What else can work for my anxiety?

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Regarding the previous post “My Anxiety and CBT” the research for Cognitive Behavior Therapy show evidence of well-working other therapies with these approaches as well. That will be:

  1. Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT)
  2. Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)
  3. Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)

ACT has six principles;

  • Cognitive diffusion,
  • Acceptance,
  • Contact with the present moment,
  • Observing the Self,
  • Values,
  • Committed action.

Acceptance Commitment Therapy has been appeared to be valuable in treating tension, sadness, substance abuse, dietary issues, trauma, couple’s difficulty and personality issue.

The basic segments of ACT incorporate relinquishing the battle to control undesirable contemplations and emotions, being carefully mindful of the present minute, and focusing on a strategy that is steady with what you esteem most throughout everyday life. Along these lines, ACT is about both acknowledgement and change. More about the treatment you can find in the book here

Another helpful segment is Mindfulness Approaches. Below I will explain a bit more about it.

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)

Mindfulness is challenging to explain in a few words. Mindfulness must be experiences and practice to understand fully. This is a complicated process and cannot be nut-shell in one paragraph. MBCT and MBSR teach us to increase awareness, help to see a positive way and be more aware of the surrounded world. Also, show us how to be in the present moment ‘here and now’.

Mindfulness teaches a relaxation technique through meditation practice. The client is creating a calmer mind and pain reduction and learn how to be standing away from unwanted thoughts through observe them and see them from the distance to help more understand and calm the emotion. Become more attentive in the present moment, help to focused better and become a better decision-maker. Very helpful at a workplace or in school. Moreover, most important that mindfulness teaches how to be at peace with your self.

To sum up what I said in my last posts …

Everyone more or less is aware of anxiety and mental health in surrounding life. Anxiety can destroy the lives of many people. Both the humanistic and existential approach is relevant to the anxiety disorder being treated. The mindfulness programs can be another step to well-being in schools and youth clubs to help with the existing problem of mental difficulty in youth.

Even meditation, yoga, supplements and other natural reliefs are some of the substitutes in the way to improve our wellbeing. Natural healings and natural therapies can help you cope with early-stage anxiety. Supplements like Omega 3 and other neutrinos are helpful as well. Some of the prescribed medication is useful as well, however standard medications have a calming effect and even act on GABA receptors, they are very addictive and need to be controlled in the long term of use. Moreover, a person with high anxiety who suffers from Panic Attack can still get a bonus from spoken therapy if the therapist reacts early enough to practice calmness and breathing exercises. I hope you find the post interesting?

See you soon in next post.

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My Anxiety and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy.

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Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Anxiety Disorder.

An essential first step in overcoming a psychological problem(otherwise known as “psychoeducation”) is to learn more about it. Learning about personal problems can give the comfort of knowing that you are not alone and that others have also found helpful strategies to overcome it.

Learning how to relax the body can be a helpful part of the therapy. Muscle tension and shallow breathing are both linked to stress and anxiety (and sometimes depression). So, it is essential to become aware of these bodily sensations and to practice exercises to help learn to relax regularly in terms of self-care. It is a fundamental way to understand personal emotion and to bring you closer to CBT exercises.

It is normal behaviour when we want to avoid a stressful situation but the avoidance is just temporary, and the emotion and fear return indefinitely. For example, if I am afraid of small, enclosed places like elevators, taking the stairs instead will make me less anxious. However, avoidance prevents me from learning. On the other hand, when I choose to avoid difficulty and discomfort, those choices do not let me learn how to cope with that pattern in the future.

Managing problems effectively can be described as a hard-working exercise i.e. I need to “keep in shape” and make practising the essential skills a daily habit.

” I no longer see anxiety as an obstacle, but rather as an opportunity for growth” (Boyle, S.2014)

So what is exactly CBT?

