If you are a therapist or companion of people in growth or safe healing processes, you may have asked yourself:
What can I do so that the client, after the first session, commits to a therapeutic process?
What is the fundamental ingredient that will allow that person to change or understand their issues?
The therapeutic relationship, the relationship you establish between that person and you.
The authentic transformer and healer of therapy is not so much the use of a specific technique or a particular discipline as many therapists believe at the beginning. The authentically healing is the relationship that is established between the two people who are in the therapeutic space, in that sacred space. And within that space, it is of vital importance that the therapist recognizes and manages the elements that will appear in that meeting throughout the sessions. We will ensure that the patient is committed to the therapeutic process.
So, is not it enough for the therapist to be trained in a specific discipline and have good intentions, so that the process is successful?
No, it is also necessary for the therapist to have awareness. And this is because when we give therapy, when we accompany others in their affairs, we start without realizing our entire mechanical personality , all our automatic unconscious mechanisms. And if we do not handle them properly, we will contaminate the therapeutic relationship.
But … I as a therapist can spoil the patient’s process? Unfortunately yes.
Frequently, the patient aborts the development of therapy because he does not feel comfortable in space. Sometimes, he does not know how to say what is difficult for him to continue but he leaves. At other times he knows that it has to do with the therapist but he does not dare to verbalize it and he abandons giving other reasons.
I will explain it more broadly with an example:
The therapist X, in his daily life, is not able to let feel the sadness or move the pain that produces a loss. This has to do, obviously, with his own biography and with a series of mechanisms that he developed during his first years of life to survive what was happening in his closest environment .
This therapist X, when something hurts, what he usually does is get angry or get to do many things, both ways to avoid sadness. But therapist X, is not aware that he is dealing with sadness and pain like that, he does not know that he has these established mechanisms.
Imagine that this therapist X comes to a client in a process of mourning or sadness, say that just separated …
What will this therapist do?
Probably, avoiding that the person feels sad or submerges in the pain will interrupt the experience of his client without, in addition, giving any account of it.
How will do?
In various ways, you may not let the client cry or let you cry more than certain minutes, you may run to hug him out of pity. It may intervene with phrases such as “If that person has left you, it was not for you”, “Do not know what is lost” … Or it may not allow the person to go home sad, to give some examples .
What this therapist is really doing is stripping his patient of a healthy self-regulation experience.
Emotions exist for something. And the sadness is to help us to let go, to say goodbye, to facilitate the process of acceptance of certain events that happen to us in life such as the death of a loved one, Relationship Problems, a dismissal … Accompany a patient to live his sadness, respectfully holding him meanwhile, is something very big and healing for the patient.
Although clearly, a therapist cannot offer a patient an experience that he himself, as a person, is not able to go through in his daily life. To do this type of accompaniment, the therapist must have a certain solidity, a background, and some awareness, respect for how he deals with his emotions and with the issues that happen to him in life.
That is why it is not enough for the therapist to be trained in a specific discipline and have good intentions for the process to be successful. It is necessary to recognize and manage the elements that are going to appear in the therapy space.
If therapist X acquires consciousness, because consciousness is something that is practiced, he can see how attempts are born to abort the experience of sadness that his patient is having, but he manages them and can handle them in another way. And he does so in order not to interrupt the sacred transit that the patient is having at that moment, because he understands the depth of that experience. That transit will allow that patient, assent to his reality as it is now, let go, get some understanding, put himself in peace internally, open up to the new …
The good therapists need to be very careful because, unfortunately, when we give therapy, all our mechanical personality appears. When I accompany another, my own way of facing life, of transiting the issues, of making decisions, my degree of evolution and my own ethics is manifested.
When I as a therapist decide to take care of myself, I not only take care of myself but also take care of the people who come to me.
Do you want to know the 9 interventions that will tell you that maybe you can be hindering the therapeutic process?
- When you protect the patient as if he were a small child
- When you see him as ‘poor thing’ and you feel sorry for him
- When you see him as a victim
- When you want to save it
- When you judge
- When you criticize
- When you advise him
- When you impose something
- When he starts to depend on you
If you recognize any of these alerts, do not sink, you are human and it is only a limitation. Humility has to do with recognizing one’s own power and one’s limits. Instead of blaming you I invite you to get going to get rid of this limit by going to a supervision session, taking an appointment for individual therapy for that matter or doing some appropriate training.