It is fair to say that as human beings, most of us struggle from time to time with difficulties to do with relationship with ourselves or others, with questions of purpose or meaning, regardless of how successful we may be in our lives. At times, we may experience very strong feelings which seem either unmanageable or simply inexplicable. We may even have come to a point where we find ourselves questioning the very foundations upon which our life has been built.
One of the most interesting and surprising discoveries I have made over the time that I have been working with people is the healing power of being witnessed. That is to say, the transformation which becomes possible when a person is able to fully tell their story and to have it really heard – with respect and understanding, and free of judgement.
People come and see me. We have a conversation. It is a particular type of conversation. It takes place over a period of time and within a particular kind of space. My role is to create and hold this space and to use my being and my experience to facilitate the dialogue. In the process of having the conversation, the person begins to have an experience in which their thoughts and feelings begin to make more sense to them and therefore their particular life begins to make more sense.
In other words they begin to have an experience of being deeply and profoundly witnessed.
The experience of being so witnessed seems to mobilise resources within us such that genuine healing can take place. New possibilities can then become available. Resolutions can then present themselves.
There is something humbling about this process.
There is something deeply respectful about this process.
There is something essentially humane about this process.