Dr Doris Brett on being on the other side of the therapist’s couch, asking great questions, and constructing great stories.

My guest today is Doris Brett, also known as Doris Imber – my mum! As well as being my mum, Doris Brett has practised as a clinical psychologist for nearly four decades, and is also a multi-award-winning poet and critically acclaimed memoirist and writer. Her books range through various genres, including therapeutic stories for children, fiction, memoir and poetry. She even wrote a bread baking book back in the 80s.

Doris’ latest book is The Sunday Story Club, co-written with Kerry Cue, about conversation being the new hot conversation topic. It taps into the global movement towards reclaiming face-to-face meaningful conversation and personal stories, rather than living our lives online.

In this chat, we cover:
  • What happens in a client’s very first therapy session
  • How Doris identifies patterns and themes in therapy sessions
  • How to build rapport and trust quickly
  • The impact of writing about trauma to help gain insight
  • Questions to ask yourself to elicit stories that you haven’t thought about in years
  • How to construct a great discussion question
  • How stories can help us reframe our experiences around failure
  • How stories can help us overcome procrastination
  • How to construct a great story
  • How to identify personality disorders in the workplace
  • What to do if you are working with a Narcissist or Psychopath
  • How to find a great therapist