18 December, 2006
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Been nearly a month since my previous entry. Been reading “Person-Centred Counselling Training” by Dave Mearns, the third book in the series. It is a different format than the other two read. Taking longer to get though. Not that it is a difficult book, but just more thought provoking for me, dealing more directly with training (as the title implies:)) courses and how they should be run. Discusses the qualities of trainers and course members.
Finding it hard to put words down here. Almost like a block – want to write, but nothing seems come out. Perhaps if I keep typing whatever comes something worthwhile might appear. But, what is worthwhile? Surely whatever is written is of some value to me, if not someone else? Then, how do we place a value on a person’s writing? What criteria make one piece of work more worthwhile than another? What makes one counsellor more worthwhile than another? Can we make such judgements? Should we try to make them? Or should the value be left up to the individuals involved in the work? A bit like art – how can I say one piece of art is good and another rubbish? I can perhaps say that I like or prefer one piece against another piece, but not that one is of more value than another. And so with counselling? If I engage in counselling clients and they and I both feel value in what we experience together – is that enough or should there need to be an outside measurement to say whether that was valuable or not – whether it was good or bad counselling? Am I a good counsellor or at least becoming a good counsellor?
Person-centred counselling places so much emphasis on the qualities of the individual that it could lead one to feel very discouraged if the qualities did not seem to be present. Am I empathic, congruent toward others? Do I have unconditional positive regard for others? The three core conditions of person-centred counselling! One day I will feel very much in touch with these qualities and another day very far from them. That’s reality? Dave Mearns talks about personal development as a continuing process, that development as a counsellor is linked closely to ones personal development. Person-centred counselling is from the inside out – not outside in, because as John Lennon sang:
“One thing you can’t hide
Is when you’re crippled inside“
If a client does not feel empathy, congruence from the counsellor or unconditional positive regard there will be no relational depth, because the counsellor is essentially “crippled inside”, which cannot be hidden for long.