Country: UK, Germany
Organization: Independent Researcher, Holistic Psychologist
Nicola M. Richter, MSc, PGDipHE, MBACP (Senior Accredited), UKCP Registered, GMBPsS, Fellow HEA
Nicola is a German psychologist and studied under Professor Reinhard Tausch, a professional colleague and friend of Carl Rogers. She has over 25 years of experience as counselling psychologist & psychotherapist and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Nicola lectured for over a decade at London Metropolitan University, Regents University and founded AOSAA Academy of Spiritual Attitudes and Awareness, UK. Work focus: the unfolding of our true potential, raising awareness of our self-responsibility, holistic communication, authenticity, and the connection to: each other, the world and ourselves.
Interests: improving treatment for people with emotional, mental and spiritual challenges. Nicola is furthering her love for life and our profession with researching ‘Peoples Ideals and Realities, Meaning in Life, Relationships and Well-Being’. Her attitude to life is learning from everything: basketball, gardening, yoga, meditation, breath, language, clients, …
Title: From stormy authenticity to the clear skies of connecting
The use of one of the Rogerian core conditions ‘Authenticity’ seems to have become distorted – yet as the most powerful element it deserves to be at the centre of therapeutic work.
In our changing world, views and beliefs can be expressed in an instant to large audiences on social media. Images of celebrities are portrayed in so called ‘reality shows’, allegedly showing the viewer the ‘authentic’/ ’real’ person. What seems mostly forgotten: in the ancient Greek theatre, actors wore masks – ‘personas’. –
In my over 25 years of psychotherapeutic practice, with over 20,000 sessions, more and more clients have over the past few years shared their pain of others telling them – in the name of being real – very hurtful things.
These pains include:
- Considering divorce as the wife is not looking “sexy” enough – when in her cleaning-the-home outfit.
- Telling the girl-friend that their love would be over, if she would put on any more weight – when she had thyroid problems and struggled to loose weight.
- Calling the husband a “murderer” – when he was unvaccinated and worried about getting the Covid-vaccination.
I would term the above examples ‘naïve’ or ‘stormy’ authenticity. Whilst these examples are opinions of the person who expresses them – they lack empathy and are unfiltered judgements. They seem to be representative of attitudes, which are on display in modern society, with ‘trolls’ lashing out on social media. –
It seems symbolic that social media makes it easy to ‘un-friend’ people, without the individual ever knowing why, which contributes to people feeling disconnected.
Many people are missing: connection, truly experiencing to be connecting with others.
This presentation will focus upon what being authentic means in the modern world, how we can be authentic with clients, and how this authenticity is in my experience essential for breathing life into connecting with others.