Finding your own style within the spectrum of 21st-century psychotherapy
“Beyond our ideas of right-doing and wrong-doing,
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.”
In this session I will invite you to explore the therapeutic space beyond notions of right or wrong, beyond ideas of best theory, correct technique, practice by the book or manual.
I will invite you to use all your faculties, all your knowledge, all your woundedness and sensitivity to get a flavour of your own therapeutic style, that is free to draw fluidly and integratively from the wealth of therapeutic knowledge and expertise humans have accumulated.
As C.G. Jung said: “There should only be one Jungian therapist – me.”
Everybody else - including you and me - we need to find our own style, rooted in our own relational complexity and embodied in our own history, wounds and limitations as well as gifts and potential. As we can only find this in the moment, rather than through thinking or theory only, this session will weave between experience and reflection, between skills practice and discussion, engaging you with your next step at your growing edge.
We may draw from the following themes what seems most relevant and urgent.
Creating an open, inviting therapeutic space
‘Nothing human is foreign to me.’
What gets in the way of full engagement?
What limits the client’s experience of the therapeutic space?
Phenomenological enquiry into the therapist’s internal process: how is the therapist behaving habitually in ways that are, for example, fixed, limited, restrained, unresponsive or overly-giving?
Focussing on the therapist’s ‘construction’ of the therapeutic space.
Creating an effective transformative therapeutic space
‘Allowing the client’s unconscious to construct me as an object.’
What limits a full and deeply transformative process?
Phenomenological enquiry into the therapist’s external effects: how are the therapist’s responses/interventions countertherapeutic?
The doctor-friend polarity
therapy as treatment (‘medical model’) versus therapy as collusive friendship
objectifying/pathologising versus colluding/avoidant
therapy as relationship
objectifying – differentiating – identifying – colluding
The client’s conflict: habitual mode versus emergency
‘something desperately has to happen’ – ‘nothing has to happen/nothing to be imposed’
the client’s character conflicts / the ego-Self axis
A broad-spectrum integration of approaches
The shattered and fragmented postmodern wholeness
Drawing on the gifts and wisdom of the whole field (fragmentation of the field reflects the fragmented modern psyche – the integration of the client’s psyche into wholeness requires the integration of the whole field)
The history of schisms and conflicts in the psychotherapeutic field and how it affects us now
integration and dis-integration
cherry-picking approaches versus full-spectrum integration
therapeutic approach cannot be grasped by theory and technique – underlying implicit relational stance
The therapist’s habitual, wounded, fixed position
Moving beyond a one-dimensional therapeutic position
The wounded healer position
The therapist’s habitual position – inheriting the wounds of our family ancestors, our therapeutic ancestors, or cultural ancestors …
The therapist’s shadow
The dangers of integration
Shifting from therapeutic approaches to relational modalities
Gomez, Stark, Clarkson, Michael’s Diamond model: what kind of therapeutic relatedness?
Gomez: humanistic ‘alongside’ stance versus psychodynamic ‘opposite’ stance
Stark: ‘one-person psychology’, ‘one-and-a-half-person psychology’, ‘two-person psychology’
Clarkson: working alliance – authentic – reparative – transference/countertransference - transpersonal
Michael’s Diamond model: include ‘medical model’
understanding identifications - projective identification – transference and countertransference as systemic bodymind processes
Transcending dualisms and binaries into paradox
the relational paradox: transcending treatment versus relationship dualism = paradox of enactment
I-it and I-I relating
the bodymind paradox: transcending mind-over-body versus body-over-mind dualism = embodiment/disembodiment paradox
the central paradox of therapy: the healing of the client’s wounding is inseparable from the enactment of wounding in and through therapy.
The fractal self: a chain of nested matrices of parallel process