
Moms, and bosses, are good at this. Some therapists are refusing to let clients complain endlessly, as well—offering up Tough Love in place of the nurturing gaze and the question “How does that make you feel?”
They’re setting time limits on how long a client can stay on certain topics and declaring some topics off-limits altogether.
Douglas Maxwell, a licensed psychoanalyst in Manhattan and president of the National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis, says constant complaining is often a “resistance,” and the person whining is often unaware of it.
With a client who gripes incessantly about a problem without making progress, he will say: “Stop. No more complaints. I don’t want to hear about this one more day. You must talk about something else.”
Actually, Bob Newhart recommended this same kind of therapy many years ago.