„It’s life that matters, nothing but life – the process of discovering – the everlasting and perpetual process, not the discovery itself at all.”
The human encounter lies in the center of my work. In therapy, it is beneficial to notice that another person is interested in our thoughts and feelings without constraints. It is beneficial to have someone else entering our inner world without drowning in it as it can happen to ourselves so easily. It is beneficial to be seen – and not only in the way we would like to be seen. When we experience someone really listening to us, we learn to listen to ourselves better – this is the path to recovery no matter what our struggle consists of.
To me, empathy means to approximately feel parts of the conscious or subconscious experience of another person within myself. That creates connection and understanding embedded in professional knowledge and experience. Difficulties in a generally good relationship between therapist and client can be an important chance in the process as well. If we succeed in dealing with it consciously, we get to know ourselves better. We learn to differentiate between how much we are in conflict with our past and ourselves or in fact with the other person. I see myself as a participant in the process in contrast to being an uninvolved projection screen, hence I keep myself personally reachable. If conflict can be dealt with, trust emerges.
Therapy is a shared journey into the unknown. In my understanding, it aims at realignment – deeper alignment with yourself and life through connecting to your core and gaining insight, in short the enhancement of consciousness. I see my task in supporting and facilitating this path to realignment. Concrete steps result from the process itself. It doesn’t aim at reestablishing functionality, it aims at reestablishing vitality, in whatever form it wants to manifest itself. I see humans as intelligent, living beings that are able to reorganize themselves – someone who is willing to support this can promote and deepen that process. I see myself as a translation help or bridge between the (still) subconscious signals and the conscious path of a human being so that consciousness can grow and the person will become more congruent within themselves. To me, support means to fully approve the individual path of another being. This might contain confrontation where it seems necessary and important – as often we stand in our own ways.
My personal style in working with people is intuitive. Professional knowledge constitutes an essential and helpful framework which I appreciate and expand. Whenever this knowledge becomes a paradigm, though, the human with their subjective experience isn’t at the center of attention anymore. Intuition combined with curiosity and openness enables flexibility – knowledge, experience and present perception come together to facilitate a deeper understanding of the person and their unique situation. Additionally, my style is based on perception rather than techniques. Through methods, psychotherapy gains possibilities to deal with issues – however, I don’t see them as ends in themselves. Learning new methods doesn’t necessarily improve the quality of accompanying other people’s processes. Perception itself is my starting point – what is happening within me, what is happening within the other person, what is happening between us? If methods are embedded in what wants to emerge in the present, they are indeed helpful. Above all, it’s being present with whatever comes up, that is going to open doors and provide a path for recovery. Even when facing hardship and heaviness in life, I still like humor to come along.
The greatest resource of the therapist lies in their own process – how much we are able to confront ourselves with our own fears and shadow aspects, what we lived through, what we suffered from, what we experienced. It opens deeper levels of understanding. Thereby, life itself is and has always been my most important teacher. When we listen to life, we listen to ourselves. We begin to see life as the mystery it is and recognize certain patterns and principles that it follows – if we work against those principles, we’re working against ourselves.
And after all, any encounter that we really open up to, leaves us back somehow different. The shared journey in therapy doesn’t only leave traces in the client but also in the therapist – to me this is a challenge and a gift altogether.