Letter: Therapy helps adults rebuild the past

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The Independent Online
I WAS delighted to see the plain good sense that Dorothy Rowe used ('Why your friend can't be your therapist as well', 25 April) to tackle the question of the misuse of psychotherapy. I was particularly impressed by the checklist for good therapists - useful not only for clients but for counsellors to ask themselves whether they match up.

In such a short piece, Ms Rowe was not able to deal with the complexities of blame and responsibilities. While I would defend her main points, the question of responsibility for our actions as children, and the laying of responsibility on us for the actions, is more complicated than she lays out.

We are not always free to choose our interpretations, as Ms Rowe insists; our perspective is not totally separate from our experience. Sometimes, it is not possible to make the choices we would like to make until we can unpick and reconstruct the past from an adult perspective. And the point of the therapy is to make that possible.

Vicky Seddon

Counselling Service

Sheffield Hallam University