This is a great question to begin a thread. To answer all the ins and outs that it presents would be a large book. I can't tackle it now even in part but to say in response to your comment "client must learn to "feel" and experience emotion in order to promote change" that this is, as you suggest, incorrect. It is however commonly accepted, more than it should perhaps be, due to a few aspects:
1. It does provide a path that often works,
2. It is a sound idea from the view that mental health is no doubt improved when all of our god-given mechanism work,
3. It provides very concrete and often dramatic feed back to therapists (and make them feel good).
But also, this is not the 70's any more...the mood of people seeking therapy is not as noble as it was then. Most people aren't out for 'personal growth no matter what' as was the case when, say Jeff and I were in grad school. So we have to balance the big picture of total health for our clients on the one hand with the practical picture of their realistic motivation for seeking change on the other. We do this on an individual person by person basis and come to a workable balance that is unique for each client. We should find that a balance point is somewhere in between for each.
If you ask: "Is feeling essential for change?" Then we have to ask what kind of change? For some goals no, not 'up front' -- feeling shifts will occur later. For others, yes -- essentially, to the extent the presenting symptom results rather directly from unresolved emotional experiences needed for taking action.
But the next question is: Which feelings may need to be aided for which actions in which context? That is a discussion for a later time.
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