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The Therapist’s Implicit Relational Stance & Habitual Positions (2007)

The Therapist’s Implicit Relational Stance & Habitual Positions (2007)2017-04-07T02:54:38+00:00

Project Description

This was written quickly (it shows ...!) as a preparation for the 2007 CABP conference 'The Client and I', attempting in anticipation to clarify some important concepts within the relational debate. I suggest that there always IS an implicit relational stance and that the therapist's awareness in this respect depends on having become aware of and having worked through their habitual positions and associated beliefs and assumptions which attracted them to becoming a therapist in the first place. This notion of the therapist's habitual position is rooted in a Reichian idea of character as applied to the therapist's woundedness rather than the client's - what is the therapist's (unconscious) construction of their role and task and the therapeutic space through the lens of their own wounded subjectivity? 
Much counselling and therapy training tends to feed into the student's prior relational stance (character position in relation to self and others) and therefore tends to exacerbate rather than question and enquire into the habitual position. After completing their training, the therapist is then left with little flexibility, to entertain or even experiment with different relational stances (as implicit in the idea of diverse relational modalities). This theme needs further work, but it's a start.


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