by Daniel Hutt, C.S.W., B.C.D.
Daniel Hutt addresses the problem of dealing with severe grief in this moving paper. The client was a young man, racked by guilt and grief, who was helped by Hutt’s use of past-life therapy following other, more conventional, approaches. Hutt shows us the healing process of the young man in a clear, concise way.
Who among us has not experienced the loss of a loved one? And who among us has been able to use this experience to enhance their lives? Sounds paradoxical? This article proposes a clinical practice model for therapists whose job sometimes entails helping in the face of helplessness, and a way to go beyond bereavement.
Sometimes a client comes along who presents a particularly moving portrait or a problem which challenges the therapist on many levels. Such a case creates a visceral, core emotion evoking feelings within the therapist that may mirror the client’s. These powerful feelings transcend the boundaries of countertransference. They tap into a deep level of universal empathy that is part of a collective consciousness. The depth of the pain felt by the client, and sometimes the therapist, can be bottomless. Although the therapist may be well trained, skilled, adept at the art of psychotherapy, sometimes the questions arise: “How can I really help? How can I help this person find a degree of relief? Can I help them go beyond ‘relief?’ Can I be a true agent of change and not a superficial or benign presence offering what any traditional therapy might?”