2 The Role of Theory

THEORY OFFERS US A MODEL of reality. The model provides an initial grounding, a way of locating ourselves within the context of the therapeutic environment. It helps us to organize our perceptions and provides metaphors that enable us to communicate our perceptions in useful ways. Our theories also serve to assuage our horror (and our terror) when we're faced with impossible moments in our work. They help us to develop ideas as to how we might ground ourselves in a universe gone topsy-turvy and provide a structure that better enables us to allow it to be topsy-turvy sufficiently to have any idea as to what we're grounding ourselves in!

In these difficult moments, our theories can provide us with an anchor, some scaffolding ...

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