Detachment plays a critical role in counselling. I cannot become fully involved with someone I’m working with at the expense of myself. At the same time, I need to join with someone empathically in their healing process. Yet I cannot fully pull away and be a callous Mr. Roboto. Far too many have experienced this with people in their lives. The goal is to find a balance between myself and someone else. To understand this balance took me time, practice, and experience. This goes beyond the counselling office to our personal relationships. There is wisdom in finding in each relationship what the balance is between ourselves and others with our feelings, thoughts, struggles, and joys. No one is perfect in this. A continual personal reflection regarding relationships is important. In codependency literature it is said one must “detach with love.” I would go one step further and suggest a person involve themselves in a caring way with someone that shows they have adequate self-love for establishing boundaries. Some relationships are toxic. They must be cut off for sanity’s sake. I’ve come to understand both pieces in the detachment vs. connection dialectic is important. It is up to us to find out what those two parts look like for us in our relationships.
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