The Therapeutic Use of Self: Counselling Practice, Research by Val Wosket

By Val Wosket

The healing Use of Self is a ground-breaking exam of the person therapist's contribution to technique and final result in counselling. utilizing many strong case examples and broad examine findings from the author's personal paintings, this ebook offers the counsellor's overview in their personal perform because the major motor vehicle for the improvement of perception and wisdom in to person 'therapeutic' features. It addresses a few of the taboos and occasionally mentioned features of treatment, such as:* the worth of therapist failure * breaking the principles of counselling * operating past the accredited barriers of counselling.The healing Use of Self, will act as a spur to person counsellors to recognize, advance and price their very own special contribution to the counselling occupation.

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Those who have not undergone the disciplined study and application of a core theory of counselling are likely to find themselves stumbling around in the dark when they leave familiar territory, rather than feeling their way to new levels of competence. Yet there is a paradox at the heart of this assertion. For to be at our most effective as therapists I believe we must, to a large degree, liberate ourselves from the conceptual thralls of our training. At the same time it is crucial that we retain the discipline and safety which that training has given us.

The ebb and flow of the relationship as proffered by the therapist will therefore involve both a loosening that allows the client room to experiment with ways of relating and, at other times, a tightening that evidences direction and purpose. The power of the relationship in counselling hinges on the fact that it is normally the only relationship that the client and counsellor have. Many of us, as trainees and inexperienced counsellors, go through a stage of attempting to develop an ongoing relationship with a client whom we particularly admire or like.

This is how Gendlin (1990:210) describes focusing in relation to the client’s edge of awareness and I think it can apply equally to the counsellor’s process: ‘The word “focusing” means to spend time, attending to that inwardly sensed edge. When that happens in the silence, the next thing and the next come gradually from deeper and deeper’. As Gendlin observes, this may sound mysterious until the therapist comes to know that awareness is in itself a process rather than a fixed state. The counsellor’s edge of awareness 31 According to Bugental (1987), the seasoned therapist who is able to work at their edge of awareness is a true artist rather than a technician: ‘True art is only to be found on the edge of what is known—a dangerous place to be, an exciting place to work, a continually unsettling place to live subjectively’ (p.

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