Responsibility and Compassion in Therapy. A round table discussion.
Catherine Hynes (Brisbane Harmony Centre) kicked the discussion off by outlining how this dilemma has presented challenges with clients with structural dissociation.
Lyndon Barei (True North Psychology and DBT Brisbane) shared some insights from DBT about the dialectical nature of these two concepts, and the importance of validation in treatment.
Rosanna Tremewan (Willow Psychology Services) identified the challenge of very understandable avoidance of difficult materials in therapy, and reflected on how this can present obstacles to change.
Robin Fraser (Blue Flame Wellness) covered a psychodynamic perspective on this challenge, and noted that in psychdynamic models, therapists are encouraged to enact both the role of the compassionate mother and the responsibility encouraging father in order to avoid splitting defences in clients, underscoring the importance of keeping a balance between both perspectives.
Chelsea Leach (You-Foric Psychology) shared some insights from her forensic work about the importance of creating a compassionate space in order for responsibility to be taken on by clients, and she shared some positive methods of working from restorative justice interventions in which responsibility and compassion have contributed to healing of both offenders and their victims.
Brenton Harris (Narthanya Psychology) shared his perspective using ACT, and includes some provocative questions, asking how you can have responsibility without compassion, and vice versa, and wondering where the limits of our responsibility lie over our emotional responses to our experiences.
It was such a pleasure to be able to host an in-house event in person, albeit with masks on, again- our first since Covid started. We welcomed some new faces in the audience, which is always a pleasure as we welcome all mental health practitioners with an interest in trauma informed care to join network. We had a lively and stimulating discussion over a glass of wine and snacks. The presenters definitely provoked thought on this dilemma, and there were many harmonies present in the different approaches. Overall, I believe we can conclude that therapy progresses clients’ aims best when there is an active collaboration between the hand that offers compassionate support, and the hand that encourages responsibility.
To book onto a Harmonious Discussion, send us an email via Harmonious Discussions page booking form. Harmonious Discussions are free to attend, but spaces are limited.