The Power of Language
I intend to use political reference to start off this post, but please do not interpret this as a political post. I have been keeping tabs on my country of birth. I have noticed that the Press Secretary, Sean Spicer, tends to use words which were used in the election “tremendous”, “unbelievable” “great” and other adjectives. These adjectives have no real meaning as there is no evidence basis to back these statements up. The words sound good, but there is nothing to back them up.
This got me thinking about the language used by my clients (and I assume the language of the clients of my colleagues). How often I find that clients use words that sound impactful, but actually have no substance. I say this not as a criticism, but rather to point out the idea that words have power. In the case of politics as well as psychotherapy, the power may well be to distract from the heart of the matter. This distraction can be very useful when one does not want to go into the details of what is really going on. I again see parallels between psychotherapy and politics here. We as practitioners, as well as citizens, need to ask for clarification when it comes to language, ask for details show you are interested in substance.