When the Therapist Loves and Hates

When the Therapist Loves and Hates

by Chris Peterson

Psychotherapist Chris Peterson makes a strong case for welcoming all of our intense feelings-—both loving and hateful—into the therapy process with clients to deepen the therapy relationship and its healing potential.

That creatures must find each other for bodily comfort,

that voices of the psyche drive through the flesh

further than the dense brain could have foretold,

that the planetary nights are growing cold for those

on the same journey who want to touch

one creature-traveler clear to the end;

that without tenderness, we are in hell.

—Adrienne Rich

 

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The Embrace

She looked deeply into his eyes and he looked into hers. Their bodies were very close, melding with one another. He touched her breast, grazing, and then holding it. Responding with her all, breathing in his fragrance, she embraced him. They were enthralled with one another, the love chemical flowing with the delight that they shared.
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Chris PetersonChris Peterson, PhD, has been a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice for 30 years and Core Faculty Professor in the Clinical Psychology Program at Pacifica Graduate Institute for 17 years. Her research interests include clinical supervision, transferential dynamics, and eros in psychotherapy. You can email her at: peterson@pacifica.edu
I totally agree with Peterson because the saying its a thin line between love and hate is true and as professionals it is best to not exercise the power as an expertise to over power a person at their vulnerable point for self centered reasons.
Lisa
Chris Peterson perceptively describes how the therapeutic relationship "works" on emotional levels, going beyond the acknowledgement of transference and counter transference in the often-reductionist ways that we can distance ourselves from the feeling dimensions of clinical work. Thank you for opening this important topic for discussion.
Cynthia Anne Hale, PhD
Thank you for writing. I totally agree with you.
Niparpon
How refreshing to have the subject of real, raw emotion addressed in all of its reality. Most of us know it happens, and often try to explain it away, ignore it, put a 'poker face' onto our counselling persona or we professionalise it. Let's acknowledge and use our human side...
Lyn Duff
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