Benjamin Deu,MA, LMHC Licensed Counselor and Clinical Supervisor

Relational Approach to Therapy

Benjamin uses a variety of relational approaches to psychotherapy within a Christian perspective for the healing of the heart, mind, and soul. He sees therapy as a co-creation between himself, his client, and God who is working to restore everthing to himself.

Schools of thought that influence Benjamin’s theory and practice (defined below):

  • Existential & Phenomenology
  • Psychodynamics
  • British Object-Relations
  • Cognitive-Behavioral
  • Interpersonal / Intersubjective / Interdependent

Existential Therapy: “Existential therapy focuses on the development of a client’s self-awareness by looking deeply into the issues of our aloneness, meaningless, and mortality. The therapist emphasizes the client’s ability to freely make choices in the present, not under the influence of deterministic aspects or past conditioning. The existentialist attempts to convert meaninglessness into meaningfulness, giving the client the courage to make his or her own healthy choices and to lead a socially rewarding life. Existential therapists have their own unique views about human nature, mental dysfunction, wellness, and therapeutic techniques (Wikipedia.com).”

Phenomenology: “Phenomenology is a current in philosophy that takes intuitive experience of phenomena (what presents itself to us in conscious experience) as its starting point and tries to extract the essential features of experiences and the essence of what we experience (Answers.com).” Phenomenology works to put language to conscious reality within the therapeutic relationship. It is an inference based on the inherent essence of appearances. In layman’s terms phenomenology deals with “what is”—the fruit of a person—that which is observable—the general tone of where a person is, whether hidden, absent, or present. For example: Adam was absent and not present when Eve ate the apple.

Psychodynamics: The interaction of various conscious and subconscious mental or emotional processes, especially as they influence personality, behavior, and attitude. These processes are often discovered through transference and counter-transference experiences between client and therapist.

Object Relations: “The emotional bonds between one person and another, as contrasted with interest in and love for the self; usually described in terms of capacity for loving and reacting appropriately to others. Melanie Klein is generally credited with founding the British object-relations school (http://www.indianpsychiatry.com/Glossary.htm).”

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy: A type of psychotherapy in which the therapist teaches the patient to restructure his or her cognitive beliefs, (i.e. thought patterns) and hence, behavior (http://www.bpdresourcecenter.org/what_glossary.htm).

Intersubjectivity refers to the common-sense, shared meanings constructed by people in their interactions with each other and used as an everyday resource to interpret the meaning of elements of social and cultural life.

Intersubjective interdependency = a possible conception of relationships that is neither an interchange of autonomous individuals or as manifestations of the whole (Gergen, 1994)

 

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