Rogers wrote that the biggest shift in his approach to therapy was to stop thinking about how he could treat and cure his patients, and start wondering how he could provide a relationship that his patients could use for their own personal growth.
It’s a profoundly effective way to engage with people. Surrendering the impulse to rush in and fix and solve and save the day. Freeing others from the threat of external evaluation. And allowing yourself to stand in awe at the emergence of the self.
I relearn this every time I have a deep, meaningful conversation with somebody I love. The fixer in me wants to interrupt them and say, don’t you see, here’s exactly how you can solve this problem.
But that’s not the point. People don’t need prescriptions, they need relationships that serve as secure base. A reliable source of emotional renewal, nourishment, safety and security in the face of everyday challenges.
And so, next time you lock into cure mode, try seeing things as they are without trying to change them. Allow people to go their own way while you reside in the center of the circle. Because once you stop trying to change people, they’re able to see themselves more clearly. And from that place they can grow into the person they need to be.
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Are you curing people or providing a relationship that they can use for their own personal growth?
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That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.
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