technology professionals

I did not set out to specialize in the psychotherapy of technology professionals. It just happened.

Engineers, programmers, system architects and their ilk are what we might call an underserved population with respect to psychological services. Bad as it is to stereotype people, this is a group of very bright, interesting, hard-working people who are often passionate about what they do, and for whom the process of sitting down and sharing their feelings might not make immediate sense.  (See also: MEN).

It happened in my years in college mental health and since that I’ve worked with many people who fall into this category — some of whom are women. Often they find therapy to be weird and suspect at first — but once they see how it works, they really work hard and enthusiastically and accomplish a great deal.

It is in vogue to freely label people as having Asperger’s Sydrome, being somewhere on the autistic spectrum, or having Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. I like to go easy on the labeling, but sometimes these things are true. Psychotherapy involves understanding one’s particular makeup, including quirks, vulnerabilities, strengths, etc. Some people who have the right temperament for high achievement in technology professions can have blind spots in personal relationships, or run into conflict with their work teams because they become highly focused and rigid about some dimension of their project. Therefore they can be (sometimes unfairly) accused of being cold or being prima donnas.

I seem to have an affinity for tech professionals, which seems to go together with my affinity for musicians, entrepreneurs, and other creative people. The common thread seems to be people who have their own offbeat way of seeing things and an insistence on making something work.