Is taking the role of a therapist dangerous to my own spiritual growth?
Is it possible to help people and still let my own ego dissolve at the same time? I feel that a subtle fight goes on inside me between one part that is clear and another part that wants nothing to do with clarity.
Under your guidance I have learned not to dominate others when I use my capacity to see, but am I still dominating myself?
The role of a therapist is a very delicate and complex affair.
First, the therapist himself suffers from the same problems that he is trying to help others with. The therapist is only a technician. He can manage to pretend and to deceive himself that he is a master – that is the greatest danger in being a therapist. But just a little understanding, and things won’t be the same.
First, don’t think in terms of helping others. That gives you the idea of being a savior, of being a master – and from the back door the ego enters again. You become important, you are the center of the group, everybody is looking up to you.
Drop the idea of help. Instead of help use the word sharing. You share your insight, whatsoever you have. The participant is not someone who is inferior to you. The therapist and the therapee are both in the same boat; the therapist is just a little more knowledgeable. Be conscious of the fact that your knowledge is borrowed. Never for a moment forget that whatever you know is still not your experience, and this will help the people who are participating in your group.
Man is a very subtle mechanism. It works on both sides: the therapist starts becoming the master, and rather than helping he is destroying something in the participant, because the participant will also learn only the technique. There will not be a loving, sharing friendliness, an atmosphere of trust, but “You know more, I know less…. By participating in a few therapy groups I will also know as much as you know.”
The participants slowly, slowly start becoming therapists themselves, because there is no degree required – at least in many countries. In a few countries they have started to outlaw all kinds of unaccepted therapies; only a man who has a university qualification in therapeutics, in psychoanalysis, in psychotherapy will be able to help people in therapy groups.
This is going to happen in almost every country of the world, because therapy has become a business, and people who are unqualified are dominating it. They know the technique, because technique they can learn; by participating in a few groups they know all the techniques, then they can make a concoction of their own. But there is no way of controlling….
But remember: the moment you play the role of a helper, the helped is never going to forgive you. You have hurt his pride, you have hurt his ego. That was not your intention…your intention was just to inflate your own ego, but this can happen only if you hurt other people’s ego. You cannot inflate your ego without hurting others. Your bigger ego will need more space, and the others have to shrink their space and their personality to exist with you.