In traditional therapeutic processes, reading assignments are not part of the regular work agenda. What a loss ! In my experience, reading ”the right material” alongside therapeutic sessions can potentially act as major catalyst for fueling THE WORKS toward health and wholeness.
What makes the reading experience so valuable alongside the individual sessions ? It’s quite simple, really: when the client reads, (s)he is actively
participating in the seeking and finding process. Reading thus stimulates the clients own inner therapist. After all, this is what therapy is really ALL
about: awakening the patients own capacity to become more and more their own therapist. In my understanding of the therapeutic process the external therapist really just functions as a mirror that is meant to reflect back to the client their own capacity to seek and find. I have said it before and say it again: the goal of all therapy is to make the therapist redundant.
Ultimately, reading is about seeking and finding. The reader is -if (s)he is aware of it or not- in essence trying to find pieces of her/himSelf in every word or sentence that is being read. Each book can potentially provide pieces to the large puzzle of Life. Life IS puzzling, no need to argue. That is precisely why we are searching for those pieces. The more we find, the less puzzling and the more coherent the whole picture becomes becomes.
It might be important to note that this applies in principle for all kind of books, not only those that are explicitly focused on Self- development.
In the first instance, it would be up to the the therapist to select the appropriate reading materials for the client, based on where (s)he perceives the patient to
be on their journey. What kind of reading input might support and extent the material and explorations that are taken up in the course of the individual session ?Reading assignments that meet the patient ”where they are " can thus fuel the work and carry it further, add new dimensions. It could in that sense be considered an Art and Craft on the therapist part to select the right material, something that fits like a hand in a glove.
A last final remark on that note: most effective in the sense we have discussed here, is daily reading, in small portions.
Do you read me ?
(Nope, you always only just read your Self !)