chapter  8
18 Pages

Clinical Application of Understanding (with William T. Anderson)

I t was a stirring scene. In 1981, Pope John Paul 11 had been shot by a Turkish radical by the name of Ali Agca in an assassination attempt. Less than a year later in a private room in the prison, there sat the Pope with the very man who had attempted to kill him. Private words were exchanged between the two, but the Pope was reported to make an effort to forgive the would-be assassin. As he sat face to face with the Pope, Agca was in a very different position than he was on the day he wielded the deadly pisol, firing wildly from a crowd that was gathered. Sitting in the prison in relative isolation with the man he shot, he was benign and powerless to do any more harm. But more striking than the absence of power was the compassion that was evident between the two men. As they sat with one another, they appeared not as Pope and terrorist, but as two real men. Power was diffused, and

Clinical Application of Understanding 147

During the first family session, the therapist tried to maintain a position of multidirected partiality, both to the efforts of the mother in raising her children as a single parent and to the plight of the children growing up.