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Learning from Experience by Marilyn Charles

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4 Container and Contained

THE INTERRELATED NOTION OF the container and the contained is a fundamental metaphor to have in mind as we try to make ourselves comfortable within the therapeutic space. As mentioned previously, this conceptualization marks the important interplay between whatever is being held and whatever is doing the holding. It also marks the fact that ideas and feelings are dynamic and depend on the contexts in which they are considered. In clinical practice, people come to us precisely because their problems seem unmanageable. Our first task then is to be able to contain their fear through our own hope. We base this hope on previous experiences in which our persistence has paid off and there has been substantive change and real ...

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