Counselling Skills And Techniques Originate In Self Knowledge

Helping a client, is essentially a question of raising their awareness and lifting them into a mental position where they can see their own potential. You assist them towards their goals in a manner where they more easily view the steps they might choose to take. The client is in control. You act in appreciation, acknowledgement and reinforcement. You reward their forward steps, as overseer. But they choose the goals.

Counselling skills and techniques, then, are not mechanical, Newtonian or physical functions. The listening, sensitively aware counselor or therapist must occupy his or her higher self. Problems require a big picture, higher level of thought and perception than the thinking that created problems and dysfunctions for the client. That is why a pastor, a priest or minister can make a good counselor. They stand in a higher, divine position, relatively speaking.

The Higher Values

The writer was not brought up as a Christian. Indeed, the family was agnostic and believed in science and medicine. Motor vehicles occupied a higher interest. But recently, a solid appreciation of higher values has been attained. One writer, Dr Abraham Maslow, PhD, in Motivation and Personality, Brandeis Press, 1954, suggested that a focus on the following higher values of ‘being:’ love, beauty, truth, justice, harmony and integrity – can help to maintain the self actualizing person in a higher state of wholeness of ‘Being.’

Divinity, then, is a useful concept. In 1921, Genevieve Behrend, in Your Invisible Power, stated that the mind is a center of divine operation. Behrend maintained that once you have a thought, you have a mold for divine fulfillment and you possess the very form, the thing that will eventuate. Higher self leads to mysteriously mystical heights that were known to religious prophets, the ancient Chinese – like Lao Tzu (The Tao Te Ching), Confucius, and countless Indian – Hindu and Buddhist, and Persian mystics such as Rumi, born 1207AD. One thing that appears to be in common, is their skills in contemplation and reflective meditation. Know thyself. It is their self knowledge! How many Western universities help to develop these qualities in their students? There are thousands of years of historical and annecdotal evidence for the existence of a higher human consciousness.

The Mystic Counselor

If a registered, counseling clinical psychologist attached to a Western medical center, were to start speaking as a mystic does: “I greet you with love and divine harmony. I create instantly and effortlessly now.. We create our reality.. You are a limitless, eternal, infinite Being of Light… You are perfect..” or some such ideas, what do you suppose would happen? It is likely that the more conservative factions in the center would become anxious. They would spout ‘conventional wisdom’ of medications, diagnosis and prescription. They would move to have the counselor fired, for fear of adverse community perceptions and local political reactions. Even if the psychologist were correct on a larger, cosmic, big picture or universal view.

The Wholistic Approach

Wholism or the holistic-dynamic approach of Dr Abraham H. Maslow, PhD, to psychotherapy, is more akin to Eastern, mystical thinking, than it is to Western, science based, empirical thinking. It is implicitly supported by Dr Herbert Benson’s empirical 1975 work, The Relaxation Response, Harvard. Yet the very human, compassionate, higher self may exist above and beyond the reach of empirical science. It is our final Mount Everest, awaiting an Edmund Hilary, perhaps.. although Maslow’s later two books explained everything very clearly. These books were, Towards A Psychology Of Being, and The Farther Reaches Of Human Nature.

A Word On Anger Management With Awareness

Back to counseling skills and techniques, there is one important issue to clear up. Some therapists of the 1960s to 1990s were actively encouraging clients to get angry and stay very angry! Their theory was that emotions must be expressed, to be dealt with. You might ask, how long should we grieve for? There is a world of difference between anger as an expression and anger as a practice, or as an encouraged habit. This writer, personally, expresses anger for a few seconds, then finds a positive response from the depths of his charge of positivity. Buddhist monks develop emotions that are contained and transcended totally by meditation. So the more negative emotions are really addictions, at a chemical level, that you do not need to hang on to. A counselor, helper or social worker needs to understand these emotional events from a very broad perspective and not get his or her own emotions functionally engaging in the client’s life, in a projected way.

You may, of course, disagree. The writer would be happy to view and consider your own perspective, arising from your life experience. We are unique beings and have adapted to life’s demands in our own, very beautiful way

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