My Experience of Being Present. A Heuristic Self-search Inquiry
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The quality of the therapist’s presence is accepted as an important factor in facilitating the therapeutic relationship, and the consequent success of psychodynamic psychotherapy, yet for this therapist in training presence has, at times, been an elusive and even mysterious conundrum. Heuristic Self-Search Inquiry, a process that aligns well with this researcher's Buddhist faith and psychotherapeutic philosophy, of kindly surrendering to experience, is used as a methodology and method to elevate to consciousness and discern some of the subjective determinants and experiences of presence. Significant findings on the topic of presence are presented, including subjective responses to ‘absence’ and the impact of ‘kind attendance’; these findings synthesised to inform a 'System of being present / not being present'. Implications for the teaching and practice of psychotherapy are discussed.