ON REFLECTION

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Abstract

ABSTRACT

Theoretical explanations of the therapeutic process of reflection exhibit certain logical problems such as the existence of denied experiences. In this paper, a theory is proposed which suggests that it is the therapist's task not to reveal to the client the presence of existing emotions or feelings, but to help in the creation of emotional attitudes. Emotions, like other experiences, are constructed out of stimuli which are selectively chosen. The therapist helps the client to select the appropriate stimuli, and thus to experience the appropriate emotions and emotional attitudes. In this respect the therapist can be regarded as the transmitter of community judgments about the appropriate emotion in a given context. The teaching of these fundamental experiences is accomplished through the playing of language-games by therapist and client. A prerequisite of effective learning by the client is the existence of a close bond between client and therapist, similar to the bond which exists between neonates and parents in imprinting situations.

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