What is so special about a psychotherapeutic encounter? In what ways does it differ from the rest, f.i. from one with a friend, a partner, a teacher?
In a psychotherapeutic relationship the therapist expects nothing.
He does not, (even unintentionally, like a friend, a partner or a teacher) aim at, hope for anything in particular.
This produces space.
People usually expect, want something from us. A part of us is therefore always lost.
We all play roles, which notwithstanding the intentions, narrow the ways in which we communicate and listen.
We are not sure weather wherefrom we speak is whence we are spoken to.
Psychotherapy does not moralize.
On the contrary, it serves to provide us with a neutral environment, free from prejudice and expectation, in order to stand for a clean plane of self reflection and self observation.
Stepping on the produced space, one can thus open to time.
What is it that usually leads someone to ask for help?
The decision to start therapy usually coincides with a special point in one’s personal history.
Something gets stuck.
Life’s force cannot flow.
This halting point can be either accidental, as a consequence of a unique turn of events, or is always there, lurking for the particular moment it will be met.
It seems as if one touches the brink of their world, reaching the edge of a road or a bridge which cuts off one piece of land from another.
The marginal point of the beginning of therapy or an analysis usually coincides with this exact point in one’s history.
Psychotherapy opens roads.
Connecting, unifying and discriminating, it opens up to new horizons.
Regarding frequency and duration
In order to defend its scientific methods, and protect itself from commercial unscientific procedures, supplied from people without the necessary credentials, psychotherapy is guarded by a code of ethics and conduct, which determines its conditions and presuppositions.
An example of such a determination concerns the duration of a psychotherapeutic session. A psychotherapeutic session usually lasts no longer than 45-50 minutes. This could prove true for most of the cases.
The special value of psychotherapy lies nevertheless in the fact that it respects human singularity in its uniqueness, adapting its means and methods to each particular case in a highly differentiated manner. As a consequence, issues regarding duration and frequency could by no means prove relevant for everybody in an absolute manner, and are therefore subordinate to specific cases and particular needs.