Buddhist Psychology

This site working in conjunction with www.buddhistpsychology.info. It will include answers to questions relating to courses at Amida Trust and will give explanation and comments on aspects of Buddhist psychology.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Can the therapist be neutral or are they always leading the client?

I have to say I am very doubtful that we ever entirely give up leading the client. We may become less deliberately "leading" but I'm sure clients perceive our responses to things they say and adjust their direction accordingly. Also because our minds are conditioned we hear certain parts of the clients story more strongly. This leads us to reflect some things and not others.

If you take a class of students, or indeed any group of therapists, and ask them to listen to a piece of counselling, stop it, and ask them to write what they would say next, you will get quite a variety of answers. Ask them what you think the main themes are, significant insights are, or future direction is and you will get a similarly diverse set of responses.

Being neutral is impossible. Therapy is about interaction, not a monlogue. Whether this is leading or participating in a shared exploration can be debated, but I think the therapist certainly has a big influence on the process.