In this regular feature, we talk with a different therapist each month about their work, advice to readers and therapy in general. You’ll learn everything from myths about therapy to obstacles clients face to the challenges and triumphs of being a therapist.
This month, we had the pleasure of interviewing Charles H. Elliott, Ph.D, a clinical psychologist and Founding Fellow in the Academy of Cognitive Therapy. Elliott specializes in treating children and adolescents with anxiety disorders and/or OCD. Along with clinical psychologist Laura L. Smith, he writes the popular Psych Central blog “Anxiety and OCD Exposed.”
Elliott also is a faculty member at Fielding Graduate University and the author of various books on anxiety, depression and self-esteem, including: Overcoming Anxiety For Dummies (2nd Ed); Obsessive Compulsive Disorder For Dummies; Anxiety and Depression Workbook For Dummies; and Hollow Kids: Recapturing the Soul of a Generation Lost to the Self-Esteem Myth. Learn more about Elliott and his work at his website.
1. What’s surprised you the most about being a therapist?
That almost everyone I know, whether my patients, friends, or whomever, can probably profit from psychotherapy at one time or another in their lives.
Therapy isn’t just for “sick” people or those who are experiencing severe emotional problems. No one goes through life unscathed or without encountering obstacles that they could be helped to get through.
2. What’s the latest and greatest book you’ve read related to mental health, psychology or psychotherapy?
Well, I guess I shouldn’t say it’s one of the For Dummies books I wrote with my wife! Actually, much as I do like those books, what I’ve found particularly interesting is a variety of social psychology related books such as, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini, Why We Eat More than We Think by Brian Wansink, Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength by Roy Baumeister and John Tierney.