Individual CounsellingCounselling is not about “helping”. It is not about giving advice. It is about working with clients to “empower” themselves. A person becomes truly empowered when he or she is in the present tense incorporating and accepting all of their experiences that are unfolding before them. This state is called serendipity and it is characterized by a feeling of wholeness and well – being. The person feels happy just to be in their own skin. Their “wholly longing” dissolves into resolving. Everything seems possible. In order to experience this state a person must know what they want and know how to get to it. Many people complain that they do not know how to ascertain what it is that they really want. What they want in most cases is, of course, to be in full contact with their truest, deepest self. Accessing this self is something that most people have forgotten how to do since early childhood.
The following is a four step technique which may improve a person’s ability to get emotionally connected with himself or herself:
- Precisely describing the present situation and one’s present sensations.
- Fully experiencing and fully expressing one’s present emotions.
- Assertively questioning the present situation.
- Clearly articulating one’s needs.
Certain words used by a person about himself or herself indicate that that person is very far away from his or her true self. Some of these words are: “should “, “but”, “try”, “always” and “never”. “Should” reveals that their inner judge is on the stand and prompting their choices and actions. “But” negates the subject that the person had just mentioned. “Try” implies “to not do”. “Always” is usually impossible. “Never” is rarely the case. If a person notices very carefully when he or she uses these words they will usually notice that a disconnection has taken place between two parts of himself or herself. In counselling, one of the functions of the effective therapist is to gently suggest, in a non – judgemental way, that a client seems to be disconnecting from their own stated perceptions of himself or herself. True honesty commences with self – honesty. Without honesty it is literally impossible to re – connect with oneself. Perhaps the greatest roadblock to self – honesty and honesty is the emotion of anger. Anger is a basic emotion. Just like air…it is essential for life to exist. It is not an emotion “to get rid of”. Unconscious anger is feared, and even dreaded, by most and with good reason. It usually leads to rejection and violence. However, conscious anger, anger which is channeled and properly monitored, can actually vastly improve most situations. The angry one realizes that they are not “angry at” rather they experience that they are “angry with” conflicts within their own self. He or she owns his or her own anger and thereby learns and grows from that experience. The anger therefore was the early warning signal of the presence of two conflicting parts of the angry one.
One must be “heart – connected” to oneself in order to get in touch with oneself. If the affirmation is repeated over and over again with great courage and self determination the resistances begin to diminish step by step. If you make friends with your fears they become benign.
C.G. Jung, the great Swiss psychotherapist, condensed his whole life of research and experience with people and patients down to two basic concepts:
- a.) Dis – identify with the persona.
- b.) Assimilate the shadow.