One Day Event
The Sense of Spirit in Psychotherapy
384 Victoria Street, Darlinghurst
(entry from Bourke Street opposite the side of St Vincent’s Public Hospital)
Saturday 25th May 2013, 9.30 AM – 4.30 PM
More Information click here Psychotherapy and Spirituality Workshop
Dr Judith Pickering: Psychotherapy, Meditation and ContemplationIn this talk I will describe a state of mind on the part of the therapist that serves to create a suitable container to receive the patient’s true being. It is a state of mind that is open hearted, receptive, free of stale and distorted memories, acquisitive desires, concepts, false (mis)understanding. It is akin to what certain mystics call the state of contemplation and Bion calls reverie. I will draw on spiritual practices involving ‘listening with the ear of your heart (St Benedict) self-emptying, loving kindness and compassion, bare attention and mindfulness. I will draw comparison between Bion’s advice that the analyst should renounce erroneous forms of memory desire and understanding and St John of the Cross, the Author of the Cloud of Unknowing and other writers from the Apophatic tradition of mysticism.I shall argue that the psychotherapist’s role is to form an empty vessel ready to receive the patient into our hearts and minds: to be there for them as they are, according to their own unique destiny and path: which may or may not have an explicitly spiritual dimension but will have a human one. At times we find ourselves functioning like a spiritual friend on their journey to realization of their true nature underneath all that obscures and obstructs them.