The power of kindness is severely underrated.
Growing up, my mother would emphasize kindness, and I mostly ignored her. I thought kindness was nice and all, but that what was really impactful was knowledge, intelligence, and education. Oops.
I’ve been wrong about many things in life, and this was one of them.
There are many theories about psychological change. There are long-winded titles of things such as “internal object”, “collective unconscious”, and “projective identification”.
These are all fine and good, but they can’t compete with kindness. They can’t compete with love. NOTHING is more therapeutic to anyone than being cared about.
I’ve witnessed the therapeutic effects of kindness and love so much, that I really don’t need the empirical research to support me, but it just so happens that after years of research showing that it’s the type of treatment that is effective, research has now swung back to showing that it’s the relationship that produces change. So there we go.
Now, I’m not saying that technique and theory is unimportant, it is. I happen to believe that a magic combination between the therapeutic relationship and therapeutic technique creates the most healing environment. But I also believe that without the relationship, without the kindness, without the love…healing does not come. Isn’t that the way it should be? We are hurt by each other, and then we heal with each other.
So my mom was right. You can have all the fancy knowledge in the world, but without kindness, it’s just hot air.