Personal Development: The Good Therapist

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Personal Development: Axel Trinh-Cong gives some sound advice on a perspective therapist.

The crises we are going through are a symptom of our image of the world. Those who now aspire to a new form of normality will understand that this change must, of necessity, go through an interior and personal mutation. However, if one intends to pass a certain milestone, any work on oneself implies the presence of a companion or therapist. Unfortunately, the world of personal coaching has become a real industry where the worst meets the best. How to recognize a quality therapist? On the basis of which criteria do you make your choice?

The therapeutic act is not trivial: The people who come for consultation are vulnerable, fragile because they are in high demand. It is then very easy for an unscrupulous therapist to take power over these people and make them believe that he is going to save them. The therapist places himself above his patient, while maintaining the latter in a state of victim so that he himself can retain his status of saviour. So, the patient never progresses while remaining in dependence vis-a-vis the one who is supposed to accompany him. The good therapist is clear with himself and does not use his practice to address his ego or self-esteem issues.

People who come for consultation are, naturally, hurting in some way. This hurt demands to be welcomed and recognized for what it is, with respect and without
judgment. Because each being is unique with a unique journey. The same symptom can have different causes from person to person. The therapeutic response cannot be purely systematic or theoretical. The good therapist provides the care that the damage calls for, not what the therapist thinks he wants patients to receive, because he thinks it is best for them. By doing so, he would put himself above the hurt, in a position of domination. The hurt expresses itself, and the good therapist responds.

The therapeutic act inherently involves entering the most intimate parts of the patient’s universe. The actions and words taken and spoken during the consultation will have an influence not only on the patient, but also on all the systems to which he belongs: his family, his love life, his neighbours, his company… the universe. We all have in mind those experiences people have had in which, with a single word, their story either rose or plummeted into drama. The good therapist offers an answer, a solution to his patient, who then takes the responsibility of integrating it or not. The therapeutic act is a proposition and not something imposed.

A good therapist does not treat a symptom, a disease or a disorder, but rather a human being in his or her totality – his goal is to allow the patient to reconnect with his or her formidable potentiality. The therapist does not possess the power to restore health because he is not the master of the Game of Life. His only power is to allow his patients to find the path to their own healing. There should no therapists who brag about being able to heal you. And if you meet any: run away from them.

The role of the therapist is to allow you to make contact with the solution that is in you, and nowhere else. The good therapist only accompanies and facilitates this momentum, this desire for change by providing all the  elements necessary for its accomplishment. This need, this great thirst for change is an essential component in carrying out quality care. A person only changes if they long for it and part of them is ready to take the plunge.

“I bandage you and God heals you.” Ambroise Paré (French surgeon, 1509-1590)

The role of the good therapist is to accompany you in your relationship with yourself (body-mind-soul relationship) and in your relationships with others. This is why, in the end, I much prefer the terms accompanist or facilitator to that of therapist. By being accompanied in this way, your therapist remains your equal, he is by your side, without ever taking power over you. This is how you retain all your power. And, besides, isn’t that the goal of working on yourself? Finally, it is the degree of your awareness during treatment which will change things inside you and, subsequently, the other aspects of your existence.

How to recognize a good therapist? The good therapist, or the right therapist for you, is the person with whom you feel good and confident enough to discover what it is within you that is opposed to your inner and outer happiness.

Mastery of an art is not the only factor determining the quality of a therapist. Far from it. The experience and the path taken by the therapist himself in the exploration of his Being also count. The therapist must have been through enough to be clear with himself. Because otherwise how do you accompany a person on a path that you yourself would not have taken beforehand? You can only bring a patient to where you have been yourself. This work on oneself also makes it possible to avoid all forms of taking power over the patient.

Good therapists are practitioners who constantly seek to evolve, to improve themselves, to progress in their practice, in particular by the regular participation in sessions of supervision of their treatment, as well as in seminars and trainings organised by their peers.

A good therapist has ethics and – ideally – has taken care to bring them to help his communication tools. And so should be able to find – among others – the following points.

The good therapist accompanies those whose goal is to be ever more aware of themselves and of their personal responsibility in life; those who seek to abandon the state of victim and the belief in the fatality of their destiny, while forbidding to believe that their future can be predicted, foreseen or traced by a person other than themselves, while reminding them of their free will.

The good therapist imposes nothing: no view, no opinion, no technique, nor anything else. He is at your service and delicately opens doors for your advancement, while leaving you free to enter or not.

The good therapist is bound by professional secrecy. He undertakes not to communicate to anyone – except at your request – the content of what has been done and exchanged in consultation.

The good therapist knows how to be humble if he feels overwhelmed or helpless in the face of a situation. He feels perfectly free to tell you about it and to suggest other ways or to recommend you to colleagues.

In order to be able to maintain a healthy and selfless relationship with you, the good therapist is committed to organizing his life and financial resources in such a way that he is never completely dependent on his activity.

Put love back where it has gone missing I believe that the world of personal development and spirituality cannot allow itself the luxury of standing by. The therapeutic act has too many implications and responsibilities. Also, for the good of all, I invite my colleagues to make the appropriate gestures to honour their art. I and others have already started this journey.

More than earning money by practising an art in the hushed calm of a consulting room, I think that the true therapeutic act is an attitude, a way of apprehending the world and of moving in it at all times. It is an act of selfless love because we belong to each other.

Axel TRINH-CONG Psychic, Therapist, Body- spirit-soul alignment, constellations, Tarot, soul messages www.voiesymbolique.net

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