Right Use of Power
I am trained to teach and facilitate lectures and workshops on the Right Use of Power (RUP). The RUP is a relational approach to both personal and professional ethics in psychotherapy. Power dynamics are always present in relationships. As a white man I hold a higher amount of power than most folks just by virtue of my social location. As such, there is a greater responsibility to use that power ethically to both prevent and heal harm. I think it is invaluable to explore our social locations and identities and understand how to use our power with more ethics and more heart. In therapy we can explore how your personal process is linked to the larger social and cultural context.
Studying ethics and power in relationships can be profoundly restorative and empowering. RUP bring more heart to ethics and builds awareness to the use of power and influence. RUP revolves around four core concepts: being informed and present, compassionate and aware, connected and accountable, and skillful and wise.
Being informed and present refers to learning about the inherent dynamics that are present in all relationships where there is a power differential. In these relationships, the potential for good and the risk for harm are present. Here we can learn about our responsibilities and vulnerabilities.
Being self-aware is the focus of being compassionate and aware. We can work to build understanding about your biases, attitudes, beliefs, and habits in relation to issues of power and authority. How does your power and your relationship to your power affect others around you? Here we can also explore examples from your life of the misuse of power and how it has caused harm as well as healing shame and learning how to claim and live with your power with confidence.
Once you can acknowledge your power you can be both connected and accountable to use that power ethically. We can focus on building your skills in being sensitive and aware of power dynamics in your relationships to reduce harm and increase more authentic, compassionate relationship. We will also work on staying in relationship throughout conflict. It is important to build skills of how to resolve and repair relationships.