People often access therapy services when the symptoms of mere survival become more painful than we can bare. A psychotherapist can offer, perhaps for the first time in one's life, the missing experience of an unconditional, positive and warm presence - a good-enough, skillful, caring, and responsive holding environment, and the ongoing support and tools one needs to find one's own hidden power of will and inner resources for transformation.
“In my early professional years I was asking the question: How can I treat, or cure, or change this person? Now I would phrase the question in this way: How can I provide a relationship which this person may use for (their, her, his) own personal growth?”
- Carl Rogers, American psychologist and among the founders of Humanistic Psychology
"The professional's job is to create a safe, supportive setting in which clients can effect their own growth and evolution. A good therapist stays away from the position that as a trained professional, she, he (or they) has the ultimate answers and techniques to fix other people. Instead, the therapist points the way to the clients' own resources, throws them back on their own innate healing power, and allows them to discover their own solutions."
- Christina Grof, author, teacher, artist, psychotherapist, and co-creator of Holotropic Breathwork.
Psychology has evolved in important ways in recent years and while the therapeutic relationship remains paramount, modern neuroscience allows the psychotherapist to modify the therapeutic relationship for special experiences such as trauma. Here the trauma-wise therapist may take a more active role in support of clients in their recovery from traumatic experiences.
"No recovery is possible from trauma without attending to issues of safety, care for the self, reparative connections to other human beings, and a renewed faith in the universe. The therapist's job is not just to be a witness to this process but to teach the patient how.”
- Janina Fisher, PhD, international authority on the treatment of trauma and dissociation