Monday, March 19, 2007

Mass Therapy 2

I like PIM. It's some fresh air in a term full of professional assignments and tasks.

Today we've just found out why Prof. Bartholomé was so bloody provocative. Because he is a follower of Fritz Perls. After sessions about Rogerian approach emphasizing listening and empathy, we were introduced with the Perls approach which stresses provocation, probe, acting. It was a great intellectual experience, rather than learning, as very few people possess either the acting skills or the Psychology knowledge to use the Perls method in a risk-free way.

Perls method is useful because it tears down people's walls and disguise. In that way it is disturbing, because we are used to protect ourselves behind barriers (culture, games). By using provocation, "aggressiveness", you allow for authenticity, and genuine rapports.

And it creates funny dialogues.

Prof: Has anyone said "I love you to you?"

Student: "Hum. No."

P: Suppose a girl comes to you and says "I love you", what's the message?

S: Hum, that she wants to sleep with me, she wants to use my body.

That may be true in an authentic Perls world, but in our world of games, it meant that the girl wanted him to say "I love you" back.

To me, the whole message about games was really insightful, and that you actually have to provoke, tease, act a little to get the authentic self.

The final word was that, despite 2 contrasting approaches, Rogers and Perls had the same objectives in using the client Gloria: to get her in touch with her feelings, to get her to be authentic, and to get her to be autonomous.

We also had a discussion on the risks of empathy both in personal lives, and when trying to adapt to a foreign culture, and on the HBS/INSEAD syndrome (adapting from best in your town to moderate in MBA). Great stuff.

To learn more about Perls -sorry I could not find anything on the Gloria case by Rogers and Perls:

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