Marte Meo Magazine

  • Marte Meo International | Marte Meo Magazine | Maria Aarts | Christian Hawellek | Developmental psychology | Entwicklungspsychologie

    The potential of the Marte Meo method from a clinical-psychotherapeutical point of view
    Invitation to a change of perspective

    Published:2015, December

    Author: Dr. phil. Christian Hawellek

    Keyword: Potential Marte Meo method

    Sub keywords: Observation-led therapy
    Therapist-client relationship
    Moments of now
    Clinical-psychotherapeutical point of view
    Presentation of images and scenes
    Video-based therapy
    Forms of vitality
    Beliefs/self-images, represented -

    Marte Meo Magazine 2014 | Article 33E
    The main medium of psychosocial counselling and psychotherapy is communication. In the last couple of years, counselling methods like Marte Meo that are led by observations and based on video recordings have been developed. This article illustrates how these forms of working can enrich and complement the traditional form of therapeutic communication in a sensible way.

    1. Preliminary note
    This aphorism by Søren Kierkegaard also characterises
    the Marte Meo method, since a key element
    of the method is to review situations and
    moments …

    of the past. In this process, the clients(1), as they are described in this book, are invited to look at themselves in a social situation of the past. The term retrospect or »review« stands in a strong associative meaning with the terms »consideration « and »respect« in German.(2) In the counselling sessions, a situation from daily life is looked at and this happens, as it is illustrated at length in this book(*) and the DVD, in retrospect in the context of a respectful advisory or therapeutic setting. (see also Marte Meo information No. 09, Ch. 3.1.1.)(*) As it is the case in all therapeutic relationships, the respect for a person’s dignity is part of the work’s basis, especially since the review always exhibits an asymmetric structure in counselling methods like Marte Meo that are led by observations. The images from the video reveal one of the clients’ personal situations, which cannot be revised, added to or changed in any way. The clients show themselves exactly in the way in which they have behaved. The only thing that is modifiable is the meaning that is attributed to the respective moments and scenes by the observers. Therefore, the discussions surrounding the presented images call for respectful and empathic comments, which in turn can point out or open up new positive opportunities for development and support. Such a setting for communication makes it easier for the client to take encouragement from it and to accept the invitation for a change of perspective in regard to themselves and their particular situation.

    A respectful attitude towards the images and thus towards the person’s dignity shown in them is a »conditio sine qua non«, especially in times of a widely spread abuse of video images in the digital world – and not only in psychosocial fields of work. The following thoughts seek to point out connections between Marte Meo counselling and coaching processes that are led by observations and psychotherapeutic work that is more strongly based on communication. In doing so, they deepen and expand reasoning that have been brought forward elsewhere (Hawellek, 1995, 1997, 2005, 2006, 2011, 2012).

    Table of Contents:
    1. Preliminary note
    2. Represented beliefs and self-images
    3. The presentation of images and scenes in the counselling session
    3.1. Moments of now
    3.2. Forms of vitality
    3.3. Forms of presence
    4. On the potential of an observation-led work with Marte Meo
    4.1. The significance of the therapist-client relationship
    4.2. Principles of effective work in the therapy and counselling process
    Tool box

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