‘Whenever we are judgmental of other people, especially if we have strong feelings around those judgements, you can be sure that it’s all about ourselves, that we are projecting our own self dislike onto somebody else. Therefore we don’t have to deal with it. We are just trying to shove those people aside, so that we don’t have to look at ourselves. This is why, by the way, all the great spiritual teachers tell you not to judge, or at least to examine your judgements.’
This is an excerpt from a wide-ranging interview with Gabor Maté, which we will be posting tomorrow. This perception lies close to the heart of any depth psychology. Judgmental attitudes and blaming are self-concept structures. They go hand-in-hand with a lack of awareness and a lack of self-ownership. They are also enemies to the core conditions – authenticity, empathy and loving presence – which are what actually help us to heal, expand and blossom in relationship. So it is worth watching for this, when deciding how far to go into relationship with someone. In choosing a therapist, pay attention to whether they have a tendency to use the (culturally endorsed) language of fault and blame. If they do, reflect on whether you want those beliefs and attitudes in the chair opposite you, as you seek to explore your own light and shadow.
Palace Gate Counselling Service, Exeter
Counselling Exeter since 1994