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While reading Irvin Yalom's evocative book Staring at the Sun: Overcoming the Terror of Death, I came across a passage where Yalom - an existential psychotherapist, tells his friend that one of the most fulfilling aspects of his life is his work as a psychotherapist. "I'd do it for free," he says. The colleague replies, "I would pay to do it."

What is the one kind of work that you would do for free? By work I mean a profession that actually exists out there, and not something we would like to exist.

Like Yalom, I would like to be a psychotherapist with a depth-psychology / existential orientation. I would do that work for free. In fact, I already have some foundational training in the area and counsel two people, one for free, and the other one for a nominal fee.

I find it deeply profound and alive to see an individual give expression to new aspects of his psyche, to struggle with unbearable or disorienting situations that life has handed down to him, and most of all, to ask what the meaning of his life is - what he is meant to do, how he is meant to love, and how he accepts gracefully that which he cannot change.
 
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I would do spiritual life coaching for free. I have experienced so many difficult and painful things throughout my life and I want to weave those into something beautiful...and use them to help others and touch another person's life in a positive way.

BTY..this is a goal of mine for the near future.
 

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I would do spiritual life coaching for free. I have experienced so many difficult and painful things throughout my life and I want to weave those into something beautiful...and use them to help others and touch another person's life in a positive way.

BTY..this is a goal of mine for the near future.
can you tell me what spiritual life coaching is? does it draw on the work of certain thinkers / teachers? how is it different from psychotherapy?
 

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Technically I have performed for free many many times. That is, after expenses, outfits, and the extra going into studio etc. there wasn't much left. I wouldn't 'pay to play' out of my own pocket, but considering the amount of time spent in rehearsal, planning, performance and travel it wasn't really a well payed job. More like a passion I made sacrifices for out of love. I did get a lot out of it emotionally and in great experiences.
 

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Existential Therapy seems very interesting to me as well.

It consists of four dimensions: the physical, social, psychological as well as the spiritual dimension.

Here's an interesting overview of existential psychotherapy:

Existential Therapy | Emmy van Deurzen

It's quite counter Jung: "Existential thinkers seek to avoid restrictive models that categorize or label people. Instead they look for the universals that can be observed cross-culturally. There is no existential personality theory which divides humanity into types or reduces people to part components. Instead there is a description of the different levels of experience and existence with which people are inevitably confronted."

As to the original question, I create interactive poetry for free for an online magazine.
 
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A life of writing and contemplation. I'd do that for free.
 

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I'd agree that psychotherapy would be a really fulfilling thing to do, though that didn't immediately come to mind for me (but now that you bring it up I'd say that I'd do it for free as well).

My original thoughts were teaching. Definitely teaching, of any subject though I think I'd make the most impact teaching english/writing or psychology. Talking to a group of students and having the ability to lead and inspire sounds like so much fun. Lots of work, yes, but fun and meaningful if done right. I'd love to allow others to feel empowered in their subject of study and enlightening the general public is something I think is too important to be bogged down by monetary matters.
 

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I would do crafty projects, paintings, zines, jewelry, pottery... and give it to people, for their home decor and personal enjoyment. I like to fill people's lives with beautiful things that came from my soul, both material objects and abstract things such as my company and sense of humor. But I can't give people company too much because I'm a hardcore reclusive, so I'd spend all that hermit time making stuff with my hands and creativity, then give it all away! I already do this anyway, I'm always giving crafts to my loved ones, at a small scale of course. I don't give away 'big things' like paintings because I need to make money to support myself and buy art supplies. I'd love to just give everything to people for free if I could.
 
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I agree, I'd be a psychotherapist:

"...and how does that make you feel?"

Well, if anything, I'd look like the intellectual I feel I am. I should go buy an argyle sweater. Maybe grow a beard. And I would stroke that beard and bode and write things down about how the person felt about this or that, then interpret it. I would have a big comfy chair in some sort of den/office with books stacked to the ceiling, books I'll never read because I'm too busy stroking my beard.

I would also be a hypnotist for free.

But on a more serious note, I would definitely teach for free. I already do whenever I can, I just love teaching people.
 

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The work that I currently am doing for free is working at the museum I've had a summer job at for the past two years and I love it, so that's it for me.

I'm not especially interested in the public side of it (unless I'm caught in the throes of my bipolar, I'd really prefer not to give a single tour or speak to a single visitor during the day), but over the last six months I've been given a lot of freedom and responsibility to work alongside our new executive director and the president of our board of directors to do some long-term structural planning in the galleries themselves, research new displays, and help out on the marketing side of things by creating statistics, approaching companies and organisations for various kinds of literature, and a laundry list of other tasks.

It's an amazing fit for me and satisfies both my INTJ and 4 tendencies because it's extremely systematic, there's tons of planning and research, a lot of numbers are involved, requires a lot of speculation about psychology and people, and is extremely creative... buuuut creative in a way that is very much about creating some*thing* tangible that goes forth into the world to fill a niche.

(I'm actually pretty sure that if they had the money to pay me, they would, it's just that it's an independent museum run by a nonprofit that is constantly struggling to get funding, so I'm just going to let them take advantage of my free labour for the next few years until I'm done my last degree and then it's necessary for me to get a paying job).
 

