John's Blog

The Blog of John Gibson, PhD

What I know for sure

Oprah has this column in the back of her magazine called, “What I know for sure.” (The magazine mysteriously shows up in my waiting room...) Well, here’s one thing I know for sure:

Just as relationships have the power to hurt us, they also have the power to heal us.

We never outgrow our need for love, empathy, validation, and being prized by others.
Without these psychological nutrients, we do not thrive. With them, we not only thrive, but we can also heal wounds.

I have an unusual job, it seems to me. As a psychologist who practices psychotherapy, I’m in the business of forming relationships with people. I try to make my clients feel understood. I try to take a true interest in who they are as people. (We are always more than our problems.) I try to provide them with compassion when they are not able to provide it for themselves.

If I know anything for sure, it’s that psychological techiniques don’t heal people, relationships do. That’s what therapy is really about. Indeed, that’s what life is really about.

I’d like to think Oprah would agree with me.