Reviewing work of yesterday
1. The Four immeasurables: Love, Compassion, Sympathetic joy, Equanimity (Maitri, Karuna, Muditas, Upeksha)
2. The therapy process model (similar material to last week, but in a bit more detail)
CONTACT -> WARM-UP (Orientation, scene setting, identification of significant rupas and their inter-relationships, background information) -> PERMISSION/TRIGGER (Safe space & safe therapist - client and therapist have to be ready.... Key access point, evocation) -> CATHARSIS / SHIFT (Doing/saying something not done before, or doing/saying it in a new way or with more depth of meaning; releasing emotion or desire that was blocked; change in construal of significant other) -> WORKING THROUGH: Integration, application, secondary insights, permeation.
The clients of yesterday reported back.
If you were to work as client today what would you work on?
Identifying a relevant scene.
First Client: Discussed the pros and cons of divorcing her husband. Client has never been in love and got married under pressure from family and practical considerations. Communication within the marriage is poor, but has shown small improvements recently. Decision is not urgent.
Second Client: Session started with client taking selfie of self with therapist. Client wanted to share the influence that the therapist has had on his life and his ambition to continue developing his personal path. There were several shows of affection and respect which the therapist reciprocated and the therapist led the client into relaxation.
After each session the observers spent time in small groups discussing the work.
- the quality of contact established at the beginning of the session (better in session 2 than in session 1) can have a marked effect upon the depth that it is possible to get to.
- some issues are only partly psychological. The client may benefit from psychological counselling but might also need a financial and/or legal advisor.
- if the client eulogises or disparages the therapist, the therapist has to meet this without embarassment.
- the stronger the sympathetic contact between client and therapist, the more liberties the therapist can take in challenging or encountering the client.
- there was some discussion about whether "resistance" is a useful concept. The things sometimes classified as resistance always have reasons/motives behind them, and the important thing is to understand what purpose they serve rather than labelling them.
- to do something new is itself a therapeutic shift so sometimes the substance of the therapy is that the client comes to say or demonstrate something to the therapist. This may be a confession or an expression of a sentiment previously hidden or an action not done before. The therapist may be better advised in such cases to simply accept this presentation rather than getting into analysing it.
Reflecting upon the discussion