As a therapist in my early days, I got reprimanded for privileging relational connection, trust and safety. Somehow, the attention (then) was on being distanced, formal and objective. The persona of the therapist was bigger than their personhood. Authenticity didn’t have a place inside the room. Therapeutic success was measured when the client(s) went outside their comfort zone and challenging the status quo. Of course, back then, I tried hard to fake my personality to fit in.

Fortunately, the therapeutic practice(s) today [and I] have evolved. Dramatically infact, thanks to what we know about the nervous system. I am especially thankful for the articulation of the ventral vagal pathway (ref. polyvagal theory). I remember a tingling wave of relief when I heard about the concept of neuroception

I felt validated through evidence that we have an innate intelligence in our bodies. Phew! I was reminded that our beings crave connection and indeed I was on the right track. I uncovered the neurobiological underpinning that informed me of our need to seek safety and co-regulation. This is what I was ‘being’ at the time.

Today I know better.

-I know that relational safety is the only work in therapy.
-I know now that in the container of co-regulation there is energy and resources (somatic/ emotional) to be present, curious and attentive.
-I know that only in the receptacle of inner safety, risk-taking can occur.
-I know that relational safety repattern(s) coping mechanism(s) and ruptures. -I know that the body organizes towards homeostasis.

I have nursed self-doubt. For a long time, I felt small and inadequate. This post is my way to release myself from the burden of that wound.

I hope these words encourage you to trust yourself, especially when no one else does.

Remember: there is a fountain of wisdom waiting to be embodied.


One response to “Relationship is the goal of therapy”

  1. What I learnt from you – An ode to my clients – Musings of an expressive arts therapist, Associate Psychodrama director and Somatic Practitioner Avatar

    […] clients. I have realised that no course that can teach me the subtle art of relational safety & trust. I have to learn by listening and attending to the unspoken. I use the keywords from what I heard […]


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