“Seeking Out Your Touchstones” Comments, Page 1

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5 Comments (One Discussion Thread) on “Seeking Out Your Touchstones”

  1. Hi Libby, I do have significant experiences that have shaped me.

    For me touching base with these things makes it easier to be open to others and learn. This is paradoxical I think.

  2. Lovely post, Libby. I felt actually more ‘in touch’ while reading it!

    I know well the experience you descibe of being slightly cut off from your own presence and skills with a client – and the need to refresh my actual presence, to feel more alive myself, and then able to step out of the way in order to hear the client.

    I find touching base with your own experience makes it easier to be open to others and learn, too, Evan. I don’t see it as a paradox though. Seems natural and logical to me that being close to ‘my’ living is being close to others, somehow.

  3. Hi Sarah and Evan, thanks for your really interesting comments. For me, it’s as if once I acknowledge in myself some possible parallel with my client’s experience, I can put it aside and focus on what the client is saying. I think the potential danger comes when a therapist isn’t aware of their own shaping experiences and can inadvertently bring ‘baggage’ from that to the session. Which is why good supervision is such a necessity to good practice! That and effective personal therapy to deal with the ‘big stuff’.

  4. Libby, I’ve found myself in your glass wall position, but in reverse. I’m not a therapist but a client of a therapist and I’ve had repeated experiences listening to my therapist where I ‘lost’ her. I could not hear and in some cases not even have clear focus seeing her. I think I’ve mentioned it to her as it was happening, asking her to start over as I was no longer with her. To me, it seemed it might be close to a state of shock and/or dissociation, as I’ve experienced both while being in my therapist’s presence. Needless to say, it’s disconcerting, to know someone’s there and have contact cut off, sometimes abruptly.

    I also think I’ve watched my therapist ‘lose’ me, as watching her feels the same or similar to me and my experience.

    Next time it occurs, I will try your technique to ‘come back’ and will make certain each time I’m aware it’s happening to inform my therapist in the moment.

    Interesting correlation to physical illness, that rang true too. I’ve been recovering from illness (mostly stress/exhaustion/depletion) for quite awhile which then could explain why I still turn up on the other side of the glass wall.

    1. Hi Barbara

      Thanks very much for your very interesting take on this, and apologies for the delay in replying to you — I’ve been away on holiday, recharging those batteries again!

      Reading your description of how you’ve experienced the sort of ‘glass wall’ effect, it struck me how self-aware you seem of what you’re feeling as you sit with your therapist — and what a gift this awareness could be to your therapeutic process if, as you suggest, you share it with your therapist as it’s happening. I often find with clients that some of the best and most effective work comes from exploring what is going on in the present moment — the ‘here and now’ of the therapeutic relationship — rather than focusing exclusively on relationships ‘out there’.

      Thank you again for sharing your experiences.

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