Any Human Heart
“Never say you know the last word about any human heart” — Henry James
Counselling and therapy can seemingly be mistaken as ways into answering the difficult questions of an individual’s life — but any practitioner can tell you that the central mystery of a person can never be unravelled. Their joys and triumphs can be celebrated, and their hurts, pains, crises can all be explored, perhaps clarified, and through it all, clients can reach some measure of peace; but the human condition will always remain a mystery.
We tend to associate the heart with feelings; the various media dream factories present us with stories of romantic love and link it to the heart. However, the heart is the organ whose beat sustains life itself, and by virtue of this, its connection to the eternal and spiritual makes it a vessel whose reach extends beyond the confines of mere emotion.
In transpersonal psychotherapy, the realm of the spiritual provides space for consideration of what it means to be human and to be alive in this world, beyond the body, feelings and mind of a client. Rather than religion and dogma, we look instead at what is true for the individual — what do they live for; from where/what/who do they draw their inspiration for living? There can be no singular or simple answer to this question, and it is the concurrent exploration of a client’s situational challenges and circumstantial concerns alongside the discovery of their soul’s quest that makes the process of therapy both thrilling and affirming — not just for them, but for the counsellor as well.
Every human heart is unlike any other, so ‘never say you know the last word about any human heart.’