Can Making Patients Want to Kill Their Therapists Help Them?
When you think of psychotherapy, what likely comes to mind is an image of a cross-legged therapist in a dimly lit office who’s passively commenting on his patient’s neuroses while writing in a notepad. Maybe he even fixes his glasses and waits for a pause in the patient’s histrionic rant about his mother before saying something like, “And how does that make you feeeeeel?”
Now imagine a different type of therapist, one who purposely tries to upset their patient, pushing relentlessly through their tears and hysteria, escalating the situation until the patient either breaks down or flies into a murderous rage. While that type of antagonistic therapy sounds ridiculous, it’s a actually real method currently being taught and administered by Dr. Tewfik Said at McGill University in Montreal. It’s known as Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy, or ISTDP for short, and naturally it’s pretty controversial.