What is psychotherapy?

James Bugental, in his book The Art of the Psychotherapist, presents a new and profound understanding of psychotherapy that differs from popular ideas. He argues that psychotherapy is not about treating an illness, giving advice from a wise advisor, or demonstrating mistakes. He emphasizes that psychotherapy is not a new religion or the acquisition of esoteric knowledge.

The main idea Bugental expresses is that psychotherapy focuses on how we think, not what we think. She calls attention to the subtle pretense in our thoughts and to distinguish the thoughts themselves from the way we think them. Psychotherapy does not so much look for the reasons for our behavior as it explores the meaning we attach to our actions.

Bugental also emphasizes that psychotherapy is concerned with how we live with our feelings and how we interact with the people who matter to us. It examines our aspirations and how we complicate our lives in the process of achieving those goals. Psychotherapy helps us see that the changes we desire are already present within us in a latent form. It helps us discover and accept our true essence, a reflection of something more eternal.

In conclusion, James Bugenthal's words provide a new perspective on psychotherapy. He calls us to reconsider our ideas about what it represents and to pay attention to our thoughts, feelings and ways of living. Psychotherapy offers the opportunity to look deep at ourselves and live in the present moment, accepting and be aware of ourselves as we are.