As some of you may know, I'll be speaking at the third TMS conference, this fall, in New York. (The pic they used for my bio is really terrible.) In order to better understand the other speakers and also out of general interest, I've recently been reading about psychoanalysis. It's a fascinating subject, if very dense. Anyway, this afternoon I found myself at Lewis Aron's web site. Dr. Aron is a coauthor of Dr. Fran Sommer Anderson's (who is one of Dr. Sarno's most trusted psychologists) and is a psychoanalyst notable for his role in the development of relational psychoanalysis. I liked a quote from Dr. Aron that I found on his web site about the nature of psychoanalysis. Dr. Sarno writes in The Divided Mind that 20% of those accepted into his program need psychotherapy to get better (p. 150), so I thought I'd share the quote with the rest of you. The quote reminded me of some reading that I've done about something called "The dodo bird verdict." The dodo bird verdict is the claim that all different approaches to psychotherapy are equally effective. Studies that gather data have offered some support for the verdict and, insofar as it is true, it supports the hypothesis that simply listening with compassion is one of the most important parts of psychotherapy. As Dr. Aron is arguably at the cutting edge of psychoanalytic research, it is nice to see consonance between his characterization of psychoanalysis and this interpretation of the empirical research. As for the rest of us, I think that it reinforces the idea that when looking for a therapist, the relationship with the therapist is primary and more important than the specific theoretical orientation of the therapist. Also, I would argue that this affirms what we do here in that, as peers, we are always listening to one another. I know that I've learned a tremendous amount through participating in the online community, and hope that others profit as I have.