This paper was presented at the
National Seminar on
Indian Psychology: Theories and Models

SVYASA, Bangalore,
December 26 - 28, 2007


Self work as a prerequisite for counselors and therapists: an Indian perspective

Suneet Varma — University of Delhi, Delhi

Years of observation, introspection, and reflection have lead me to conclude that one of the most essential pre-requisites for making an effective counselor/therapist is a groundedness in love, which ought to forever radiate from the being of the helping person. Traditionally in India, individuals turned to their gurus in times of crisis and suffering, and upon encountering the guru, the healing process began immediately because of the unconditional love and acceptance on the part of the guru, for the distressed individual. In the West this aspect has been greatly emphasized both by Carl Rogers as well as M. Scott Peck. To be loving does not come naturally and easily to most people, and requires intense sadhana. But many people are temporarily elevated to such a state of being when they “fall in love”. Not to let go of love, and to grow in love is the challenge. The Sufis have emphasized this, and Bhakti too is concerned with this. A close examination of the love of Radha for Krishna, reveals that lasting love has to be discovered within, when one comes in contact with one’s divine essence, in the form of the soul. Carl Jung as well, notes the importance of this in the individuation process. In Sri Aurobindo’s Integral Yoga, the coming forward of the Psychic (soul) is an essential step for further evolution. This paper/presentation focuses on the nature of (S)self work which takes one in the direction of becoming love (or more loving), and in this process better able to help others, and more importantly facilitate one’s own evolution.

Email the author, Dr. Suneet Varma, at