A vacation from yourself
Sometimes, during business therapy sessions with overseas clients, they suddenly listen in and ask anxiously, “What’s that sound? Is that an air-raid siren?” I nod my head affirmatively and hurry back to their business. Why? A job I love is the best way to forget about whatever is complicating or poisoning my life.
Eugene Gendlin, founder of the Focusing method of psychotherapy, used to say, “The therapy is a vacation from myself. Truly, time with a client is a unique opportunity not to think about one’s anxieties and hardships. If it had only been my wish, it would have been difficult to fulfill, as it is when you can’t sleep despite trying. Fortunately, one hundred percent focus on the client’s needs is a basic requirement for successful therapy. Whether I want to or not, I have to. So, when I give myself wholly to working on a client’s request, I harmonize my own life at the same time.
The ideal is to achieve a state of paradox. On the one hand, the therapist must disappear so as not to interfere with the process inside the client with his “impurities” (emotions, biases). On the other hand, as the Other, the therapist must be clearly present in order to speed up the transformational process. To be and not to be at the same time, to help without helping, so that the solution to the problem will be born by itself.
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As a business therapist, I help tech founders quickly solve dilemmas at the intersection of business and personality, and boost company value as a result.