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What is Therapeutic Presence?

Therapeutic presence involves being fully in the moment with a client on a multitude of levels, physically, emotionally, cognitively, and spiritually. A therapists’ presence provides an invitation to the client to feel met, understood, and safe which allows movement towards natural wholeness.

A therapists’ experience of therapeutic presence involves being (a) grounded in a healthy sense of self, while (b) being receptive and immersed with what is poignant in the moment and (c) with a larger sense of spaciousness and expansion of awareness and perception. This grounded, immersed and expanded awareness occurs with (d) the intention of being with and for another, in service of the client’s healing process.

The process of presence for the therapist involves (a) being receptively open to the client, (b) being inwardly connected  to their own experience and (c) extending the therapists’ inward experience to make contact with the client through words, images, and silence. Therapeutic presence invites a neurophysiological experience of safety in the client that allows for a feeling of calm, openness, and engagement in effective therapeutic work.

Therapeutic presence is the groundwork for effective therapy across a variety of disciplines. A core fundamental approach of presence with the client allows for an attuned responsiveness to the needs of the client, and so responses and techniques will be fitting to the person and their needs in the moment.

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