Therapist as a courageous and compassionate companion
The understanding, kindness, hope and clarity we receive from a psychotherapist can help us to let compassion in and to begin to develop compassion for ourselves step-by-step. This is a necessary foundation for any psychotherapy.
The integration of self-compassion into psychotherapy starts with us becoming authentic human beings. Psychotherapists and other helping professions are faced with suffering on a daily basis, which places us at a high risk for self-neglect and burnout. Recent neuroscientific research suggests that compassion protects helping professions against burnout by energizing us. All that is required is to remember to include ourselves in the circle of good will.
Compassion is not an abstract technique, but a kind and wise attitude towards suffering. We realize that as human beings we are all subject to suffering and that compassion is the only adequate response to loss, stress, sickness, loneliness and disappointment – for therapist and patient alike.
Studies suggests that the promotion of self-compassion within our patients appears to be a key transtheoretical mechanisms of change in psychotherapy. Research also indicates that our inner attitude towards ourselves is transferred to the patient and may affect the course of therapy. To contain the suffering of our patients without burning out, we require compassion for our patients and ourselves. MSC Training is ideally suited for therapists who wish to learn how to sustain compassion.
Compassion contains and clarifies
Psychotherapy that focuses on the development of compassion may help us to gradually feel safe and connected again – both with ourselves and with others. When the patient feels safe enough, therapist and patient work together to develop tailored exercises aimed at strengthening the patient’s compassionate self. On this journey, stumbling blocks such as fears of emotions or of change typically arise. These can be overcome with enough patience and skilful guidance by the therapist. From the perspective of our wise and compassionate parts, we may begin to understand, to embrace and to integrate unloved parts of ourselves; we may see the helpful intentions behind our seemingly unhelpful emotions and personality parts and may begin to utilize them. By transforming and integrating old pain in this way, we may experience more contentment, joy and more satisfying relationships.