The Doctor's In!

Dr. Greg describes how Prop 8 affects his life and explains why a client does "bad things for good reasons."

on Mar 25, 2013

The comment I overheard Kevin say about my weight was during this difficult time. That comment hurt, but it did not spur me on to action, as the episode seems to suggest. What spurred me on was the realization my life was out of balance and that career advancement was not as important as relationship and health advancement. By changing priorities and focusing on the things that mattered most in my life, everything else improved. Whenever my priorities get out of whack, I just remind myself of that difficult time and redirect myself back to what's important in life.

The episode also shows my own breakthrough as a therapist in developing empathy for his presenting problem: "I hate fat people." This was a difficult one. But as a therapist, I know that people do "bad things" for "good reasons." My job as a therapist was to find out what those "good reasons" are so I can help him develop a better way. A boy who was both older and overweight had bullied my client as a child. The other child had an unfair advantage and terrorized my client for a long time. As a result, my client developed not only an aversion to the person who bullied him, but to all people he perceived as "fat." This was my "aha" as therapist. The aversion to all people who are overweight became his brain's way of keeping him away from getting attacked. This is the "good reason."