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Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology

On-line version ISSN 1445-7377
Print version ISSN 2079-7222


SIKKEMA, Mical. The meeting from heart to heart: The essence of transformative experiences. Indo-Pac. j. phenomenol. (Online) [online]. 2012, vol.12, n.2, pp.1-9. ISSN 1445-7377.

What can be said about that which, at rock-bottom, is most fundamental in a contact that transforms us? Whether in psychotherapy, in a long-term relationship or in a spontaneous moment shared suddenly and unexpectedly with a stranger? What is more primary than theory and technique, rules or guidelines, in meeting the other and seeking a contact that fosters a shifting in boundaries that brings with it the possibility of being receptive to a more direct experiencing of life and others simply as they are? Even when this brings with it, inevitably, a more direct confrontation with and acknowledgment of pain and frustration, and the disappointments and difficulties that are inherent in this change. Even when this means bearing what seems utterly unbearable. Perhaps the answer, as simple as it is difficult to grasp or allow in its simplicity, is love. Drawing from the process of a long-term therapy, the novel The Elegance of the Hedgehog, by Muriel Marbery (2008), the work of Martin Buber as well as of philosopher and psychologist Eugene Gendlin, this article seeks to articulate the centrality of love in the moments of our life that transform.

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