CBT is a type of talk therapy, where people with anxiety disorders can change the way of thinking, behaving and acting in a different way of thinking. This therapy helps people learn and practice social skills, which is vital for treating General Anxiety Disorder. (GAD).Two specific stand-alone components of CBT used to treat social anxiety disorder are cognitive therapy and exposure therapy.

Cognitive therapy focuses on identifying, challenging, and then neutralising unhelpful thoughts underlying anxiety disorders. Exposure therapy focuses on confronting the fears underlying an anxiety disorder i.e. to enable individuals to take part in exercises they have been staying away from due to the apprehension of the unknown.
CBT might be directed exclusively or with a gathering of individuals who have similar issues. Selecting treatment is especially valuable for social tension issue. Frequently “homework” is relegated for individuals to finish at home before they are back for the next session.

During the preparation in homework, you can find, the side effects in related practices and the consequences of maladaptive reactions and accordingly, the psychological instability. However, just keep trying as frequently as possible to rewire the mind.

CBT is the most youthful mental model of the ones described out here. It has progressed toward becoming an advanced form of therapy since the mid-1990s and is the favoured decision of advising mediation in numerous essential human services settings.
Many exercises can be found on the internet and practised at home. These exercises will help with negative thoughts to find a more alternative way of thinking.

In the next article Acceptance Commitment Therapy and Anxiety. See you soon.

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Anxiety as a psychological disorder from a different perspective.

Individuals cannot rest, individuals cannot eat, individuals cannot discuss. All they can do is just think about how to get things done to get rid of fear. Which constantly puts pressure on things that will most likely never happen, and makes unwanted considerations that can lead to depression and support other mental problems. This tension can destroy the existence of many. It comes calmly without notice of presence and develops in late life. General Anxiety Disorder (GAD).

The Anxiety.

Anxiety is a typical reaction to stress or stressful situation. Muscle tension, avoidance, and other physical change are healthy for a human being. Anxiety becomes unhealthy when is persistent and begin classification as a clinical problem when is exaggerate of normal reactions and destroy human life.

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Fifth edition. DSM-5. (2013) Persistent stress, fear and anxiety, often unrationed avoidance, automatic thoughts fight or flight and create unnecessary danger by the mind, associated with feeling shakings and difficulty to relax, that are only a few critical aspects to describe an Anxiety Disorder. Also, uncomfortable state of mind, overwhelming worry and fear. Changed physical and psychological symptoms such as heart palpitation, nausea, self-doubt and difficulty to cope with these traits. Show the broad effects of Anxiety Disorder. However, they are no specific boundaries to explain this type of disorder, and nothing is black and white in the present system of diagnosis. An experience of Anxiety build in childhood can be express in adult life through nightmares or other stressful events like lack of concentration, overly sensitives, paranoiac events and chronic fatigue. (DSM-5)

Main types of Anxiety Disorder

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, OCD, where anxiety is recognised by unwanted thoughts like obsessions, often unrealistic and repetitive behaviours known as a compulsion. (DSM-5). Not necessary only washing regularly hands that could be repetitive cleaning or array items or never-ending checking that is everything correct in the same place and counting other ritual behaviours.

Panic disorder is classified as an anxiety disorder and is recognised by unexpected episodes with physical symptoms similar to a heart attack or cardiac arrest that may include chest pain, heart palpitations, and is nothing to heart disease just the heart bit faster than usual. Other symptoms are; an issue with revise breathing, dazedness, or stomach trouble and extraordinary dread. (DSM-5)

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD, is an anxiety disorder from past traumatic experiences that could be war, car accident or other traumatic events.

Social Phobia, also known as a Social Anxiety Disorder, (SAD) is an anxiety disorder characterised by overwhelming, overthinking, fear of public speaking or eating in front of others. But only one symptom is enough to find a person with SAD. (DSM-5).

