I still hold true to its value. The following story, I hope, will make my point.
I had once a patient who came to Hollywood from the Mid-West to become a screen writer. She, of course, like many other young and talented people, started out as a personal assistant. Her boss, a powerful figure, quickly understood her value and liked her a great deal. He started giving her more and more creative assignments in program developing. She liked program developing and it turned out she was good at finding new and talented people to go on the shows. It seems that things were looking up for her. But suddenly, her boss made a logistical mistake. The company lost a lot of money and he was ostracized. They moved his office from the prominent location he used to enjoy, to an obscured part of the building, at the end of a corridor, in a place people working there for years didn't even know it existed. My patient had to follow him there, feeling extremely discouraged. She was so disappointed that she had a mini-depressive episode. Of course she didn't think of it as "mini" until she got out of it, months later.
This was the time when her friends told her she has got to see "someone" so they referred her to me. In our first session, I've got a pretty good idea that she was not only intelligent and talented, but also very reliable and hard working--a rare combination in Hollywood, at least as far as I know.
In our first session, I asked her point blank: "Do you think your hard work will pay off?" She thought for a moment and then, resolutely, said "NO."
"During the coming sessions, I hope to show you the opposite. I believe hard work will pay off, even though it may be in different ways than you expect. Your talent for discovering other talented people and fit them in the right positions in the shows, is uncanny. The fact that you always follow through, even if you have to stay up all night to read a script, must have been noticed by someone other than your chastised boss, at the studios."
Fateful to her depressed mood and the negative unconscious process that usually goes with it, she said: "I don't think so. My professional career is tight up with my boss' and he has just been demoted."
For the following sessions, we worked on rebuilding her self-esteem. It wasn't going very well. I kept pointing out her good qualities and she kept denying she possessed any of them.
One day, she came in saying that there was a special program that has just been announced, in which they will take a small group, 8 creative, talented people, and train them to become executive directors for programing. "Of course," she said, "I will never make the cut, there are already 1800 applicants for the 8 positions, who am I to even think I could get there..."
I gasped. Maybe this was the chance I was looking for to demonstrate my theory. I asked her if she will consider signing up.
"I already did," she said. I immediately thought that all my work with her was finally beginning to pay off. At the very least, even if she did not get the position, I thought, she did not give up trying, she did not give up hope. For that, she was already a winner in my book.