This blog is about the importance of psychotherapists using permissions within the therapeutic relationships with clients. It is vital that therapists think of using permissions for many reasons.
Firstly, to actually take on the negative parent in a person’s psychological process.
Secondly, to actually be able to voice what the client may not be able to actually be aware of, is vital for them, and thirdly, in the service of validation for the client’s very being.
I often think of permissions as vital in the process of helping the client develop a robust sense of self and defeating or desensitising the negative voice they often carry around within their psychological structure.
So firstly the permission to exist. That’s a very important permission to explicitly say to the client as it gives the client the permission to allow themselves to take on board that they exist and they have a right to exist. Secondly, the permission to experience one’s own sensations, to think one’s own thoughts and to feel one’s own feelings as opposed to what others may believe one should think or feel. Thirdly, permission to be oneself as an individual of appropriate age and sex with potential for growth and development. Fourthly, the permission to be emotionally close to others. This again is very important in the sense of validating someone’s sense of self and challenging often the injunction that people carry around which is not to show feelings or not to be close to others. So this is a very important permission. Fifthly, permission to be aware of one’s own basic existential position. In other words, that they’re ok and people are ok. That people are born basically ok and that other people are born ok as well. Permissions to change this existential permission. So if they haven’t decided people are ok but actually perhaps come from another position that people aren’t ok or that they’re not ok then it’s important for them to realise they can actually change their fundamental view on life. Seven, the permission to succeed in sex and in work. That is to be able to validate one’s own sexuality and the sexualities of others and to “make it”. Eighthly, permission to find life meaningful and this is important to encourage people to reflect on their own purpose in life, their own existence and that life can be meaningful to them. Often clients think of life as particularly unmeaningful.
I haven’t put these permissions down in any linear order. They’re ones that I find useful working with clients and I see I haven’t put permission to be joyful there which is also very important. And finally, perhaps a permission which is most important to say is their permission to be themselves. Their unique, special self which is so important to the validation and growth of their self-esteem.
Ok, in conclusion, these permissions I believe are vital. They will help the person develop a good sense of robustness in life. To be able to carry around these permissions are the basis of self-esteem and validation of the self.