Guilt means a rupture of the dialogical relationship, an injury of the common existential order, and as such must be repaired by again entering into dialogue with that person or with the world. It is in the real guilt of the person who has not responded to the legitimate claim and address of the world that the possibility of transformation and healing lies; for the repression of guilt and the neuroses that result from this repression are not merely psychological phenomena but real events between men. The therapist helps the patient become aware of himself in general, and of his responsibility in particular, through playing the part both of confidant and big brother. He gives the neurotic the understanding that the world has denied him and makes it more and more possible for him to step out of his self-imprisonment into a genuine relation with the analyst. To do this he must avoid both the temptation of dealing with the patient as an object and the intimacy of a private I-Thou relationship with him. The roots of the neurosis lie both in the society’s rejection and nonconfirmation of the patient and in the patient’s closing himself off from the world.
Consequently, the analyst must change at some point from the consellor to the person who puts before the patient the claim of the world. He must help him resume that real dialogue with the community that can only take place in the community itself. The patient becomes whole in order that he may concern himself with the world and be at once responsible for himself and in responsible relationship with his community. The therapist embodies for the patient a loving inclination of the world that seeks to restore the latter’s dispirited and mistrustful self to a new dialogical meeting with the forces of nature and history. Equality of respect is attained not by the insistence on a complete mutuality of situation, as Rogers maintains, but by the recognition of the betweenness itself as the common concern that each of them share and on which each of them work. Only this attitude enables the therapist to answer both for the patient and for the world, to risk personal commitment, even to the neurotic self-entanglement of the patient,and to face with the patient the cure’s often unexpected completion.
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