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is an anxiety disorder characterised by chronic fear, muscle tension and excessive worry, even when there is little or nothing to provoke the individual.
Excessive anxiety and worry (apprehensive expectation), occurring often and more protracted than six months. That could be school or other public events. The person finds difficult to control such stress and fear. The following symptoms or just a few of them are characteristic for Generalized Anxiety Disorder;

  • Restlessness
  • Easily fatigued.
  • Problem with concentration
  • Sleep difficulty
  • Muscle tension
  • Irritability

The individual is frightful or restless about or avoidant of social collaborations and circumstances that include the likelihood of being examined. These incorporate social associations, for example, meeting new individuals and circumstances in which the individual performs before others. The psychological ideation is of being contrarily assessed by others, by being humiliated, embarrassed, or dismissed, or affronting others (DSM-5)
Moreover, only one of the symptoms with children is enough to recognise anxiety. Another mental issue does not better clear up the disturbance (e.g., strain or worry over having caution strikes in solidify issue. A negative appraisal in common apprehension issue [social phobia], polluting or distinctive obsessions in over the top eager issue. Segment from association figures in division uneasiness issue, signs of terrible incidents in posttraumatic push issue, putting on weight in anorexia nervosa, physical protests insignificant reaction issue, saw appearance defects in body dysmorphic mess, having an honest to goodness affliction in illness pressure

The anxiety, have a significant effect on everyday life functioning like a workplace, public events, other social interaction. The unsettling influence is not inferable from the physiological impacts of a substance (e.g., a medication of manhandling, a solution) or another restorative condition for instance hyperthyroidism. (DSM-5)

The primary roots issue of anxiety is growing in an unhealthy dysfunctional family where is substance abuse, bullying or assault and another stressful event. However, also, other stress life situation in adult life like college exams, interview or lost a job. Anxiety is an epidemic amid young people, school adolescents and other new generation of people. Is growing fast and evolve among social media and new culture expectation.

A significant impact for young people have a social media where is create a random picture of expectation in a local group; how we look today, what we eat or are we a good enough to fit in nowadays environment. Anxiety is growing too fast today in the young generation. Also, some evidence shows the existence of anxiety in infants and could be brought from a genetic way. In an early stage of life, the stress box in the limbic brain plays a crucial role in human emotional development.

In next article I will talk about the treatment for Anxiety including CBT . See you soon.

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Ecological System according to Urie B.

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Urie Bronfenbrenner American psychologist born in Russia, Moscow on April 29, 1917, he is the most known from his input in Ecological Psychology of child development. By his core beliefs, that our existence in the surrounding environment, is the key to human development. He explains his work in five environmental systems. Through the ecological system, Bronfenbrenner showed the importance of human development in the existential environment.

” One final developmental theory needs to be addressed, even though it’s not a stage theory. ”

Urie Bronfenbrenner (1917-2005) developed the ecological systems theory to explain how
everything in a child and the child’s environment affects how a child grows and develops. His theory, including:

  • microsystem
  • mesosystem
  • exo-system
  • macrosystem
  • chronosystem


The microsystem is the immediate family, caregiver or guardian for the child. Could also be any immediate relationships or organisations that the child interact with, such as their school, after school, common room, classmates. Is the immediate environment where the young person existing. Depends on how the people, places or group interact with the kids that the children will grow up and develop. The more good relationship the child meet that will be a better effect for growing for the child. Even that is important in the microsystem, moreover, the big issue has the behaviour of the child. How the child will treat others that the others will treat him. That depends on child personality and genetic also calling “temperament” For example if the child will grow in dysfunction family or the environment, presumably the young person will develop negatively with destruction effect in further.

The mesosystem interact with microsystem, for instance, child school and home system. Is the interaction of both or more microsystems where they interact with each other. In the case where the parents or guardian take an active role in child’s after school life like soccer games or school performance then the child will develop very well. However, when parents, for example, are divorced and each of them tries to raise a child by their own rules, or the values in the home is contrary to the values provided in the school, they may present misunderstandings and mislead children.

