the therapist is the theory and the method.

The therapist is both the tools and the method of therapy. A real personal relationship between client and therapist is the arena. The intimacy of their connection comes from their combined experience and skills.

A therapist leaves their preconceptions behind. Rather than teach their terminology, they put their own familiar world aside to learn their client's language and frame of reference Their simple certainties of what is best to do and not to do and which way is up and which way is down may not be the same as someone else's.

It is not always easy to put aside personal interests and needs for success or approval.

A therapists central task is to monitor their own reactions Their thoughts and feelings. They clear their mind and senses to make them available to someone else to experience themselves and their world in new ways.

When our concerns and social niceties are left behind the other person's train of thought can emerge in the conversation. To learn how to allow this to happen a therapist explores their experiences in their own supervision or therapy.

therapist awareness
We view each other through the lenses of our minds, bodies and senses. A Person Centered Therapist works to keep these clear to experience the other person fully.

Therapists try not to let their own prejudices and distortions intrude.. But before we can suspend our preconceptions we have to notice them.

We begin to see another person clearly as the filters of our projections fall from our eyes and we see who is in front of us rather than who we had feared, hoped or expected. We can see who is actually there by noticing our rational and irrational biases and then subtracting them from our perceptions.

Our fear of someone or their situation is a fear of the feelings they might bring up in us. When therapists are frightened of their clients or feel guilty towards them, the consequent feelings of dislike or confusionusually show up in complaints or jokes to colleagues.

Excitement at the end of a session might suggest relief from tension. A feeling of worth or power might suggest collusion or identification.

not knowing
Therapy is a journey into the unknown. Someone who copes with the uncertainty and finds ways of not knowing will allow other people's stories to fully unfold. Not knowing is sometimes as valuable as not doing.

A client can be insightful, successful, clever and understanding but it is not so important for the therapist to be any of these. A therapist does not have to perform well but rather allow the people they are there for to do so.

No-one can take someone else much further mentally and emotionally than they have progressed themselves. As we sort ourselves out we become more open to experience other people and more available to them with more to offer.

In my experience people who have been reasonably well parented or found a way to be re-parented and live fairly satisfying lives are able to be there for others without becoming entangled in their problems.

I suspect that life experience, persistence and being comfortable are useful. Calm and clarity might help. A clear note can be heard amid noise and clamour.

working conditions
A therapist needs sufficient discretionary power in their workplace through delegated authority to be able to model authenticity and competence. They need a similar work environment to the safe space they are creating for their clients.

There is no escaping giving some authority to a therapist. Even a therapist following rigid protocols will need the authority to interpret and administer them.

the therapist is more important than the therapy
A therapist doesn't just administer protocols – they are also have a personality.

Success depends on the therapist rather than the therapy they use. Research over the decades tends to show that the naïve understanding and responses of someone untrained but caring is at least as useful as a trained and experienced therapist.

Therapies show mixed success rates. Therapists show more consistent results. Ways to be are more important than what to do.

The rug-weaver leaves a small imperfection in a corner because perfection belongs only to heaven. These seven principles are guides that imperfectly map the territory. If they were exactly perfected they might well fail. More is needed. They need a therapist

After a therapist searches their theories for an appropriate response to a situation, they have to choose what to use and when and how. They cannot escape making their own call. Eventually they have to find a response from within themselves. Ultimate responsibility lies within ourselves to evaluate a situation and interpret a theory.

I go so far as to say that therapy can't be reduced to a neat formula. The therapist is the formula and every therapist is different.