What's important is 'Is it useful?'


I love stories and metaphors. Here is one for today. Exact source unknown.

Imagine an Englishman, a Frenchman, a Chinese and an Indonesian all looking at a cup. The Englishman says, "That's a cup." The Frenchman answers, "No it's not. It's a tasse." The Chinese comments, "You're both wrong. It's a pet." And the Indonesian laughs at the others and says "What fools you are. It's a cawan." The Englishman gets a dictionary and shows it to the others saying, "I can prove that it is a cup. My dictionary says so." "Then your dictionary is wrong," says the French- man "Because my dictionary clearly says it is a tasse." The Chinese scoffs at them. "My dictionary is thousands of years older than yours, so my dictionary must be right. And besides, more people speak Chinese than any other language, so it must be a pet." While they are squabbling and arguing with each other, a Buddhist comes up and drinks from the cup. After he has drunk, he says to the others, "Whether you call it a cup, a tasse, a pet or a cawan, a cup is meant to be used. Stop arguing and drink, stop squabbling and refresh your thirst."

I have trained and experienced many different types of therapy, but at the end of the day the most important question is not whether we are doing Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or Psychodynamic or Person Centred, or Existential but what is most useful to the person I am sitting with at this particular time. What does this person that I have in front of me need to 'refresh his thirst', for life.

That is the journey of therapy, to discover together what, of all I can offer, is the most helpful/useful for you at this point of your life - whatever it may be called.

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