Therapy, like education, is part art, part science. Good teachers are artisans of their craft. Good therapists are artists, too. Yes, there is also a science behind good teaching and counseling, but the art is what makes therapy and teaching so vibrant, so exceptional, so inspiring and necessary for success. Quite simply: There is an art to building a relationship with somebody completely unknown who is willing to share their innermost self with you. All therapists know this and all trainers and educators know this, too. We often "hide" behind the science and tout its extraordinary ability to produce outcomes because talking about the art of caring, listening, sharing and "being there" is much more complicated, abstract and unquantifiable. But the art is the very reason that therapy works.
For many clients, they have never (or, rarely) been heard with such depth and compassion as can happen in a therapist's office. To finally be understood in a way that had previously seemed impossible is liberating in a way that causes science to scratch its head. To connect with another human being on an objective, yet empathic, level without judgment and assumption uncovers the seeds of our discontent. Confronting these seeds and choosing to either water them and care for them, or to shed them forever is a beautiful thing, and a necessary step in our journey toward self-actualization. Yes, therapy works, but don't ask how.
Be kind to each other and to yourself.
© Copyright 2015 Douglas Layer, M.A., LPCC