I talk about respect all the time, particularly as it pertains to doing therapy. I strongly believe that respect is a primary healing agent for a great many emotional and psychological wounds held by individuals, couples and families.
Sometimes I begin to wonder if I might be becoming a bit overzealous about this point and then reality hits hard. The level of extreme hatred and cruel violence being fanned in this world shakes us all. At least for a few days. And then we grow numb to it because we think we have to in order to move on.
Trauma caused by blatant disregard for human life and humanity in general has always been present. Wars, genocide and bigotry toward those who are “different” have always existed. But to see it play out in real time is truly disturbing.
In the last few weeks we have witnessed bombing attempts followed by another gun massacre toward people worshipping. Additionally, it is believed that the shooter was motivated to carry through with these acts because he also believed that people of this faith were helping “aliens” to invade our country.
It is this concept of “other” that is most troubling to me. When you choose to separate yourself from others in a way that creates mistrust, division and hatred, then there is pain individually and collectively. We all lose because the whole system becomes even more broken than it was previously.
Healing from brokenness is a long and arduous process at best. We know that we compile hurt upon hurt the healing process just gets more and more complex. Just saying that we need more respect in the world may sound way too simple—glib even. But in reality, respect requires a lot of hard work from each of us. It requires a very focused mindset of compassion, forgiveness and an openness to really hearing and understanding what others are trying to say.
This has been the biggest challenge for centuries, if not since the beginning of time. But if we give up now, where does that leave humankind?
Respect-Focused Therapy (RFT) is a foundation on which all modalities and techniques used in therapy can be strongly grounded, in order to produce sound, effective outcomes. This approach offers clients the opportunity to gain experiential understanding of being respected, possibly for the first time, from the therapeutic relationship and then be able to heal old wounds by creating more respect for self and others in the therapeutic process.