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CHAPTER SEVENTEEN: How do I manage the effects of change?

Jonathan Ingrams Karnac Books ePub

COUNSELLING IS ABOUT CHANGE, but no one changes in isolation. It's important to recognize that progress will not be even or regular. There will inevitably be times when you will drop back, but this does not mean you have gone all the way to the bottom again. This is a good reason for keeping some kind of journal when you are having counselling; a place in which you note your successes-and setbacks. This will help enable you to retain a sense of proportion and provide the evidence of what you have been able to achieve at those times when you feel you're not doing as well as you would wish.

The saying “No man (or woman) is an island” is well demonstrated in counselling. Your increasing independence and confidence can be hugelyliberating, but it can also dramatically affect a relationship or the way you are perceived by others. This can sometimes be problematic.

If, for example, you came for counselling with the belief that you needed approval in order to feel valued, it is likely you will have been putting other people's interests ahead of yours in seeking to please them. If you free yourself of this belief, these same people could find your growing independence inconvenient or discomforting, and as a result, may seek to test your resolve in an effort to restore the status quo. If pressing your buttons no longer produces results, they will likely try harder before they finally accept that you have withdrawn your permission for them to do this. The process of inducing acceptance at home or at work that you have changed can therefore be quite taxing. Where close relationships may have been at risk, the other party may frustratingly insist on hard evidence over a period that the changes in your thinking and behaviour have a solid foundation.

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Medium 9781780490168

CHAPTER NINE: The counselling environment today

Jonathan Ingrams Karnac Books ePub

When Freud practised, all his patients were women, all were hysterics, and all were subjected to psychoanalysis or free association. Throughout the history of psychotherapy, individual approaches have often been modified or combined to enhance results or to reflect the pressures of modern living.

For example, Person-Based Cognitive Therapy or PBCT combines CBT with Rogerian perspectives together with the concept of “mindfulness”, which lays particular emphasis on immediate experience. In this respect, it shares a platform with Gestalt in which, you will recall, clients are encouraged to concentrate on their feelings, thoughts, and emotions as they experience them in session. Cognitive Analytical Therapy (CAT) is another collaborative approach which combines psychodynamic practice with Kelly’s personal construct theory and cognitive-behavioural techniques. Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP) draws on the work of John Bowlby to help families whose children have detachment problems, whilst Parent—Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) integrates behavioural and play modalities to improve parent—child relationships.

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CHAPTER ONE: How do I know if I might benefit from counselling?

Jonathan Ingrams Karnac Books ePub

AKEY QUESTION, and not one with a simple answer. Counsellors advertise that they can help to resolve a range of difficulties; typically anxiety and stress, depression, work issues, loss of confidence, life changes, relationships and sexual problems, as well as more vaguely defined complexes such as “lack of purpose” or “deprivation”. But how can you determine whether it might be useful for you to seek the services they provide?

A likely indicator is that you find yourself having persistent difficulty dealing with some aspect of your personal, social, or working life. Inevitably, there are periods when we all feel a bit down; sadness after a quarrel with someone we care about, disappointment that we didn't get the promotion we hoped for, annoyancebecause we think someone's behaved badly towards us, or regret if, on some occasion, we feel we haven't conducted ourselves as well as we would wish. This is the natural order of things. We make up after the quarrel, perhaps look for a better job, put aside the irritation we experienced, apologize to someone if we feel we need to-and move on.

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CHAPTER TWELVE: Do all counsellors work the same way?

Jonathan Ingrams Karnac Books ePub

THERE ARE NUMEROUS counselling approaches. Very often these share the same origin, but elements of them have been extended or modified by individual psychoanalysts or therapists until a new version of the technique becomes sufficiently structured and recognisable to be given a title of its own.

Broadly speaking there are three methods of counselling.

The first of these is the Freudian related therapies. Counselling, as we recognize the term, began with the work of Sigmund Freud who founded the psychoanalytical approach in the mid-nineteenth century. Freudian theorists argue that adult problems can be traced to unresolved conflicts from certain phases of childhood and adolescence. Freud promotedthe idea of free association in which individuals are invited to relate whatever comes into their minds during the session. This technique, called psychoanalysis, is intended to help the person learn more about what he or she thinks and feels in a non-judgmental atmosphere. Free association has no pre-planned agenda, but works by intuitive leaps and linkages, which may lead to new insights and meanings. Neither therapist nor subject knows in advance exactly where the session will lead. Freud's work was further developed by Carl Jung, who explored the human psyche through the worlds of dreams, art, mythology, religion, and philosophy.

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CHAPTER ONE: Beginnings

Jonathan Ingrams Karnac Books ePub

It seems only right that we start with Sigmund Freud (1856–1939), the Big Bang from which all psychotherapy emerged. He’ll almost certainly be the first authority you’ll be introduced to if you go on a counselling course. But although a huge influence on the development of psychotherapy, he didn’t emerge from a vacuum, or practice in isolation. Before Freud, superstition and magic were often believed to be the prime controllers of mental functions. A contemporary of Freud, William Walter Atkinson (1862–1932), in his book Mind and Body or Mental States and Physical Conditions, published in 1910, observed: “Mental Healing operates under a thousand names, forms and theories in every race, nation and clime in all ages past and present”.1 This remains true to this day. Proof of this can be found in an incident as recently as 2007 in which the actress Phyllida Law had two gargoyles stolen from her garden. She erected a notice warning that she had put a hex on the culprit. Some time later, the statues were returned, with a note from the thief pleading her to lift the curse as he had been very ill since he stole the gargoyles. Law duly put up another notice: “Thank you for returning the statues. All curses lifted.”2

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