Exercise 1 : the author presents Whitaker’s ideas of “The Person of the Therapist”.
What is your reaction to the material presented? (a paragraph or two will suffice)
The Person of the Therapist
Throughout his work with individuals and families, Whitaker stressed his personal need to “stay alive” as a human being and as a therapist. He frequently asserted that “nothing worth knowing can be taught,” insisting that the therapist must uncover his or her own belief system and symbolic world and then use that self (rather than specific therapeutic techniques) to grow and help families do the same. He offered a loosely formulated set of rules for therapists that still seem applicable today:
1. Relegate every significant other to second place.
2. Learn how to love. Flirt with any infant available. Unconditional positive regard probably isn’t present after the baby is 3 years old.
3. Develop a reverence for your own impulses, and be suspicious of your behavior sequences.
4. Enjoy your mate more than your kids, and be childish with your mate.
5. Fracture role structures at will and repeatedly.
6. Learn to retreat and advance from every position that you take.
7. Guard your impotence as one of your most valuable weapons.
8. Build long-term relations so you can be free to hate safely.
9. Face the fact that you must grow until you die. Develop a sense of the benign absurdity of life—yours and those around you—and thus learn to transcend the world of experience. If we can abandon our missionary zeal, we have less chance of being eaten by cannibals.
10. Develop your primary process living. Evolve a joint craziness with someone you are safe with. Structure a professional cuddle group so you won’t abuse your mate with the garbage left over from the day’s work.
11. As Plato said, “practice dying.”
These “rules” urge therapists to be sure to take care of their own needs in the process of caring for others. They need to open themselves up to others, allowing themselves to love without insisting on perfection in their love object. Whitaker urged therapists to abandon rigid rules because they inhibit growth and to try to remain flexible and available for new experiences without insisting on always knowing the right answer. Strong relationships, says Whitaker, are worth cultivating, and once developed can endure angry conflict. Let go; you can’t fix everything! Learn to play—both at home and at work—and live every day to its fullest measure!
Exercise 2: the author presents the steps in the EFT Treatment Manual. Be able to discuss each in detail.
Steps in the EFT Treatment Manual
Johnson and Greenberg (1995) offer a step-bystep treatment process for EFT so others can replicate the therapy process:
1. Delineating conflict issues in the core struggle
2. Identifying the negative interaction cycle
3. Accessing the unacknowledged feelings underlying interactional positions
4. Reframing the problem in terms of underlying feelings, attachment needs, and negative cycles
5. Promoting identification with disowned needs and aspects of self, and integrating these into relationship interactions
6. Promoting acceptance of partner’s experiences and new interaction patterns
7. Facilitating the expression of needs and wants and creating emotional engagement
8. Establishing the emergence of new solutions
9. Consolidating new position