Carl Rogers hypothesized decades ago that all that was necessary and sufficient for mental health progress was for a client to feel empathy from their counselor, unconditional positive regard and genuineness during session. Others have since challenged this notion by saying more interventions are also required (i.e., Cognitive-Behavioral, etc). But, Rogers was on to something. People blossom when they sense that they matter, that someone cares, someone understands, someone stands in support of them in a non-judgmental, open and honest, agenda-free way. Sadly, many people have rarely, if ever, experienced such an interaction and/or relationship. Their personal histories are littered with conditional, controlling, guilt-laden relationships in which they are used and misused for someone else's selfish and dysfunctional needs.
So, let's all make it part of our mission to reach out to those closest to us, not in an effort to gain something in return, but simply as a reminder that they matter, that they are important - just because. Let's remind people that they bring us joy and happiness because they exist, not because of what they can do for us, and that their feelings, needs and experiences are valid because those experiences mean something to them. We can all be therapists in this all-important realm of human existence: Reminding people that they matter, that they are worthy, and that their lives make a difference to the world, and we are grateful.
Be kind to yourself and to others.
© Copyright 2013 Douglas Layer, LMHC