Focusing on how someone in need can best be helped, the author identifies the skills and honesty of the person who wants to help as key to how effective this can be. Looking in detail at the nature of boundaries, willingness to speak from a place of authenticity and to be honestly present to the experience of the individual person, and the sensitive and economical use of language, the author shows how people in a state of deep personal crisis can be richly helped. Taking the view that no set response is always right or always wrong, he argues strongly for the importance of going with what is spontaneous and real in the moment, and responding thoughtfully and with integrity to the experience of the person in need.
The book is an inspiration to develop deep awareness about the practice of encounter. Focusing on experiences of crisis and anxiety, the author provides many in-depth case examples, and sample scripts with actual questions and answers included. This short and deceptively simple book will raise awareness of, and broaden the range of, possible interventions for the open-minded reader.
Bent Falk is a psychotherapist, priest, theologian and teacher. He lives in Denmark.
Preface. I. Introduction. 1. Technique or Attitude. 2. Crisis. 3. Anxiety and Primary Feelings. II. Practical Guidelines. 1. It is Less Complicated Than You Think. 2. All Essential Resources for Overcoming a Difficulty are in the Person Having the Difficulty, or in the Field of Interaction Between the People in Dialogue. 3. Good Help is Help Towards Self-Help. All Other Help is Intrusion. 4. When, As the Helper, You Don't Know What to Say or Do, That is What You Should Say or Do. 5. Don't Let Having a Problem Turn Into a Problem in Itself. 6. Boundaries Make Contact. 7. You Cannot Change What You Do Not Accept. 8. The Consolation is That There is No Consolation. 9. The Person in Distress Does Not Need Consolation, but Love. 10. Life is Neither Fair Nor Unfair. 11. Guilt and Power are Two Sides of the Same Coin. 12. Forgiveness Does Not Remove Guilt. It Re-establishes the Relationship in Spite of the Guilt. 13. And and but: The Small Words with the Biggest Effects. 14. Helping Through Dialogue: In Reality it is Possible and Not Too Difficult. III. Examples. 1. The Meaning. 2. Expanding on the Concept of Meaning. 3. Possible Answers When Your Old Ones Don't Lead to the Kind of Contact You Want. 4. Commentary to the 'New' Answers. Bibliography.