Natalie would always come into therapy with a lot of energy and a million things to talk about. Judy, her therapist, was stumped. “How do I get her to stop talking long enough to help her?” she asked. Joan, another client, is different. As soon as she mentions her boyfriend, she starts to sob uncontrollably. Steve, her therapist, feels helpless to help her.
While they are responding in opposite ways, Natalie and Joan both have the same problem: Neither is able to keep an optimal distance from their feelings. Natalie skips from topic to topic to avoid going into her feelings. Joan plunges in too deeply and too quickly.