Precision in Language and Thought

Recently I was talking with a colleague who is a psychoanalyst and became aware of the pleasure of knowing that each word he spoke had, in his mind, a precise meaning. I could expect that he would be able to explain why he thought what he did. Why did he say “meditation” rather than “reflection”? I realized that many years of analyzing why a person said a certain thing in a certain way had trained him in a precision of thought and language that recognized the subtle distinctions between different meanings. Rather than proceeding through life with a generalized sense of understanding the world, he is committed to examining his experience, looking for meanings, and processing in his mind the associations and significance of those meanings. As a result, our conversation was extremely thought provoking because, rather than looking for reassurance in similarities of thinking, which often leads to slurring of distinctions, we enjoyed understanding the subtle differences in the ways we had come to understand what therapy is about and what is important to keep in mind. I was distinctly richer for the conversation because, rather than mollifying me with a facile agreement, he demonstrated a deep respect for my ideas by being willing to engage in an exchange, offering his ideas and questioning my own. The deep gratification of this kind of relating is not created in other ways. We engage in the careful, thoughtful, and respectful sharing of our inner worlds. Getting to the point where this is possible is one of the benefits of working on our own personal development.

About norasblog

I am a psychotherapist with a private practice in downtown Chicago.
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