Is it the skill or the person?

In studying various therapeutic approaches/theories and considering which to adopt and which one(s) we seem to gravitate toward, my classmates and I seem to be noticing that there is a tricky distinction between the individuality of the therapist and their style, and the techniques or theory that they represent and/or formulated.

One of the central questions seems to be, “Do I want to be able to do A, behave like A, have the capacity to do A, or do I want to be the type of person who does/behaves like A?” Do I want to be a kind and generous person or do I just want to be able to do it when I put my mind to it? Is the act an extrinsic part of me or is it an integrated part of me, and if it isn’t integrated do I want to make it so?

Certainly we can identify certain elements that seem essential. In aikido they might be posture, use of angles, timing. In therapy they might be active, empathic listening, discovering and highlighting strengths, nurturing a constructive ownership of one’s own situation. But it’s immediately obvious that a person can do all of these things but still be missing something.


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