“A feeling of profound contact and engagement with a client, in which one simultaneously experiences high and consistent levels of empathy and acceptance towards that other, and relates to them in a highly transparent way. In this relationship, the client is experienced as acknowledging one’s empathy, acceptance and congruence – either implicitly or explicitly – and is experienced as fully congruent in that moment” David Mearns.
How is this achieved?
- Let go of aims and “lusts” Focus on the client in the here and now, not our goals for them.
- Be aware of your aims, rather than denying them, then let set them aside.
- Let go of “anticipations. Theory is theory, the client is not a set of theories to be understood.
- Let go of Techniques, it focuses on us rather than the client.
- Give the client space and time to express. “Holistic listening”
- Knock on the door. Do not be afraid to ask things of the client
- Mulitdirectional Partiality. Complicated way of saying be aware of and use configurations of self.
- An openness to admitting how you are affected by the client.
- Create a safe (physical, emotional and mental) space. This does not mean protecting the client however.
- Congruence/self awareness and a willingness to display this to the client.
- Transparency, being willing to communicate our here and now to the client.
This is a very simplified, and brief summary of a large body of work, it is a beginning, not a how to.