Thursday, December 11, 2014

Idiosyncrasies, #1

Sometimes I’m a keenly observant person, sometimes less so.  One casualty of my blind eye is my transformation, unawares over recent past years, to psychotherapist guru.  This elevation, please understand, is all in my own mind, and the idea is not as hubristic as it sounds.  One part is acquiescence to ignorance: all that eludes me and that I will never know about human nature.  A bigger part is geological processes: sedimentary piling, weathering and metamorphosis.  The countless pebbles of people’s idiosyncrasies; the sharp and bloody principles of trauma, neglect and development, personality and projection, have accumulated and blurred and blended together over the years and reformed to be a quiet attitude of shy confidence and patience.

This has happened – and probably happens to many therapists – for a genial reason.  If one is interested in the psychological soul, in time the science and art of therapy melt down to just a peculiar way of looking at people.  We become, in other words, nice old eccentrics.

For me, it’s a perfect fit to have a profession that is more being than doing, where the core specialty is just to be a person.  For neurotic reasons based in childhood, or more likely, birth, I have always been revulsed by the concept of training: “Through training, he became a great doctor, philosopher, professor.”  “You can trust these men with your life, your wife, and with a knife – they’ve been well trained.”  “Rigorous training has done its job: He is a master of war and a wager of peace.”  I have always felt that a person cannot be trained – it sounds dehumanizing and mechanizing – but must only teach himself to be more of what he already is: someone interested in something.  This prejudice came, I know, out of my own identity impairment: an urgency to be a self when there wasn’t one.  To be more than that – through any sort of growth or sculpting process – was to become a replacement for that nonexistent ego.

This may be an odd way to perceive my calling, but I am certain that self study is the alpha and most of the omega of understanding the psyche, and that being a feeling and caring human – not trained – is the only way to apply it.  There are too many intellectual heads doing this work; clinicians who lean back when the client shows odd; technique island-hoppers who remake themselves with each workshop.  I think you just have to be, through time, more human, more geological. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are welcome, but I'd suggest you first read "Feeling-centered therapy" and "Ocean and boat" for a basic introduction to my kind of theory and therapy.