Archive for the ‘Intersubjectivity’ Category

20 Jul 2011

Characterological diagnosis: labelling or liberating?

Humanistic and Integrative Psychotherapists can get very squeamish about the use of diagnosis in psychotherapy. Diagnosing characterological or personality types is seen as a step too far towards the medical model: clients are pathologised in the diagnosis and subsequently treated as if they have a psychological flaw that requires ‘fixing’ or ‘curing’. We tend to believe that diagnosis treats people as if they had something wrong with them when in fact we are all just imperfect creatures doing our best given the hand we have been dealt.

I’d like to offer a different view of diagnosis: one that equally rejects the paradigm of pathology but that rehabilitates the use of diagnosis as a tool for empowerment for both therapist and client.

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04 Jul 2010

Knowing Me Knowing You

I had never heard of Professor Theodore Zeldin until yesterday, when I heard him interviewed on the radio about his latest project. A Feast of Conversation is a fascinating concept: strangers gather together and are provided with a menu of conversational topics. And they simply talk to each other for three or four hours, just for the pleasure of sharing another’s mind and another’s world. It’s the antidote to speed-dating.

Professor Zeldin is promoting the kinds of conversation where we might ‘discover what it is like to be someone else, and what other people feel’. He has captured quite beautifully our innate desire to engage with the other meaningfully at an intersubjective level.

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