The ecosystem is an indirect environment which is mean the individual is not involved
directly, nevertheless still have an effect on the child. That could be another family, neighbourhood or parent’s workplace. For instance, if the parents lost a job, that could have a negative influence on a child’s life or if they are will promote that let the parents fit better physical needs of the child.

Another Bronfenbrenner’s level is the macrosystem, which is the biggest system and involves a large area of the human being. It is religion, government, political system, regional influence and local believing or even wars have a huge impact on human development. This system describes the culture and imposes values where the individuals live.

The chronosystem is the last of five, introduce and develop by Bronfenbrenner. The
chronosystem is changing over time and have a big impact on child development even in late childhood. Is a system where events are changed in the circumstance of life. For instance where the parents are separated in many different conditions of life, national service, divorce or death on of the parents. War or change the political system in the country. Even other systems ready evolve still the last one have to affect child development.

Urie Bronfenbrenner believed that there are two conditions for healthy development for the child.

The first is loving a child unconditionally and the second one is spending the time with a child. During studying the Ecological System, I agree with Urie, about how important is any aspect of a child’s life. How many of the above of the present systems is influential for any individual creature and not only for the child but for all development and growth in a human being. How present-day behaving of people has a massive impact on further society. How important is appreciate?
Bronfenbrenner works and studies the five pillars of the Ecological System to avoid unwanted human behaviour and spared unnecessary changes in the child’s life. I think that this system should be introduced to education from early school years.

I wondering what is your opinion and do you find usefull that artical ?

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Self – Awareness as a Practitoner.

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Professional awareness

As practitoners, we should wisely remember that we are our own most important counselling instrument
Every counselling practitioner should aspire to achieve excellent standards in psychotherapy practice. Attending to personal development and practising self-care is critical to professional awareness. Personal characteristics are fundamental in self-awareness. A counsellor has to know about their strengths and weaknesses because they will be dependant on those emotions.

In the journey with a client, many of the therapist’s attributes will expand with emotional responses, clarification of values, prejudice, personal responsibility and practical change. All these values will be practised and challenged all the time. The practitioner must be aware of his prejudices to avoid personal bias-interactions and must carefully consider the client with a non-judgmental attitude.

In other words, that which is right for a counsellor is not necessarily right for the client. It is worth remembering that ‘”we are all the same but completely different” . A helpful strategy is to know yourself. Well illustrated examples of this is in the Johari Window pattern. More about Johari Window you can find here.

The practitioner could receive a feedback from the group and find the blind area which is visible for others bot not for individual one. Another aspect of self-care is personal therapy for a counsellor.
When we work with a client, we have to know whoare we? Before we start the process of understand another person. To achieve that progress of self awareness, the personal counselling and continuing professional development is necessery. That knowledge provide opportunities to improve self-concept.

The counsellor is not omniscient and so makes mistakes just like other people.
The therapist is not in business to change the client, give advice or fix the problems.

The knowledge is constantly changing and has to be continually developed. Techniques employed need to be consistent with client expectation and appropriate for client ability. For instance, a client who has to work with a particular method, for example, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy charts, could find that the homework is difficult as he or she is not used to those kinds of exercises. Often the client does not finish their homework not because of laziness but because of a lack of ability or knowledge. A good counsellor will be able to see if the client can work alone or not. The therapy has to make sense to the client. Otherwise, the exercises will be not sufficient to achieve a positive outcome. The techniques need to be manageable and productive for the client.

Knowledge and skills are essential, but they are not sufficient to establish and maintain an effective therapeutic relationship.
A good therapist should explore as many approaches as they find necessary until they find one which best fits the client. Strong interpersonal skills are not just courteous toward clients; they may help the therapist to be more successful in professional awareness and interactions.

