The reflective practice of helping a person to maintain adequate self-relation
As part of an effort to understand the specific character of a person’s self-referencing treatment, the present study assesses the impact of the practitioner’s facility on the self and the self-related process within helping relationships. An aim of the study is to process and develop the reflective practice of helping a person to maintain adequate ‘self-relation’ with him or herself. A case study research method was assigned to form a single whole of reported helping and supportive work with one participant. This was a useful approach to consider a person’s subjective accounts of experienced selfreferring treatment within ‘encounter’ relationships and to consider themes rather than research data. This study explores some essential qualities of a self-relational process through research interview: (a) the cohesion of internalised ‘selfobjects’ (thoughts, sensations, images, and desires); (b) the constancy of these ‘selfobjects’ to the experience of reorganising the self; and (c) the degree to which the ‘selfobjects’ change in response to changes in circumstances (resilience). Some basic conditions of providing the help and support within the participant’s self-relational process are described in terms of the exploration of practitioner’s attempts to assist these qualities. The findings indicate some basic propositions towards the understanding of a person’s adequate ‘self-relation’. The implications of these findings are discussed.