Ground Rules in Psychotherapy and Counselling

By Robert Langs | Go to book overview

CHAPTER THIRTEEN
Neutrality and relative anonymity

I n general, the more fluid and ill-defined a ground rule of psychotherapy, the greater the abuse of the rule. This helps to explain why, as measured by the standard of deep unconscious, encoded validation, violations of therapists' neutrality and relative anonymity are so common as to take on epidemic proportions. The pervasiveness of modifications of these two ground rules is also the result of the fact that, more than any other aspect of the frame, violation of these tenets extensively gratifies therapists' maladaptive needs for pathological forms of gratification at the expense of their patients. In all instances, these frame breaks introduce into a therapy the personally unresolved, unconscious pathological needs of the therapist, including his or her dread of secured frames. Such needs are, in their essence, inappropriate self-revelations of the first order. It therefore behoves us to take a careful and extended look at the nature and functions of these two ground rules and the issues raised by attempting to enforce their sound maintenance.

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