Saturday, May 16, 2020
Psychotherapy as Art
To me, psychotherapy is an art.
Psychotherapist J.T. Bugental once said that “clients teach lessons to their therapists.” He said that what he considers most important to know and understand about life he learned doing therapy.
My privilege and opportunity to help heal a wounded person is a creative challenge. It’s so personally relevant as well as professionally fulfilling.
It’s art because of the need to create something out of chaos.
I need to enter the world of another fellow human. I need to be an integrationist to get to the “whole person.”
I need to reason logically. I need to organize knowledge. I need to formulate coherent explanations for psychological, emotional, and spiritual phenomena.
My greatest benefit of practicing the art is what I learn from each person I see. Each brings with him the colors of his life.
And my work is to share the context of his life. I’m thus offered a glimpse into the most intimate world of humanity.
As I immerse my self in the colors of my client’s lives, I therefore spend much time learning as much as I can from them as they learn from me.
Look at some of these “colors” I discovered: that suffering is part of life, that choice is healing, that perfectionism is a disease, that clients imprison themselves that limit their choices and possibilities, that relationships grow or die etc
I’m heavily influenced by my psychology and theology studies in my practice of psychotherapy.
But, also inspired as well by Fyodor Dostoevsky, William Shakespeare, Rollo May, Carl Jung, Soren Kierkegaard, or Nietzsche, among others.
Without fiction or literature I read, beside my own deepest personal journeys, my practice of my art is going to be hollow and one-dimensional.
I am amazed and feel the gift the art is giving my own life as well as those of others I encounter.