Then Shin, 'blue sky heart', state of brightness & calmness of the therapist that is ready, according to Tetsugen Zenda.
My degree was in Hispanic Philology and there were several reasons for me to make that choice, but that’s not today's point. I love language as a vehicle & communication as a tool to develop relationships (and I am aware that there are other ways to communicate apart from words). What I would like to share here today is how we get caught sometimes in fruitless discussions just because we insist to fight tooth & nail to defend what we personally understand that a certain concept means to us. Respect, coherence, education, optimism, freedom, partnership, happiness, therapist… Just to give some close & recent examples.
Depending on our life experience, education, social environment, career, values & beliefs we all will season the words we use with added, modified, displaced, slanted or extended touches. Those are call 'connotations'. And because our global context is always different to others’ and we all strive to keep our opinion as the only valid one, these debates end up as barren controversies. Here we could talk about that need of proving ourselves right & about ego, but that’s not today’s purpose either.
When I get involved in one of these, I would love to have close by the Corominas, the Covarrubias’ Treasure, or at least my well-thumbed Latin dictionary. Then I would be able to finish the dispute by going back to the root, the clean & pure essence of those words. Because words were born perfect & clear, just like babies do; see-through & with an inner value. So you have your story & your 'being right' and I have mine. And on top of both there is the word which genuine meaning is different to ours. That’s its true self, stripped from all the accessories & unnecessary bits that come from you, from me & from anyone who has used it over time. Considering what a challenge was for me to overcome ‘History of Spanish’ in University, no way I will get dragged by this kind of sterile arguments!
The word ‘therapy’ comes from the ancient Greek θεραπεία (therapeia), meaning ‘treatment’ & from the verb ‘therapein’ that means ‘to take care of’. Our ‘therapeutics’, understood as medical care and more recently psychological care too, in Latin meant ‘medicine treaty’ but in Greek its meaning was ‘servant’s job, in charge of taking care of others’. So the therapist, from the Greek ‘therapeutes’ meaning ‘servant’, is the person who knows those caring techniques and the one who practises them.
In a beautiful little book by Carlo Zendo Tetsugen Serra called Zen: life welfare (thanks to my dear friend Ana, vitalistic explorer, who sared it with me, just as she shares many other things), the author defines therapy as any practise that helps recovering welfare & moves forward restabilising the balance of the person who receives it.
Laura Gutman explains that she has created a 3 years training program for her therapists and she doesn't ask these applicants for any type of previous requirement such as degrees, just the ‘intention to open the heart & commit emotionally.’ She insists that her methodology ‘requires training, art, empathy & experience’, that’s it.
So the essence of etymology serves reality once again when talking about the word ‘therapy’ or ‘therapist’, as their essence is to serve others. Isn’t this what so many of us do these days professionally? People committed on their occupation of service & support to those who come searching for balance. These people work with reflexology, reiki, naturopathy, aromatherapy, natural essences & oils, Bach flower remedies, kinesiology, meditation, mindfulness, art-therapy, gestalt, psychology, psychoanalysis, coaching…
No worries, there is a place for everyone. Easy everyone... We are not competitors but colleagues. We all have our inner value & talent to give away. Nobody is entering anybody’s ground or stealing their clientele. We live in a radiant world of abundance with different options to suit different people. They will be the ones making choices according to what resonates inside. There is no need for us to argue, no point in debating about what is therapy and what it is not, or who has the right to call herself therapist according to whose opinion.
Let’s just focus on serving others, walking by their side on their personal investigation & self-development processes. Our task is not a battle but the victory of awareness. So it should be honoured as such.
"In the darkness of a well
I recognise my face."