Lesson 1, Topic 1
The Power of Presence
Science is now measuring what spiritual teachers and mystics have been saying for centuries. And that is, that there are infinite possibilities in every situation, and, that the observer has a profound effect. How does this relate to our work as clinicians? We can literally shift our clients’ ability to access their own inner-wisdom when we make the commitment to view them through the lens of wholeness rather than brokenness. And, we then create a higher possibility and probability for true healing, simply by the way we are viewing and “holding” our clients.
“Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It’s a relationship between equals. Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others. Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity.” – Pema Chödrön
What happens we generate a non-judgmental, compassionate, and openhearted space for our clients? We create a safe container for our clients to access their own innate ability to heal. And, in that way, we can remain open and available to the present moment and follow the energy in the room rather than being stuck in viewing them only from a mental or physical paradigm. Diagnosing and treating has its place, but a deeper, more profound possibility is available to us when we authentically practice genuine presence and openness.
Doing Our Own Inner-Work:
Staying present and curious requires us to do our own inner healing work. We cannot possibly allow our clients to go any deeper than we have gone ourselves. Therefore, the greatest way we can assist our clients is by participating in the healing of our own trauma, disconnection, and shame.
The Energizing Quality of Presence:
And, the great news is simply this: remaining open and engaged is quite energizing for both the clinician and client. The behavioral health field is one that has a great deal of burnout, and this can be minimized by shifting our awareness away from what’s “broken” and needs to be “fixed,” and toward what the infinite possibilities for healing that exist in every moment.