Re: In a youth-institution...

[ Martin Buber - Discussions ]

Written by K at 23 Apr 2001 17:32:07:

As an answer to: In a youth-institution... written by Lene Langbakk at 23 Apr 2001 16:48:06:


My name is Kirsten, I have been immersing my self in buber for the last year and I am trying to write a thesis using buber's philosophy of dialogue in the context of the counselling relationship. I have and still do struggle with many of the issues you are facing. Buber wrote and spoke rather directly to these issues. In the postscript of the 1958 edition of I and Thou section 5 he writes about the limits of mutuality in educational and therapeutic relationships. He also writes about them in Between man and man in his first chapter on Education. In the english edition of his book Knowledge of Man there is included an appendix which transcribes a conversation that Buber has with a famous American Psychiatrist Carl Rogers, there they speak extensively on this subject of Mutuality and the limits of. One of the most profound moments of inspiration for me regarding incorporating Buber's philosophy in a therapeutic setting came when I read a tiny peice that Buber wrote called Healing through meeting, this can be found in his book Pointing the Way which is a collection of short articles. In this little writing Buber talks about the risk of walking in this relational way into therapeutic relationships with people but he states his belief that this it is through this kind of deep meeting in this risky place that healing can take place. I believe that yes you can use Bubers philosophy with youth in a psyciatric hospital. For me as I have come to interact with his work more and more I have begun to believe that it is in this way through presence, authenticity and opening to the other that we are in relationship to that healing is possible.

I'm a norwegian soon-to-be socialworker struggling with my final exam. When I read Elemente des Zwischenmenschlichen, I got a clear picture in my head of two "equal" adults. I'm therfore trying to discuss whether or not a real conversatinon (described by Buber) is possible to have, between a teenager in a psyciatric institution (behavioral problems) and a grown-up helper in the same institution. Could I in any way be unprofessional in having such a conversation? Mutuality is necessary he says. But one can not expect that from ones clients. Does that mean that it would be unprofessional of me to have such a conversation with a pasient or is it the other way around. Because I'm profesional I've been trained and have so much general knowledge that I don't have to fear that what I say will be harmfull, and therefore I can allow myself to be vulnerable and give up my need for control? Is it as simple as to really see the other person without judging him and opening up for him to really see me?
>I hope someone have some thoughts they want to share with me.
>Ha det bra:-)


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