Log in

Eyes - Psychotherapists Community [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Psychotherapists Community

[ userinfo | livejournal userinfo ]
[ archive | journal archive ]

Eyes [Dec. 21st, 2005|11:00 am]
Psychotherapists Community


Cross posted psych_pros
I have to explain a little something first.

I have congenital nystagmus - which is a rapidly moving of my eyes. Most people don't notice it unless they're close and looking directly at my eyes, or if I'm looking intently at something, I'll turn my head in order to focus with greater accuity. I've noticed that psychotic clients are quick to notice it. Sometimes, it works to my advantage - they think I'm being hypervigilant and looking over them. Often, it turns into some notion that I'm possessed or looking into their soul/thoughts - this isn't always as bad for raporte as you might think. (Sometimes clients don't lie if they think you can peer into their soul.) At this point, when someone points out to me so quickly, the big red flag goes up in my mind.

It's just always struck as strange how quickly they notice. Often it's the 3rd question when we meet.

Are you Mike -----?
Can you sign this for me?
Why do your eyes do that?

Believe me, I've given it great thought. My first advisor in grad school suggested that I would have a lot of problems with clients because of it. Other professors and supervisors said that concern was the most rediculous thing they'd ever heard - other's made it a large focus of our time.

Now, granted, psychosis tends to take away a sense of social mores. So, maybe other clients notice and just don't say anything - but borderline clients don't seem to make it an issue, straight out manics don't notice. I have also noticed that art drawn by those with psychotic symptoms really focus on eyes...

So, does anyone have insight into this? Is there some association with intentness on eyes and psychosis?

From: ghost_explosion
2005-12-22 01:59 pm (UTC)
hmm. not too sure...as professionals, we are trained about the importance of eye contact and looking away or avoiding eyes is a sign of distraction. but maybe it doesn't matter that much. i don't know about psychosis...perhaps it's not that noticeable to the person or maybe it just doesn't matter to them.

have you worked only with clients who have some sort of psychosis, or others as well? what did they think? i'm curious!!
(Reply) (Thread)