Becoming a Counsellor: A Manual for Personal and Professional Development

Becoming a Counsellor: A Manual for Personal and Professional Development

Becoming a Counsellor: A Manual for Personal and Professional Development

Becoming a Counsellor: A Manual for Personal and Professional Development

Synopsis

Becoming a Therapist is a practical manual, facilitating the movement and growth of the reader whilst raising awareness of resistance to change. It is a thought-provoking companion to personal and professional development.

Excerpt

Personal development is a process of recursive and ongoing integration. It requires openness to experience, a commitment to experiment, an engagement with the world and a critical reflection on experience. It is about knowing yourself and understanding how your experience shapes your subsequent encounters with the world. Personal development is of critical importance for counsellors and therapists as they participate in the process of helping.

Self-knowledge or personal insight enables you to avoid personal blind spots and develop trust in your observations and confidence in your practice. This manual aims to facilitate the process of personal and professional development through enhancing self-knowledge and fostering insight. You will be encouraged to reflect on how your experiences, values and beliefs may impact on your practice. Self-knowledge is a resource in the practice of helping. the manual provides a range of opportunities for you to explore landmark events in your past and determine what implications these have for who you are and how you practise as a therapist.

Landmark experiences are those which, on reflection, you name as shaping, moulding or influencing who you are. They are events or happenings that have a lasting impact on us. These events may challenge our existing view of the world or provide us with powerful confirmatory evidence, assuring us that our theories hold and our beliefs are valid. We remember these events because they either confirm our view of ourselves as we are today or they stand at odds with who we seek to become. Landmark events may arise in the context of our families, communities and intimate relationships. These contexts are explored in Chapters 2, 3 and 4 dealing with the topics of family, culture and gender respectively. These experiences are often invaluable observational platforms in the struggle to gain insight into our own personal perspectives.

1 Despite their differing education and training background, the capacity of therapists to reflect insightfully and critically on self, in the helping relationship, is of fundamental importance to the helping process. For this reason we have chosen to use the terms counsellor and therapist interchangeably throughout this manual.

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