Near enemies in psychotherapy


Suzanne Hidore


The core conditions stated by Carl Rogers as necessary and sufficient for constructive personality change are vulnerable to misuse even by therapists whose original purpose is of studied and pure intent. Kornfield's elucidation of the Buddhist concept of The Near Enemies is used as a perspective to understand the core conditions. Greater self-awareness of the experience of empathy and unconditional positive regard allows an opportunity for therapists to be personally congruent with the purpose of the core conditions. Attachment, pity and indifference are discussed as traps to intended outcomes in psychotherapy.