Can Self Be Without Other?

Welcome to this edition of our Therapist’s BlogSpot where Associate Counsellor and Psychotherapist Nicki Kaur discusses her philosophy regarding the interpersonal connectedness of humans and how we do not, and cannot really exist at all without our relationships and bonds to one another. Nicki further shares how this philosophy informs her practice of Psychotherapy and underpins the healing nature of the therapeutic relationship.

Ncki Kaur Psychotherapist

“Right from the very start you are unable to begin life without other. Without sperm there is no fertilised egg, without a fertilised egg there is no baby, without baby there is no mother, without mother there is no womb. Without anyone of these unique elements there cannot be other. This amazing creation, has its own blueprint, distinctive range of possibilities and is wired & ready to take on the life outside the womb, but not without the input of other(s).” Why Love Matters, Sue Gerhardt.  

Let me explain, when the epiphany of “Can Self Be Without Other” occurred to me, if I were to say I was somewhat overwhelmed it would be an understatement – it was as though I had implicitly understood something but was far from being able to express it further. My adrenaline was pumping with excitement and I knew I needed to react to my thought process & try to reach a greater understanding of my epiphany. I wanted to explore & develop the concept about what conception right from the offset means to me, in a way that I and others would ‘get’! I felt that I couldn’t just accept text books & theories alone to inform my thinking about what I believe to be the most beautiful & extraordinary journey for mankind (with all due respect to those theorists, of course!).

 I felt that I needed to explore this further, when becoming a therapist this allowed me an opportunity to share my understanding of the importance of Other; by sharing my unique SPACE. A space that is available & unoccupied for clients to think, feel & behave in a way that they want to, for clients to feel SAFE, protected & not exposed to danger, not harmed or lost in the therapeutic relationship and to gain SUPPORT. Support for those who need to ‘bear-all’ or parts of the weight that they feel they want to share. By offering myself in a truly open and honest manner, to be an available ‘Other’ for my clients enables me to connect & explore each unique and personal journey that presents before me.

My experience has allowed me to appreciate that it is the essence of the therapeutic relationship that is vitally important for clients to develop, grow & flourish in order to reap the benefits of a positive outcome. I see, feel and know this ‘Self to Other’ and ‘Other to Self’ connection to be a phenomenal experience! And I see and feel it because I am it, I am the ‘Other’ half of the therapy – Can Self Be Without Other? No, and never is truer than in therapy.  Without a Client I am not a therapist, without a therapist a person is not in therapy. The connected relationship between the two beings is what brings the very existence of Psychotherapy and more broadly LIFE into existence. Its profound! Ultimately it is connection that makes us, and continued connection that allows us to flourish, without connection we deteriorate and lose touch with the essence of our humanness.

Being or having “Other’ is a fundamental part of life – it’s like oxygen – without it we can’t survive. It’s not just about a person it’s all about a connection and the feelings that evoke within us. Whether it’s a therapeutic relationship, love for the great outdoors, defense mechanism or love of pets these elements keep us alive!!! I’m still on my journey of exploring such ideas and I know that I’ll be forever learning & developing not just as a therapist but as a person too. No matter what we think, feel, say or do I believe we all need “Other!”

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