In psychology there is a sometimes used term called “the crooked cure’. The crooked cure refers to a type of transference cure – a cure that really is not a cure. Essentially, it is when a client experiences a sudden radical improvement in how they experience themselves and the world. Isn’t this a good thing you might ask?
The answer is no it is not, because in these scenarios the cure is built on ‘shifting sands’. The shifting sand is that the therapist is attributed with God like powers. They are elevated to such an exalted state that merely being in their presence is enough to elicit an improvement.
But what happens when the therapist for one reason or another can no longer continue therapy? The improvement evaporates and the client is back to square one. Unfortunately this happens all too often in the field of counselling and psychotherapy. But it is not restricted to the psychological field and perhaps is even more marked in the spiritual field.
We often hear stories of students pining after their former guru who effectively are in a continued state of suffering. The sitting at a masters feet be it real or metaphorical is the culprit here. The teacher allows their students to worship them. Often this is unconscious and outside of both the teachers and students awareness. A formidable dependency is made between the two which often lasts well after the teacher has moved on.
A lack of self-awareness permeates these type of relationships. The joke is that there is a reported search for ‘self-awareness’ but both the teacher and student are effectively abiding in ignorance. Lack of self-awareness is one issue, the other is a skill issue. Once aware of the situation, what does a person do about it.
Here the teacher’s skill set and experience are critical. The issue of dependency, power and authority has to be dealt with openly and with compassion. The dynamic as it transpired in the interactions becomes part of what needs to be worked through. It sometimes is difficult work, but often very fruitful.