Being an Effective Auxiliary: Some Reflections on Doubling and Dependency in Psychotherapy

As a term, J.L. Moreno’s concept of ‘auxiliary’ captures the idea of entering into a psychotherapeutic relationship for the purpose of consciously assisting another person to develop spontaneity in a specific context. This paper focuses on a number of important elements in this regard: the importance of being an adequate auxiliary able to enact roles in response to specific social atom constellations; the importance of doubling within a role constellation to bring about social atom repair; the importance of allowing dependency in long term therapeutic relationships so that effective auxiliary functioning is maintained over time to promote the development of progressive embryonic roles. The concept of auxiliary is particularly helpful if we keep ourselves involved with the role constellations present in a person’s inner world and the needs of the client within a specific context.

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