“It’s both a science and an art”

I like that psychotherapy has a firm grounding in science but it’s an art too. There’s an alchemy that takes place. It’s something that transcends words; a linking of two unconscious minds that goes beyond the books, the manuals or diagnosis and places two people in a sphere of deep understanding. And from this place of understanding comes “knowing”. The answers begin to come. Maybe a Cognitive Behavioral technique will present itself as the best intervention or maybe it’s a line from T.S. Eliot, Viktor Frankel or Mary Oliver that comes to mind that offers a new perspective. I think this is what “intuitive knowing” is all about. But ultimately it’s the quality of the client/therapist relationship that makes all the difference. A neuroscientist might call it “right brain to right brain attunement”. It’s just a willingness I guess, to jump in and join the client in that exact moment and be with them, exactly as they are. Joseph Campbell wrote about the “Hero’s Journey”. It takes great courage for a client to come in and tell me about the swords and beasts they’ve encountered along the path. It really does. And if I’ve done my job, the day comes when a client doesn’t need me any more because they have everything they need within themselves to move forward as the best version of him or herself. And then maybe, just maybe— they’ll take what they’ve learned and help someone else. And that’s when the alchemy truly begins.

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