"The future of humanistic psychology is closely linked to this epidemic of traumatic stress reactions. The U.S. military has invested millions of dollars in suicide prevention programs only to see the rate increase year after year. U.S. combat veterans take their own lives five times more often than peers of their own age. At least 20% of those men and women returning from duty in Iraq and Afghanistan develop PTSD. Half of them never seek help and half of those who do drop out after the first one or two sessions. Relatively few are directed to a humanistic psychotherapist, one who would do more than prescribe medication and focus on symptom reduction. By virtue of their training and orientation, humanistic psychologists would help veterans face their existential crises, and would focus on developing post-traumatic strengths."
"In order to entertain this type of intimate, relational work with our clients, we first had to travel down the road of rupture and repair in our own
interpersonal relationship. To be sure, we have hit our fair share of roadblocks on this journey. Our shadows have come out to play, toying with each other a bit, and doing so behind our backs.
By this we mean to say, somewhere between the very beginning of becoming acquainted and then deciding to work together, and where we now find ourselves and our work, lies a panoply of long,
thoughtful conversations preceded by and interspersed with a few tense moments. In every relationship, there is a fear of causing separation by this or that comment or action. By paying careful
attention to our own intrapsychic structures (the ways in which we view the world), we slowly, deliberately, and painstakingly allowed for the other to speak his or her story of how a comment or
a missed moment had deeply affected the other. Thankfully, this was often done over good food. Truthfully, sometimes we just needed a comforting distraction from the tension bellowing between
"My role as a therapist is partly to model self-care, and perhaps ultimately to model care of others as expressions of greater self. In working with this or any other client, I hope to further support them in this work of caring; I see the primary tool in developing my own capacity to offer this service, to be the continued unfolding of my own relationship to self-care – and this via the further healing of my own experience of self-directed aggression and anger. Van Kaam suggests, “I can be gentle with myself if I can experience myself simultaneously as precious and vulnerable” (p.92). And this is exactly the gift I hope to offer clients. Towards this end, as a therapist I must attempt to do my best to not let my own unconsciously harbored anger (towards the fact of suffering or perhaps some other presenting element of reality) hinder my skillfulness in serving another’s relationship towards his or her own anger. To accomplish this, my own practice of awakening to those areas where anger still lingers within me can only help to minimize any unconscious tendencies I have to project it (my own anger) onto therapeutic sessions – in this sense I, too, am in the role of ‘client’ even when I find myself relationally in the conventional role of therapist."