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At the risk of sounding like a little girl, I'd be a professional ballet dancer for free. I danced at a professional school for 12 years and was actually good enough...but I got injured and had an eating disorder and I had to quit. I have to let go of that dream, but that's my passion, and that's what I'd do for free! I think I'm too lazy and sometimes feel too entitled (don't want to admit that, but I've been thinking about it a little lately...) to do a job for free =\ Actually, I would do interior decorating for free. That'd be soo much fun!
 

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I would give business and management advice for free any day. I'm not an expert, but I have first-hand experience working in both large and start-up companies, and I plan to experience the ups and downs of entrepreneurship myself when it's time. I think people are fascinating and I've always seemed to have a feel for human interaction and communication. So if I can talk to a CEO or director of engineering, or anyone, and hear their problems and provide insight into how to make things better, that sounds amazing to me.
 

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Psychotherapist - and being that I would be doing it pro bono, I would do it my way. From intake assessment, course of treatment, research and reading, to the ultimate finish, and say to the client, "see ya." and part.
I did not get paid much the last years, being that I was paid for 40 and did usually 90 hours a week -
It would be easier and more rewarding to do it for free with limits on the hours.

A colleague, the department manager in one hospital - he was on the civil side, I was on the criminal (forensic) side. We had groups of MSW students come through on tours, and one bubbly young lady asked him, "What modality of treatment do you use?" and he replied, "When we fuck over someones's life, we try to so with the his best interest in mind."
Not a bad game plan - not bad at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Psychotherapist - and being that I would be doing it pro bono, I would do it my way. From intake assessment, course of treatment, research and reading, to the ultimate finish, and say to the client, "see ya." and part.
I did not get paid much the last years, being that I was paid for 40 and did usually 90 hours a week -
It would be easier and more rewarding to do it for free with limits on the hours.

A colleague, the department manager in one hospital - he was on the civil side, I was on the criminal (forensic) side. We had groups of MSW students come through on tours, and one bubbly young lady asked him, "What modality of treatment do you use?" and he replied, "When we fuck over someones's life, we try to so with the his best interest in mind."
Not a bad game plan - not bad at all.
I didn't understand. You mean you have been a psychotherapist?
 

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I didn't understand. You mean you have been a psychotherapist?
Yes.

LCSW licensure, psychotherapist. A combination of case work and therapy. The treatment psychologist usually administered tests, did some treatment program design - at my last position we had a behavorial psychologist - better for dog training than therapy.

There is a lot of bullshit ideas about psychotherapy - it is not about archetypeas and dream analysist and Freudian (or Jungian) theories - It is about educating, encouraging, enabling. Psychosis irequires meds. That is the Psychiatrist's (M.D.) domain and not much headway can be done until the patient is in remission. In long term chronic care, with no real hope for independant living, recreational therapy and work therapy are more important. For short term, an accurate intake assessment, a treatment plan developed by all disciplines - but the therapist is the hospital/patient interface.

The idea of a bearded, bespeckled therapist listening to the patient and mumbling a comment is a subject of bad movies. It is, in real life, is a corrupt type of sesssions called "treating the unhappy well." There is another field, Psychoanalysis - a long term exceedingly expensive course for the client - but that is for the very rich. Sort of a cult thing, in my opinion.

Most psychotherapy in the US is done by LCSW's. Group therapy is a money maker - one clinician hold 10 to 15 people in thrall and two or three of them do all the talking - therapy junkies. I think it has a place in specific presenting problems, useless in most cases.




I follow the approach developed by Carl Rogers.
 

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Yes.

LCSW licensure, psychotherapist. A combination of case work and therapy. The treatment psychologist usually administered tests, did some treatment program design - at my last position we had a behavorial psychologist - better for dog training than therapy.

There is a lot of bullshit ideas about psychotherapy - it is not about archetypeas and dream analysist and Freudian (or Jungian) theories - It is about educating, encouraging, enabling. Psychosis irequires meds. That is the Psychiatrist's (M.D.) domain and not much headway can be done until the patient is in remission. In long term chronic care, with no real hope for independant living, recreational therapy and work therapy are more important. For short term, an accurate intake assessment, a treatment plan developed by all disciplines - but the therapist is the hospital/patient interface.

The idea of a bearded, bespeckled therapist listening to the patient and mumbling a comment is a subject of bad movies. It is, in real life, is a corrupt type of sesssions called "treating the unhappy well." There is another field, Psychoanalysis - a long term exceedingly expensive course for the client - but that is for the very rich. Sort of a cult thing, in my opinion.

Most psychotherapy in the US is done by LCSW's. Group therapy is a money maker - one clinician hold 10 to 15 people in thrall and two or three of them do all the talking - therapy junkies. I think it has a place in specific presenting problems, useless in most cases.




I follow the approach developed by Carl Rogers.
I'm studying psychology and I think your views are representative of the mainstream, especially as found in the United States, but not all perspectives. I've learnt psychodynamic therapy and been to it as a patient as well, and I do think that Freud's views have some currency. I also appreciate more contemporary psychoanalytic thinking and existential literature, for example, Irvin Yalom.
 
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