The therapeutic relationship takes precedence over technique and strategy. The relationship, modeling a new form of connectedness, communication, and openness is the primary, essential component of a successful process of self-discovery. What are some of the ways in which this relationship and the therapy do not work?
People who come to therapy to begin the process of self-discovery both want and do not want to change. Interiorly they are engaged in a wrestling match of conflicting urges. This is as it should be of course. Nothing can be achieved in this process of self-discovery unless we can flush out and work with the resistances and the conflicts. The resistance is the ego/voice insisting on dominance and control. The ego must be relinquished. No one is happy while they remain subject to ego/forces. So getting through this or rather learning to use this inner battle and to understand what it reveals is one of the very first aspects of successful therapy.
Attraction or aversion toward the therapist at this point and the way in which the therapist responds to the internal conflict are paramount. The therapist must allow it to boil up to the surface, he must accept both sides of the argument equally, he certainly should not lean toward the therapy option, but rather allow the client to find their own way, their own synthesis of mind, empowering them to make their own choice.
Of course the relationship is complex. But the central features are acceptance, awareness, sensitivity, skill in relating, listening receptively, and not interfering or problem-solving, and feeling along with the client what they are feeling.
A client who is particularly opinionated, knows too much about the therapy process, is argumentative, has had a problematic relationship with the parent of the gender of the therapist can all be signs of material surfacing in the transference.
Richard Harvey is a psycho-spiritual psychotherapist, spiritual teacher, and author. He is the founder of The Center for Human Awakening and has developed a form of depth-psychotherapy called Sacred Attention Therapy (SAT) that proposes a 3-stage model of human awakening. Richard can be reached at email@example.com.
Richard Harvey is a psycho-spiritual psychotherapist, spiritual teacher, and author. He is the founder of The Center for Human Awakening and has developed a form of depth-psychotherapy called Sacred Attention Therapy (SAT) that proposes a 3-stage model of human awakening. Richard can be reached at [...]