How to Go Deeper with Clients by Focusing on the Experience
In Today’s Lesson:
References in this video: The 2-part counseling session with Debbie
One of the distinctions of the humanistic approach to sandtray is our emphasis on awareness and experiencing rather than insight and analysis. This focus contrasts sharply with sandplay, cognitive-behavioral therapy and many others. Insight appeals to many clients and many therapists as well. Similarly, analyzing feelings, motives, and events attracts people because we all want to know why something happened, why we feel a certain way or why another person acted in a particular manner. These issues matter to us and we want to understand them.
The humanistic approach is not anti-analysis or insight but we believe that insight and analysis should follow an experience. Reflecting on an experience is valuable and humanistic therapists encourage clients to reflect on their experiences but we believe that it is impossible to analyze an emotion and experience it at the same time. In addition, it is impossible to stay in the moment and analyze an experience. Being in the moment is not the same as thinking about something; they are two different processes.
In this video lesson, you may notice that I emphasize Debbie’s experience and ask her to describe it rather than analyze it. I cannot stress strongly enough that going deeper with clients into their experience will not happen if you get sidetracked into analyzing it. It just won’t happen. The client may prefer to analyze her experience but analysis is cognitive and experiencing is more connected to our bodies, emotions and awareness.
I hope as you watch this video that you get a sense of me trusting a process in which I facilitate the client’s awareness, she continues to focus on and explore her experience and as a result, she goes deeper into her experience. I also hope that you see the simplicity of the process and its effectiveness.
The next time you hear from me, we will focus on staying in the present.
Talk to you soon.