A Request for Input

I’d like to continue making videos for my YouTube channel; I want to do a series of lectures or talks that would be easier and faster to produce, without all the editing involved in using film clips. I’ve got some thoughts about what might work, but I’d like to ask for your input on this issue. What I’m looking for is a theme that might unite a number of different videos. When my book on psychological defense mechanisms comes out next year, I’m planning to do a whole series about individual defenses, but it feels premature to begin that project right now. Any thoughts? What would be of interest to you? I would definitely want it to me more clinical, more focused on the psychotherapy process. Please write and let me know if you have any suggestions. Thanks!

By Joseph Burgo

Joe is the author and the owner of AfterPsychotherapy.com, one of the leading online mental health resources on the internet. Be sure to connect with him on Google+ and Linkedin.


  1. Typical issues in our development from childhood on through life. You could even do various people’s approaches, Erikson, Winnicott etc

  2. How about….What makes therapy “good” or “bad”? I could get into my own definitions, but it is difficult to find balanced viewpoints- books, at least, seem to: 1. Favor therapists that claim to have “difficult” clients, or are aimed at family members and unnecessarily pathologize and objectify clients…. in other words, “how to deal with the nutcase” 2. Tend to be too heavily laden with jargon and technique at the expense of understanding or forming a good relationship with the client, or 3. Cater to disgruntled clients that have had a bad experience with therapy and throw the baby out with the bathwater.

    There seems to be a general lack of understanding BETWEEN clients and therapists. Or is it just my imagination? This may be related to one of your discussions about what makes a good fit between therapist and client, but it may hold its own as an independent series of talks. Another idea: “Demystifying the Process”. Wouldn’t it help if more clients knew what they were getting into?

    Thanks for all the quality info!

    1. I really like the idea of a series of videos about the process of psychotherapy and what to expect. I read your comment early this morning then, on the elliptical trainer at the gym, I thought of all the possibilities. What a great idea! Thanks so much for the suggestion.

    2. Or therapists who intellectualize and never validate feelings, the kind Alice Miller wrote about? There are a lot of those still around- at least on the east coast.

  3. The above ideas sound interesting…..also….The therapeutic relationship: eroticized transference, the underlying dynamics of experiencing the analyst as a parental figure…the underlying expressions of wanting the therapist to be the “bad” object…”good” object, wanting to recreate childhood experiences [and regressing?] within the T relationship, not wanting to grieve the truth, i.e., the analyst will never be “yours” and so on–what’s going on for the client and also what is the role for the therapist

    1. Absolutely. I’m beginning to see the possibilities for a series on what to expect in psychodynamic psychotherapy, and the “gathering of the transference” would definitely be at least one video.

  4. A topic that arises for me is how you work to help clients resolve depression and construct a new, solid sense of self-acceptance and self-compassion. It is probably as individualistic a process as is each client, yet I can’t help but wonder if there are not some distinct developmental learning phases that indicate the client is moving toward healing and resolution.

    Looking forward to your videos, and the book . . .and your future entries here. Your writing is enlightening and has been an amazing resource in helping me gain new insight and understanding about some very tenacious and unhealthy issues.

    With deep gratitude . . .

    1. I think this could be a separate video in itself, part of the series on the practice of psychodynamic psychotherapy. Thanks for the suggestion!

    1. I think I could include that idea in this series I’m contemplating about psychodynamic psychotherapy. Thanks, Renee.

  5. If you did some videos updating object relations theories in light of your ideas about shame, that would be really interesting to many object relations-oriented therapists. Maybe you could include in the video a case study of Klein’s or Winnicott’s, for example, and add new perspective looking through the lens of shame.

    1. I think that’s a very interesting idea, although I’d have to get over the feeling that it would be hubris on my part to comment on Klein’s or Winnicott’s work and to believe that I had anything to add.

      1. Really? You think the book’s been written on object relations? Klein and Winnicott were products of their times; we’re a ways past that, and could use some good updates… Imagine – if we were still celebrating Columbus’s discovery of America as new and definitive, my work as an 18th century American historian would be so presumptuous. Klein was great, and she peed in the same toilet as everyone else. I pontificate here from a position of real familiarity; this is exactly what holds me back from finishing my dissertation. How about your objects, and your relations? And your observations of others’ from your vantage point as their therapist? Human experience is as anecdotal as it is universal, and you’ve been privy to many unique object relations. A) you’ve had many unique experiences from which to ground your discussion, and B) they’re further refined by your own particular nuances of thinking and feeling, unlike anyone else has ever processed them.

        Could never preach to myself this way. But maybe can encourage you as a scholar and person, and make a few notes to try to apply to myself, maybe.

        1. Thanks for the encouragement. To be honest, part of it is also laziness. I just don’t have the drive to go back and re-read it all, find the relevant quotes, try to translate Klein’s clunky, mechanistic prose into something closer to real human experience. Just the thought makes me tired.

  6. How about a series on sibling dynamics? I’ve often wondered if an intense hatred of one sibling for another is really anger at the parents that has been displaced.

    1. I think I can include a video on the subject of countertransference — the many ways it comes up in treatment — as part of the series I’ve started on psychodynamic psychotherapy. Thanks!

  7. @Heather Guilin – Fortunately, it’s not so, Heather. It is fixable. Ultimately, it is a matter of understanding down to the deepest part of your conscious and subconscious that the blame, in all of its manifestations, that affects you is only a symptom, an effect, an artifact of the NPD of your mother. The difficulty, and it seems to me your conclusion that is it unfixable is based on this, is being able to find out how to achieve that understanding. The understanding will empower you to diminish the blame to a manageable quantum. Try different routes and see what works for you: meditation, exercise, hypnotherapy; anything that does not involve drugs or alcohol. Commit, don’t submit.

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