Doing Nothing As Therapy


(Or at least doing very little!)

image from cover "The Art of Peace" Morihei Ueshiba, translated by John Stevens

Although the title is facetious, it is my attempt to highlight the role of a therapist when doing very little, maybe even nothing.

Doing little does not mean that the little is not very influential. It may be more accurate to say that the therapist is working at deep and subtle levels. I am talking about something like the Taoist concept, Wu Wei— masterful inactivity.

In this talk, I want to describe and explore examples of this in certain therapies and therapists. At the time of writing, examples from Embodied Dream Imagery, from Sandtray Work and from a Sikh healing method come to mind as well as my own experience of Deep Imagery. In a way, I wish to move focus away from the heroic (masculine) therapeutic intervention that demands our attention to the not-so-easily-noticed (feminine) dimensions of the healing relationship.

Frank Coughlan www.deepimagery.com.au frankcoughlan@fastmail.com.au

Frank was President of the C.G. Jung Society of Queensland for 5 years to 2006. Since 1994, he has specialized in Deep Imagery as a healing process in individual and in group work. In 2006, Frank and his family were the subject of a widely-acclaimed SBS documentary showing his and his family’s creative and inspirational response to the death of their daughter, Maeve aged 10, in a road accident in 2003. Frank worked for 7 years in statutory child protection work in Dublin and for 7 years as a supervisor of counselors at Kids Help Line in Australia. Frank is a professional member of the Australian Association of Social Workers. He maintains a private practice in Brisbane.