The Gemara quotes one of my favorite pesukim of all time. It is found in Mishle (20:5):

מַ֣יִם עֲ֭מֻקִּים עֵצָ֣ה בְלֶב־אִ֑ישׁ וְאִ֖ישׁ תְּבוּנָ֣ה יִדְלֶֽנָּה׃

The designs in a man’s mind are deep waters,  But a man of understanding can draw them out.

Many commentaries such as Ibn Ezra, Alshich and Malbim note the process described in this verse. The ideas and wisdom in one person’s mind requires another person to draw it out. The implication is that inside each person is a wellspring of ingenuity and insight. Instead of being taught externally from someone else, it merely requires someone else to bring it out from inside the learner.

This is the essence of the art and science of psychotherapy and built upon two basic premises. (1) A person himself knows himself best and we can trust in each person to find out the truth, and (2) the counselor doesn’t give advice, but rather through a careful process of curiosity, respect and objectivity delves together with the client into understanding the heart of the matter.  From there the client figures out what is best for him or her. 

The best therapists are able to tone down their own assumptions, wishes and other reactions in order to listen more carefully to what the client is saying. Many people come to therapists for advice, and possibly after listening carefully some therapists will offer advice. However, keep in mind that you are most important person whom you can learn from in therapy, and outside therapy. 

For Video versions of this click here, and look for title and daf.  

Translations Courtesy of Sefaria