Not invading, not abandoning… Donald Winnicott

The writer was talking to a therapist the other day, who offered her a Donald Winnicott thought – for which many thanks. She cannot quote it directly, as she has not yet been able to track it down (any help gratefully appreciated), but we want to include it here anyway – it so beautifully and so simply captures the delicate line we seek to walk as therapists….

It is a definition of therapeutic holding (or for that matter, any kind of relational holding), as requiring that the therapist neither invades, nor abandons.

We think that is exactly right, and another way of couching the core conditions: a gentle, authentic, loving and empathically connected presence alongside the person we are working with.

Palace Gate Counselling Service, Exeter

Counselling Exeter since 1994


This entry was posted in autonomy, boundaries, congruence, core conditions, Donald Winnicott, empathy, encounter, love, non-directive counselling, Palace Gate Counselling Service, person centred, person centred theory, presence, relationship, therapeutic relationship, trust, unconditional positive regard, working with clients and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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