EPISODE #15 - Dr. Karen Maroda - Therapists Are Human Too
Every once in a while, as a psychotherapist you come across an author who’s work really resonates with you. It challenges, inspires, and makes a mark on your own way of practicing. For me, Dr. Karen Maroda is one of those authors.
Dr. Maroda is a psychologist and psychoanalyst in private practice in Milwaukee, WI. She is the Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the Medical College of Wisconsin and is the author of four books including:
The Power of Countertransference
Seduction, Surrender, and Transformation
The Analyst’s Vulnerability, which was just released earlier this year
I first read her work in 2005 while in Grad School to become a therapist and was immediately drawn in. I have returned to her books countless times throughout my career and almost always recommend them to therapists I supervise or consult with.
Throughout her work, but particularly in her new book, The Analyst’s Vulnerability (Great Title, BTW) there is a consistent call to therapists examine our own motivations for being therapists, to let go of the need to be perfect, to embrace our own humanity, and to show up with our patients in a deeply authentic, courageous and relational way. She often pushes against whatever the current popular fad in our field happens to be, and points out that we therapists are prone to avoid conflict by hiding behind our theories, techniques, and tools. In her new book she writes, “We have never focused on the natural conflicts that arise in any relationship, including the analytic one, in part because it would necessitate the examination of our own needs, desires, and shortcomings” (Maroda, 2022, p. 102).
In my opinion, this book is a must read for any psychotherapist who takes seriously the idea that our patients are far more than symptoms, thoughts, behaviors and who believe that our role in the work is far more dynamic than simply providing advice and solutions.
I hope you enjoy my conversation with Dr. Karen Maroda as much as I did! Thank you for listening.
Links for Dr. Maroda
Why in the World Podcast on Instagram
Bryan Nixon is a psychotherapist and the founder and clinical director of Mindful Counseling GR in Grand Rapids, MI. He is also a teacher and facilitator in Relationally Focused Psychodynamic Therapy, a post-grad continuing education program for therapists.