Archive for the ‘Presence’ Category

“any good therapist”

In an interview toward the end of his life (Baldwin, 2000), Carl Rogers said

I find that when I am the closest to my inner, intuitive self –when perhaps I am somehow in touch with the unknown in me–when perhaps I am in a slightly altered state of consciousness in the relationship, then whatever I do seems to be full of healing. Then simply my presence is releasing and helpful. At those moments, it seems that my inner spirit has reached out and touched the inner spirit of the other. Our relationship transcends itself, and has become part of something larger. Profound growth and healing are present. (p. 36)

In the same interview he said, “I recognize that when I am intensely focused on a client, just my presence is healing”, and then went on to say, “I think this is probably true of any good therapist [italics added]” (p. 29).

If this is true, then I find myself wondering how many good therapists there are out there. Presence is the subject of my doctoral research, so it’s something I’ve spend a fair amount of time thinking about over the last few years.

Rogers’ quote suggests that beyond training, theory, or technique the quality of a therapist’s being may be an essential ingredient in the healing process that psychotherapy potentially offers. And it further implies that there can be elements of this relationship that are profoundly spiritual.

Baldwin, M. (2000). Interview with Carl Rogers on the use of self in therapy. In M. Baldwin [Ed.] The use of self in therapy (pp. 29-38). NY: Haworth.

Jamal’s Blog

Welcome to my blog. The intention of this blog is to connect. With whom would I like to connect? Hopefully, my extended community of people with shared interests, such as:

• transpersonal psychotherapy
• presence
• the process of conducting psychotherapy
• spirituality and psychology
• integrative therapy
• psychotherapy theory
• research about effectiveness in therapy
• mind-body approaches
• giftedness
• creativity
• indigenous psychologies

So, who might be interested in this site?
• clients or potential clients
• other therapists
• healers
• friends
• anyone who is interested in my work

The hub of my professional work is “presence,” researching both clinically and academically how it manifests in the process of psychotherapy.

Something of note: I am intentionally not separating this blog into a commercial site (i.e., for clients) and professional site (i.e., for colleagues). I am doing this as an experiment. After all, I claim to be “holistic”, among other things. If the arbitrary separation of the individual into “parts” (e.g., mind, body, spirit) is reductionistic, perhaps separating my community into “consumers” and “practitioners” is as well.

We are all growing. We are all learners. Knowledge is not the exclusive property of any particular interest group. So, I am hoping that this site will be a place where I can express myself transparently, in the context of my work, and engage community from that position.

My purpose or intention for this blog is:
• to connect with my “tribe”, by which I mean a community of shared interests and values
• to express my professional self in a public venue
• to share resources, as I come upon them
• to bring my work, both clinical and academic, into a larger domain
• to invite dialogue
• to elicit co-participation in research
• to provide updates on my professional activities