Most attorneys have come to internalize highly conditioned ways of relating to their experience. Often, the attorney has limited conscious awareness of these habitual tendencies. Part of the therapeutic work is to help the attorney become more conscious of his or her conditioned ways of relating to ongoing experience. This awareness often results from exploration of earlier experiences in life which prompted him or her to develop strategies often to avoid undesirable consequences or achieve outcomes that he or she felt would secure attention and/or affection from primary caregivers.
What becomes important from a therapeutic standpoint is helping the attorney not only become more consciously aware of these habituated tendencies, but at the same time help the attorney cultivate an ability to connect more deeply to his or her present moment experience. In this way, the attorney can find “space” between his or her learned conditioning and his or her felt experience in relating to the unfolding of life in the present moment. It is within the space that attorneys can find greater flexibility and heightened “responsiveness” versus unconscious reactivity that has perhaps come to dominate his or her way of relating to a broad array of life situations.