Stan Lee was a creative genius. He built entire universes in his head. And he inhabited them with ordinary people who transformed into superheroes.
Take Peter Parker. One minute he was the shy, introvert news reporter.
The next? Spider-Man!
Imagine if you spent your day talking to people who you knew were superheroes.
They’re sat there in civilian clothes. You don’t know what their superpower is yet. You only know that they have one. At least one.
They may not even know themself. So your job is to interview them to find out what it is.
Sounds a cool job doesn’t it?
I can confirm that it is. Because that’s my job as a therapist.
Every time I meet with someone, I assume that they are a superhero with a range of special superpowers. Then I ask questions to find out what they are.
Once you know what your superpowers are, you can put them to work for you. It makes it a lot easier to get what you need.
It surprises people when I explain my job that way. They expect therapists to look for your faults, not your superpowers.
It makes me think of that old joke: “My therapist is so generous. I went to them with one problem, and they gave me four more!”
It’s fair comment. Many therapists do focus on problems, like their role is to build a list of what’s wrong with you.
I don’t work that way. After all, whoever beat a challenge by calling upon their faults?
We achieve things by harnessing our strengths.
That’s how Spider-Man beats his foes. By running up buildings, spinning webs and using his spidey sense.
The job of good therapy is not to give you more stuff to overcome. It’s to have you walk in as a civilian, and emerge as a superhero.