During our education, we learn theory and practice, including some techniques like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Person-Centred Therapy. Also, we learn how to use charts and other tools with clients to achieve a goal. Unfortunately, knowing all the techniques provided to us as psychotherapy practitioners is not enough for us to be good counsellors. If we do not also have the skills needed to be able to understand a client, or we lack in essential counselling skills or don’t have a clear view of what counselling is, we are not going to be able to practice adequately and fruitfully. Another aspect where a counsellor is not ready for counselling with clients is when they need to resolve their dilemmas, especially when a client brings an issue which harmed the counsellor’s own experiences. For instance, a counsellor will not be able to work with someone who had the same traumatic experience as them if the counsellor lacks the healing on the experience in themselves and therefore is not ready for that particular practice.

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Social Skills and Personal Boundries

Social Skills and Personal Boundries are the next part of becoming a Good Enough Counsellor. Today we will talk about sociall skills and the interaction and the use of the theraputic approach. Also, I will discuss the boundries you can find in the counselling room i.e. during a social activity.

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Social and communication skills.
What are these skills and why they are important?
Excellent social skills are beneficial, it is a talent which helps us to survive in the mass, and especially on the first meeting or during the first therapeutic session for the client and they feel uncomfortable because the relationship is entirely new.
Sometimes we are referred to another professional, so the therapist needs the social skills necessary to engage with the other professional business.

Communication skills are essential in the counselling skills package, no more or less like in private life. Sometimes we are not willing to meet with anyone and go far from crowded places. It is not that we necessarily suffer from social anxiety, it is just our ability to cope with a particular situation and rooted in our personality. A therapist with excellent social and communication skills, is more effective and builds a positive therapeutic relationship with ease. They are more creative and possess greater confidence and assertiveness. Also, excellent communication yields a more favourable result for clients. Communication skills include verbal and nonverbal, and showing understanding through skills like: attentive body language, eye contact and silence.
During education and refresher courses in clinical psychology, you’ll notice a typical aspect of transference and against transference. The information you receive is an important tool to get a comprehensive picture of what a person wants to say. The problem may arise when your own experience mingles with the statement of our interlocutor.
This state of affairs will overwhelm the real picture. In this situation, it is worth knowing our boundaries and knowing which content belongs to the caller and which is our personal part.

The skill of maintaining proper boundaries is essential to providing a healthy and productive counselling practice and personal wellbeing. This skill is necessary for both the client’s welfare and our well-being as practitioners. These boundaries are usually established by contracting in the first therapy session and have to follow the professional body’s codes of ethics and practice. For good practice, a counsellor has to avoid dual relationships, any sexual and personal contact, or an inappropriate relationship with the client.

A client has to know about the timeframe which is intended for the counselling session and has to be informed about confidentiality and the sharing of personal information according to established laws. The breaking of confidentiality applies especially in cases of child protection, instances where violence is occurring against someone, or where a person is a danger to themselves or others.
Those bouondries are important for us to control and establish a healthy relationship between people, and not anly in the counselling room.

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Counselling skills for all.

Counselling skills are for all of us not only for practitioners in the mental health area. These skills help us to communuicate more effectively and understand other people on the same level as we wish to be understood.

In a previous post, I talk about what it means to be a Good enough Counsellor and I describe the first part of therapeutic skills. Today I will tell a bit more about attending, listening, paraphrasing, reflecting and summarizing, questioning and focusing in the counselling room. All the skills are important in the therapeutic process. 

Attending-which is to give full attention to the person and value them as an individual. Noticing all the body language which the client exhibits and all the words which the client says, keeping eye contact and not gazing out the window or at any other object. Being entirely present in the counselling room to show client respect and dignity. Displaying attending behaviour makes for positive therapeutic collaboration between client and therapist.

Attending is one of the counselling skills which all counsellors and psychotherapists should hold. Without this ability, counselling is not decent and the client cannot realise their expectation of the counselling sessions. Having the wrong attitude toward the client and lacking attending skills may break the relationship between the client and the therapist. By participating the counsellor pays full attention to the client through proper behaviours in posture and body language. It is important to make the client as comfortable as possible by being open and warm to the client before starting the session, correcting seating or letting the client lie comfortably. Also, the counsellor should keep good eye contact without eyeballing or grimacing and being careful to look straight at the client. The counsellor needs to be aware that some clients could find this awkward, which may be a disadvantage in counselling.

