• We will all have differing experiences of therapy

  • Author Malcolm Gladwell shares his experience of therapy: "I emerged wiser, I'm not sure about happier"

  • If you are looking for a therapist, you can find one here

Malcolm Gladwell is the best-selling author of The Tipping Point, Blink and David and Goliath; he recently spoke with welldoing.org founder Louise Chunn about his experience of psychoanalysis:

“My mother is a psychotherapist, she deals with children. As an adult I was in therapy for a few years. How did I find it? I don't think you can spend a lot of time in guided introspection with someone who is a trained professional and not emerge in some way wiser about yourself …. though I don't know if I was any happier.

“I live in New York where it seems that everyone is in therapy, so I did the whole thing properly: with a Freudian analyst, lying on the couch, although I never went more than twice a week.

“I've never written about therapy in any of my books, and I have always been a little bit sceptical about attempts to quantify the effects of therapy. First of all, you don't have a counter-factual – an identical self who didn't go to therapy – and secondly the process is so personal, so reliant on the skill of the therapist and the seriousness of the person undergoing therapy. If someone is devoted and honest, and has a good therapist – there is no doubt that they would make good progress. But the matching of someone who is indifferent to the process and maybe mixed in with someone who is not such a good therapist, then the results are a little cloudy."

Research has shown that Malcolm is right - the relationship between therapist and client is the most important element of successful therapy. That's why on welldoing.org we have a tailored questionnaire, which can help you find the best counsellor or therapist for you.

Malcolm Gladwell is the author of David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants


Further reading

My journey from client to trainee therapist

A letter to my therapist, from a client struggling in therapy

Experience of therapy

Trying different types of therapy