We can achieve deep healing in individual sessions or within a group. How do they compare? Here are four distinctions from our experience with both.
- In an individual therapy session there is often a lot of transference and countertransference. In the past, before managed care, many therapists spent years analyzing the transference. In other words, he/she was using the client’s projections and dream symbols to be able to see the shadow parts of the client. Here are two problems with that approach:
- The first is that just talking about this deeper unconscious material does bring it to awareness, but does not resolve it. These shadow parts and complexes reside in the depths of the unconscious mind. Hypnotherapy is a major tool that we prefer that takes the client into those depths in a way that is self-directed and involves little intervention on the part of the therapist. Countertransference is significantly bypassed.
- Often the therapist is doing as much projecting as the client is. In other words, many therapists are not doing their own personal transformational work, which means not working through their own shadow parts.
- What a therapist knows about a client is mostly what he/she experiences in the office: a very unnatural and limited environment. No wonder Freudian and Jungian analysis took twenty years, with the client attending sessions multiple times per week! The only interactions the therapist observes are the ones he/she has personally with the client. In Jungian terms, in the office the client presents their persona or their out front personality. So, the therapist knows only one side of the story, especially when it comes to interpersonal relationships. What the client reports is brought in by the superficial persona or by a shadow part’s one-sided report.