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Who is speaking?

A special and prominent focus in the perception of the client lies in the question “Who is speaking?”. With this we mean, that it is always (!) a specific self-representation which is activated in the client. For example, she describes the problem, says that something doesn’t achieve anything, is pleased about progress or criticises the counsellor. The client’s entirety is never in play, how could anyone express everything that they think, feel or want, all at the same time? Therefore, the counsellor continuously allows the question “Who is speaking in the client?” to be considered. Only in this way can he help to disentangle the normal muddle of feelings, thoughts and impulses, and thus enable clarity and conciseness in the personal experience of the client. The question “For which representation in the client is this statement good and for which is it rather painful?”, must always be kept in mind, particularly in the judgement of that which is experienced and expressed as progress (“Now I am back in control!”) or as a backward step (“I don’t like feeling so sensitive!”). If the counsellor, without ‘being noticed’, allies himself with one part of the client, then he threatens to damage him and to increase his distress. The answer to the question of who is speaking in the client can be found, and this must be reiterated, not by thinking about it, but by exact and continuous perception of that which the client expresses.

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