We arrive at human freedom by discovering and modifying aspects of self that do not serve us. It is in this response to freedom that a human being becomes fully alive. We are fully alive when our microcosm perfectly mirrors our macrocosm, when we are one with the universe, in harmony with all. When our spiritual worlds, mental worlds, and physical worlds mirror each other, the result produces a more confident and unique way of being. We gain the ability to enjoy naturally unforgettable success and deep inner satisfaction as we accept and overcome the world through profound love. Most would agree that in this state, we best manifest creation's glory.
This writing describes a way of organizing your thinking and includes a series of practices intended to awaken you to your complete self. In a sense, by practicing the techniques described herein, you will become your own therapist. Think of all the money you can save. It begins with the premise that the dimensions of the Divine are the constituents of the mind and the constituents of the mind manifest as the magnitude of the world. It takes an existential approach based on the premise that people must find their own way in life and accept responsibility if they hope to achieve maturity. This approach offers a technique for organizing your thoughts into categories using four Judeo-Christian archetypes: The Book of Life, Satan, Jesus, and the Divine Child.
Rooted in the psychological theories of Jung, Gestalt, and Psychodrama, along with Neurolinguistic Programming and Cognitive therapy, this approach focuses on process rather than content. We feel less threaded when we focus on the process of perceiving rather than attending to the content of what we perceive.
In addition, this technique is phenomenological in that it centers on our perception of reality, is existential in that it approaches the past and future in the here and now, and is experiential in that we can come to grips with what we are thinking, feeling, and doing as we interact with our environment. Supported by these psychological theories, our goal is to stand on our own feet and give our own free response to the call of each moment.
According to George Weinberg author of The Heart of Psychotherapy, a good therapist is born with certain traits of humanness that motivate him/her to acquire additional traits similar to those that we will be using in this process. What Weinberg calls basic humanness includes an ability to 1) admit errors, 2) tolerate frustration, 3) and refuse to judge by appearances, age or social class. A totality of these traits when brought to a therapeutic setting results in an interaction of growth primarily for the client and secondarily for the therapist.
Weinberg profiles a therapist by saying that there must first be an ability to feel and a readiness to respond. The client, on the other hand, usually is lacking in one of these two areas—the ability to feel or respond. Which is the weaker of the two for you–recognizing your physical sensations or your emotional sensations? Are you also, in turn lacking in your ability to respond to your body or your emotions once they are recognized? A yes or not sure answer means you have been settling for less than your life's full potential.
The lines of a young character in Neil Simon's play, Broadway Bound captures, the essence of most people’s lives as they settle for less.
I’ll be honest about one thing. Dancing with my mother was very scary. I was doing what my father should have been doing with her but wasn’t. And holding her like that and seeing her smile was too intimate for me to enjoy. Intimacy is a complex thing: you have to be careful who you share it with…but without it, life was just breakfast, lunch and dinner, and a good night’s sleep. Most people would settle for that. Most people do...I was determined not to be most people.
In the process you are about to undertake, the mature adult aspect of your personality will utilize Weinberg's characteristics of a good therapist as you play the good therapist role who mentors and, nurtures the injured part of your personality, the client (child). In the process described in the following pages, you be both the therapist and the client. As you develop this process, you will become aware of the between realm, not only between you and another person but also between two parts of yourself. Doctor Irvin D. Yalom, an Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry at Stanford University, a practicing psychiatrist and author of numerous books including Theory and Practice of Group Psychotherapy, has stressed throughout his years of practice that, it's the relationship that heals—the positive unconditional regard, nonjudgmental acceptance, authentic engagement, empathic understanding.
The ability to have a felt body sense (intuition) of what is going on with another person requires the skill of taking down our personal boundary and blending our energy with that of the other person or with other parts of our self. This act also requires some of the remaining traits Weinberg describes as common to therapists. These include:
∙ Intelligence to judge about the appropriateness of a given situation
∙ Courage to let go of one’s own ego boundaries without losing the self
∙ Flexibility to meet the other with love when the other is ready and open
∙ Insistent egalitarian to enable unity of equals, creating a sense of family between other and self
The uncensored openness of being an insistent egalitarian is only possible when the preceding traits are present. Weinberg implies between the lines of his writings, a felt presence of spirituality, yet he does not specifically mention this as a profile trait. Personally, I experience it as the most important trait to facilitate the exchange of life between two people. This allows both sympathy and empathy to emerge in the between realm of the therapist and the client.