Listen to the client carefully and notice all pauses and silences during the session. Notice all that the client says and show them that we understand what they mean through our facial expressions, gestures or by using short words and questions. Placement of seating is also essential as it creates appropriate distance from the client, as does the level of voice and imitating distractions around the room. It is worth remembering about heritage in counselling: through this knowledge, we can avoid unpleasant situations during the session. Where we will sit depends on which psychotherapy technique we are employing. For instance, in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, the client will sit next to the therapist. In analytical Freudian practice, the therapist will sit behind the client; mimicking Freud who would not pay attention to a client-facing him. Keep the seats of equal height. The client should not feel physically uncomfortable in any way during the counselling session. All aspects of attending as a counselling skill are essential to a satisfactory counselling session.

Silence and listening.
Silence is the space in which both counsellor and client have time for reflection and processing their thoughts. It often happens that during a period of silence both client and therapist are analysing what is essential for them and contemplating what has not been said yet, or just waiting for a new image or a set of missing words. It is a space in which the client can recover from “here and now” emotions. It is one of the hardest parts of listening, but those particular moments of silence are the time for a counsellor to read the body language of their client.
The counsellor has to be capable of listening carefully and speaking only when it is necessary. A particular example of good listening habits was expressed by philosopher Marcus Aurelius when he asked the question “Why do we have two ears and one mouth? to which he concluded, “It is so we can listen twice as much as we speak”. Silence shows patience to the client and gives them space to express themselves. Active listening is essential but also can be difficult. It is often easy to get distracted and drift away from concentrating on what the client is saying if they are speaking for a long period. It is essential that the counsellor listens carefully, reflects on the client’s thoughts, and is prepared to remember important events and feelings which they disclose to the therapist.

I could not help her, all I could do was sit and listen (O’Farrell, 2014).

Reflecting and paraphrasing.

Reflecting and paraphrasing is the time when the therapist repeats back some words to a client to ensure that all that what they said was understood correctly by the therapist, and for the client to know that the therapist has listened thoroughly. Reflecting shows that the counsellor not only heard what was said but what feelings and emotions the client is experiencing. Reflecting the words to the client is useful for probing meaning and checking understanding with them because words have many faces. The word ‘home’, for example, could have different implications for different people.
Summarising is similar to paraphrasing but differs in that summarising takes a whole session and gives a client an extended paraphrase which contains the essence of what a client is saying or feeling current.

Questioning and Focusing

Questioning in the counselling room is to clarify what a client’s feelings are. Using a question means that the counsellor is trying to understand what is being said so he is not confused. Someone skilled in the ‘art of listening’ will use open questions to help them clarify what the client is saying so that they can reflect and paraphrase more accuracy. It is good practice to ask open questions to avoid short answers like ‘Yes’ or ‘No’. The open question begins with ‘ How…?’ ‘What…?’ ‘Who…?’. By questioning as a counsellor, it allows the client to tell their story.

Clients have to feel comfortable with the questions and know that it means they are being listened to, not interrogated. A question must be to clarify the topic not to be intrusive. Questions beginning with ‘Why…?’ should be avoided as the client could understand those questions as implying suspicion or judgment (e.g. ‘Why did you do that?). A person under stress is sometimes unable to deal with their emotions and they can give vague answers to avoid the problematic situation. It is difficult for the therapist in that situation to ask the right questions to get a clear picture of what the client is feeling.

It is wise to be mindful of your self first before becoming a counsellor. Our self is an integral part of the therapeutic relationship. Knowing one’s self lets us understand that what the client brings with their self. Focusing involves helping the client to decide what issues they want to deal within themselves. This skill allows both client and counsellor to avoid lesser or unnecessary matters and concentrate on what is more important at that time. A particular point is when a client tends to magnify or deflect the problem. When the counsellor already knows a client’s story, then they are more prepared to set the aims of counselling and work in the area of greatest possibility.

