Actually, I have two!

Pet Peeve #1:
On the one hand, cognitive therapy doesn’t get the respect it deserves.  Because the basic premise is deceptively simple (i.e., how you look at things affects how you feel), the therapy is easily mis-characterized and dismissed.

Particularly in New York City, where the psychoanalytic tradition still has a strong hold, the common mis-perceptions are that the old-fashioned talk therapy is the only “real” therapy equipped to deal with deep personal issues.  But if I got the proverbial quarter for every time someone called me and said they “have been in regular talk therapy for a number of years, really like their therapist and have a great relationship with him/her, feel they have gained good insights into their background, but would like to gain some real tools to deal with their everyday anxiety and coping,” I could retire – except I wouldn’t because I like my work too much!

But why dismiss a kind of therapy that helps people improve their actual daily coping, but can also help them understand deeper issues and make lasting changes in their relationship patterns, approach to work and career, and so on?  I enjoy having good, caring relationships with my clients, but I most want them to feel better in their real lives out there, and I think it’s a real shame when people suffer longer and miss out on a really effective form of treatment.

On the other hand… see Pet Peeve #2.