"We need you..."
Bob...I am crying with tears of joy from the response you have given me. "WE NEED YOU..." is the best three words in any language I know as an addict. Right up there with "WE LOVE YOU". If from my simple statement you can gleam such awareness of having a "WE" with me, and obviously with other addicts, then WE need you too Bob.
In my last letter posted to Brian, I have made some comments you might want to look into. Please let me know what you make of them.
I have found in my work that it is not really the skill level of the therapist that counts so much, but as you say, the level of awareness of the client/addict.
Working with addicts will be draining because the therapist is always attempting to be in the "NOW" looking back to the "THEN". As a therapist, I acknowledge that Step 1 and Step 2 of the program is COMPLETELY working in the "THEN", from the client/addict perspective. This can lead to some confusion for the therapist who is working with an addict who does not know that his (the addict) new life DOES NOT begin with Step 1, but only starts with Step 3
Even if my client does, say, some Step 3 work, I will not acknowledge that the work is valid UNTIL the client can keep enough of the WE going with Step 1 and Step 2 that they do not get lost in thier "I" field. When they can REALLY demonstrate that they do not need a therapist to be in gestalt with the first two steps then I have a much better time and ease being a therapist.
I find that my strongest work with a client making full use of my skills in gestalt are in Step 3 work.
Step 1 and 2 work is really punishing on the therapist even when the addict accepts life begins with Step 3. The therapist is working almost exclusively with self-centerdness, selfishness, and insanity when undertaking an agreement to work with a client fresh into Step 1 and 2.
The client really has nothing else to offer. It can be really hard for the therapist who wants so much more from the client then the client knows he wants to give.
You have probably done some brillant work with your clients, but they don't know how to REALLY express it because from thier point of view (and mine) an addict is just a walking dead person until he/she gets through Step 1 and 2.
Actually, I need to explain this with a whole lot more gestalt then this. Read my letter to Brian please Bob, and let me know where we are so far.
Thank you Bob, you made my day.