Dr X has a thoughtful post on my own post about self-disclosure in therapists. In the post, he laments the move of clinical psychology towards a focus on the manifest and on the surface content of what a client presents. He makes a direct comparison between simplistic and manifest approaches to psychotherapy such as congitve behavioural approaches and fundamentalist approaches to religion and the dangers inherent in this. It is a lament I share however my position on it is a little different.
His post highlights the difficulty that listening on a deeper level to a client demands much more of us as a therapist, not the least of which is that the client's own struggles with the less salutary aspect of themselves, their hatred, their pettiness, their shame and their despair emphasises these very aspects in us as a therapist. It is easier, less demanding and less threatening to stick with content.
When we work in this way, we will fail often. It is only then that we can honestly appreciate the client's struggle and the nature of the obstacles we and our clients face in taking up the honest pursuit of meaning that all of us face as finite, limited human beings in a vast dynamic creation. No one ever said this job would be easy.
Read the whole thing.