Counselling Skills for Becoming a Wiser Practitioner by Evans Tony; Sanderson Christiane;

Counselling Skills for Becoming a Wiser Practitioner by Evans Tony; Sanderson Christiane;

Author:Evans, Tony; Sanderson, Christiane;
Language: eng
Format: epub
ISBN: 9781784501433
Publisher: Jessica Kingsley Publishers
Published: 2015-06-22T16:00:00+00:00

Psychotherapy becomes a new attachment relationship (in adulthood) which is able to restructure attachment-related implicit memory through affective communication (non-verbal communication, undertones, atmosphere) more than verbal communication; thus the explicit past is not focused on as much but rather the implicit past which unconsciously organises and structures the client’s ‘procedural field’ of relating to others. There is now a good deal of evidence (Badenoch 2008; Cozolino 2010; Gerhardt 2004) which suggests that the brain retains the capacity for re-organisation (or plasticity) well into adulthood and that new emotional experiences will help to restructure neural pathways in the pre-frontal cortex of the brain which controls social and emotional relationships. Significant parts of the emerging field of interpersonal neurobiology (Siegel 2012) consider how the relational world – both developmentally and therapeutically – shapes many of the neural structures that control emotional regulation, management of anxiety, stress and anger and our subjective experience of our psychosocial world.

I would urge you to read Professor Simon Baron-Cohen’s fascinating book Zero Degrees of Empathy (2011) for more on the neuroscientific basis for empathy and what happens to those people who have little or none. He examines how a complete lack of empathy can present – among borderline, psychopathic and narcissistic patients – and how those with limited capacity for cognitive empathy but who are still able to feel affective empathy, such as those diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome or those on the Autistic spectrum, are frequently misunderstood.

So empathy is the best tool we have for entering the internal psychological terrain of another person. It is one of the fundamental attributes that defines our humanity and is one of the key ingredients we have in our well. In many ways it is the oil that drives the engines of situatedness.


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