About this book
Intimacy is a complex and heterogeneous concept that has generated a variety of definitions, theories, and philosophies over the years. Al though there is much disagreement about the essential meaning of the term, there seems to be a consensus that intimacy, whatever it may be, is of central importance in human relationships, and specifically, in the theory and practice of psychotherapy. One approach to intimacy focuses on an intrapsychic conception. Intimacy occurs when an individual achieves full self-knowledge, and is fully in touch with his or her feelings and wishes. From this viewpoint, an intimate act occurs when a person is willing to share these feelings and wishes with another, so that self-disclosure becomes an important index of intimacy. This definition also implies that intimacy need not be reciprocal, so that a therapeutic relationship can achieve a good deal of intimacy without the therapist engaging in self-disclosure. An alternate approach to intimacy stresses the interpersonal nature of the concept. Intimacy is seen as the product of an interaction, and can only occur between people. Each one is able to touch something meaningful in the other, whether at a conscious, behavioral level or an unconscious and inferential level. Therapists seeking intimacy in these terms would probably be a good deal more active, and consider it more important to reveal something of the substance of their own persons, if not the facts of their lives.
Therapeut assessment interaction play therapy psychoanalysis psychotherapy social learning stress