More about Counselling Skills you can find in the book here

I hope you find it interesting and perhaps you would like to share your experiences. Any more about how to be a good enough counsellor and his skills, are in the next blog titled: Social Skills and Personal Growth.

Thank you for reading.

Be Good Enough…

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That is right. Who is a good Counsellor. All we know the parsona trained in mental health need a goood knowledge, experience and other life skills. Perhapsl, Good chartacter and be nice? Deffinately NOT.

Being nice is not enough to be a good counsellor.

Years of learning, practice and personal development must be considered. Knowing and understanding one’s self is a challenge no less than understanding somebody else. Hundreds of hours spent in education learning counselling skills give a spark of therapeutic knowledge, but experience in practice is gained during a lifetime spent in the counselling room. Only then we can begin to say we are a good, good enough as a counsellor.

In our educational programme, we are learning unique counselling skills and preparing for the journey to practice as a counsellor and psychotherapist. Many of the skills necessary for practice are adopted during the educational training, others we have learned from different areas of our lives. Today I will tell you a bit about the Therapeutic Skills.

The most critical skills are presented by Rogers in his six core conditions, which are amongst the most adopted elements in the therapeutic process and include empathy, congruence and unconditional positive regards. A fundamental skill which a counsellor must hold to create a positive relationship between client and therapist is empathy as it is the means through which the therapist accurately comprehends the client’s feelings.

“Clients like to feel understood on their terms by counsellors and helpers.”(Nelson-Jones)

Empathy is a crucial aspect of understanding another person. Without the skills the therapeutic interaction will be complicated for both parties; it will hinder the ability to understand another person and to build a positive therapeutic alliance between client and therapist. Empathy is the ability to ‘walk in someone else’s shoes’. The helper must be accepting of a wide variety of people and their problems, always employing good empathic skills and striving to understand the other person without judging them.

A good counsellor will be emotionally attuned even when they do not agree with their clients. Empathy is especially evident in Unconditional Positive Regards (UPR) when the helper accepts the client unconditionally. More info in Carl Rogers book

A typical example of conditional behaviour is when the parents accept and love the child only when it is good and makes the parents happy. According to UPR, the therapist cannot only choose the ‘right’ clients based on the therapist’s conditions of behaviour. When the helper adhibits the proper technique, then the psychological process between client and therapist is creative and fruitful.
Another important skill is genuineness: that the therapist it is authentic, adequate and true. As Egan said,

‘Genuine people are at home with themselves and therefore can comfortably be themselves in all their interactions’.

This quote provides the key to congruence and transparency, but these are not all the skills which the good counsellor has to hold. Namely, the practitioner must also possess skills like:

  • attending,
  • listening skills,
  • paraphrasing and reflecting ….which I will describe tomorrow.

Do you accept your self?

Today he blog is writing according to actualizing tendency and locus of evaluation. What is that? It is superconscious and internal wisdom, a source of fully functioning person and self-awareness by understanding and acceptance.

That is the most significant moments and experience, but not only in therapy but in whole own life. That is the time when we accept own self as a person, as an organism as a fulfilment potential in life, is that what Rogers called fully functioning person.

It is important to trust in the process and therapeutic work.

Rogers believes that human has one basic need to self-actualization, to achieve the tendency has to be in the state of congruence where self – image is close to ideal – self, another way the self-actualization will be difficult to achieve if not even dysfunctional.

“The organism has one basic tendency and striving – to actualize, maintain, and enhance the experiencing organism” (Rogers, 1951, p. 487).

A typical issue for an internal locus of evaluation from Dave Mearns and Brian Throne book is when Client expresses himself to say:

“I suppose I went into the job to please my father. It seemed to make sense, too, in terms of having some sort of carrier structure ….or “yes I have a feeling I married Jean because I knew my parents like her….”

