John's Blog

The Blog of John Gibson, PhD

The Blog of John Gibson, PhD

Therapy and Cell Phones

Therapy and cell phones don't mix.

Sometimes clients will come into a session, forgetting to turn off their cell phones. When it goes off, as it invariably will, most people realize what an intrusion it is and then turn the thing off. I appreciate this.

But some people leave still their cell phone on, and then we spend the rest of the session listening to ping of text messages, or worse, the ringing from an incoming call.

I try not to be rude. I try not to say, "Turn that darn thing off, will you?" But sometimes I fail. Sometimes I lose patience.

Look, therapy is an activity that requires you to turn away from the press of day-to-day living and focus on the deeper aspects of your life. We need to focus on the experience of being you — your thoughts, feelings, perceptions, memories, and more. And for that we need your full attention.

So do me a kind favor. When we meet for our appointed hour, turn off your phone and put it away. No, I don't mean leave it out, turned upside down and within easy reach. Put it away. Be brave. You can live without it for an hour.

Let's focus on you. Let's make your life better.