Does your Therapist have Conviction?

“One man with conviction will overwhelm a hundred who have only opinions.”
– Alfred George Gardiner

We live in a world where the following is true:

1. We are assailed by the complexity that even an average life entails.

2. We are overloaded with information.

3. It’s fashionable to consider truth to be subjective – a mere matter of perspective.

No wonder people are anxious and unwell.

When seeking a psychotherapist during such times, prioritize their ability to clarify your life and simplify the decisions that lie in your path. The person you are trusting with your psychological wellness should be able to render an issue in black and white, if needed, and they can only do this for you if they themselves do not live life lost in a gray fog.

Speaking with your therapist should be a relief from the relentless ambiguity of modern life.

They should believe in the existence of truth that is real regardless of the many “perspectives” that exist, and know that to be truly sane is to align one’s understanding of the world as closely with that truth as is possible and bearable.

A therapist is not there to impose beliefs or values on you unilaterally. But, if they do not have clearly defined beliefs and values, or constantly compromise them… Why should you trust such a person, even if they are nice?

If your therapist operates in a philosophical void of chaotic, contradicting truths and conflicting, equally-valued “viewpoints”… How could such a confused person offer you discernment?

Only a therapist who can operate from conviction can help you find your own.

The problem of being lost in the haze of ambiguity is that you can neither develop nor use discernment unless you’re willing to make a judgment call about what is true. And without discernment, you cannot act with integrity and in alignment with your goals. You can see this problem in action in the behaviour of the indecisive leader who endlessly gathers opinions but cannot turn that information into something useful. He struggles to take important, decisive action. Often, he fails to act at all.

To profess that truth is subjective – to live by it – dooms us to uncertainty. Better to embrace conviction so you can act with clarity and decisiveness, even if it is at the risk of occasionally being wrong and correcting errors.

When you live this way, you are a leader in the most important sense: Not necessarily in name, but in spirit.