The dialogue between therapist and the client shows significant evidence of locus of evaluation when the client realizes, that he is making the job for satisfaction of his father in law and the relationship with Jean is the only purpose for pleased them parents but not for themselves. In the end, that decision makes by the client could be devastating in the further because the job and marriage do not satisfy him. The marriage will be collapse and finalized by divorce. And lack of settlement of the work will be tracked to burnout and serval stress disorders.

That is the point when we find our ideal self, unrealized and unhappy, so we cannot achieve full potential in life and the congruence of self-acceptance does not be fulfilled because of one or more wrong decision in life.

To increase our consciousness of an ideal self is worth to remind of Maslow’s opinion about self-actualization where he believes that people need for personal growth and discovery own life in own meaning, depending on what is worth and important for them. According to the characteristic for instance.

” They perceive reality efficiently and can tolerate uncertainty. Accept themselves and others for what they are. Spontaneous in thought and action”

In the other hand, the self-actualized person, for example, will behave like a child, with full absorption and concentration. Trying new things instead of sticking to safe paths. Listening to your feelings in evaluating experiences instead of the voice of tradition, authority or the majority. Maslow’s “Hierarchy of Needs” and his investment for education make a major contribution to work for teaching and classroom management.

As a human, we need to strive for full potential and step by step retaliate own self in own life from basic life, biological and physiological needs. From safety to love and belongs. From esteem, reputation to self-actualization.

“The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.” – Carl Rogers.

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Journey to self-awareness.

Photo by MarcinBogucki

The journey towards self-awareness as a therapist and as a person, is a process of lifelong designed reflection, how to be a human being. Is the art of life. It is an old experience which is the actual asset for life. This experience is a part of us, the part which will always belong to us till the end of life, perhaps after as well.

Many of us further counsellor or psychotherapist dealing with the question. Why do I want to be a therapist? And many of us answer, to help others but after the time sooner or later we discover that we want to know more about ourselves and our existences.

I agree some of you do not accept my opinion but you can share in comments what do you think about.

As far we know more, about own self and we are aware deeply about our straights and weakness then we can help for the client to understand his self adequately to his position.

For the new practitioner in counselling and psychotherapy, the begin is challenging for both for the inner soul and the heart, we achieve the points where the reality and imagination collide with each other. The own expectation is different on the begin of the therapist’s inner journey than after the time when we were coming to more experience.

“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” ~ Carl Jung

The self-awareness shows the evidence that we cannot avoid own feelings and emotions, we have to learn in many ways to be good enough for the client but unique for own self as a person not only as a therapist.

In other words, when the therapist doesn’t know or do not recognize own susceptibilities, is not be able to be a help for others. To evolve as a practitioner we have to ask own self a few important questions, Who am I? , Where am I? Sometimes the questions can be more emotional and deep and personal.

The personal growth and own development as a therapist is a process, and we need time to adapt and understanding many estrangements.
Just for instance in early education stages, the personal psychotherapy remind me about the human’s imperfection in both personal and emotional aspect of life. Again, we see the working process, that what we don’t know about us is not hurt us, in any way, but slow down academic education in that profession, and what is most important for future therapists that will have counterproductive effect for the therapeutic relationship.

The self-awareness is a process of personal development, where we see own experience such as chapters of life. I am the chapter of life in my personal growth. The development is supported by my compassion. As a human, we find great compassion for us and for others. However, some of our compassion seems to be a weakness and unperfections, but we have to remember that the self-compassion and self-kindness are more vigorous and helpful more than we think. Because compassion is a healing process, of course, if we do not reject it.

In the simplest way the compassion is what I missed in my developing process. The beautiful part of our soul, the part which i never could expect that have that important influence for personal growth and improvement of self-acceptance.

We try to live faster better in our “harry-harry” life but that is wrong, that way of living just build more stress and less resilience in life. Everything is the meaning in the life that could be self-control, self-determination or self-development but all of them have to be going through the self-awareness to discover our existence.

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