Friday, August 3, 2012

A psychotherapy of love

R.D. Laing is my hero...

GRADUATE STUDENT IN CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY: "Dr. Laing, I still don't understand the theoretical basis of your therapeutic approach to schizophrenia. Could you please explain it?"

R.D. LAING: "Certainly. The basis is love. I don't see how you or I can be of any help to our clients in a visionary state unless we are capable of experiencing a feeling of love for them. Therapy, as opposed to mere treatment, requires that we have a capacity for loving kindness and compassion."


  1. I totally "feel" this response...May sound silly but, I actually feel the same way as a massag therapist....although skills are required....I don't feel I can be of any help to my clients until i can first and foremost love them and totally be in Oneness with them. It's a beautiful thing....

    1. Yes, I can imagine how it would be similar with massage therapy, Suzanne, or other relationally-oriented approaches where we hold a special intention to deeply connect with another - for their benefit. What I continue to see, over and over - even in seemingly mundane conversations with others - when we can create a space for the other to be seen, held, met, and validated exactly as they are, this love that Laing is pointing to flows through as healing, very naturally. Laing was quite amazing in this regard, in his work with those suffering from profound conditions of schizophrenia and other psychotic organization... he would enter into their reality with them, willing to go totally mad himself, carried by love to validate their symptoms and their organization as an expression of intelligence, creativity, and the very sane attempt to reorganize their subjective reality. Yes, really so beautiful, and inspiring... thank you for sharing with me.