on May 15, 2015
This is one of the best books on psychotherapy I've read, and I've read quite a number. The thesis of this book is indeed, very feminine: the therapist and the client both need to remove the barriers that separate them from intimacy with others, and "melt into one another" for therapy to be of any real assistance. This process inevitably transforms both the therapist and the client. The melting process must not be sexual in nature; it is important for both people that there be safety around this issue, because Barbara Sullivan's proposed method is inevitably intimate. In fact her thesis is that without true intimacy there can only be superficial healing. Here is a taste of her writing:
"Such therapy is inevitably lengthy and difficult, proceeding as it does in the medium of an intense, intimate relationship between patient and analyst. If it goes any distance at all, it affects the analyst as well as the patient in deep and unexpected ways."
I had the privilege of experiencing such a process, and it was indeed lengthy, painful and difficult, but the result was a major personal transformation which left me comfortable with myself for the first time in my life. The trauma of my childhood was neutralized and the terrible loneliness I had suffered mellowed into a genuine ability to connect with others.
This sort of therapy is not easy, nor for those who are unready to undergo deep suffering in order to come to terms with it. But if you are unable to love yourself, and have the courage to face that fact, I highly recommend you read this book and follow its compassionate and humane path to self-acceptance.
on September 20, 2007
The paradigm of this book is very simple: that accepting, allowing and making space for the movements of the psyche (feelings, dreams, passions) is what heals.
In a sense it the Jungian version of the work of Carl Rogers.
I am not sure if her hypothesis is true or not, and I am sure that it is fascinating and that she presents herself very well.