Components of Effective Counseling to Bring Change and Growth
Safety, Warmth, Empathy and Trust
Safety, trust, acceptance through our connection and relationship enable us to accept and sit with parts of themselves that we consider bad or shameful. It's important that a real relationship develops in counseling with real attachment where internalizing the therapeutic voice may occur if needed. A warm, safe bond is important as well as confrontation, structure, limits and boundaries.
The process of looking at where one has been hurt, broken, injured or is immature is essential so we can begin the process of restoration. Effective therapy will reach with empathy deep inside a person where one is developmentally stuck or not growing.
Sometimes this involves looking at what one doesn't want to look at, admitting what one doesn't want to admit and confronting what one doesn't want to confront. Confession may be a part of this process.
Taking responsibility and focusing on one's part is important. Becoming internally focused on the process instead of externally focused and blaming others is a crucial step to growth. In couple's work examining ones patterns and part in their cycle is necessary to bring change and deeper attachment.
It's essential to be relational and interactive to provide grace, structure, interventions, feedback, empathy, insight, wisdom, education and truth.
The concept of splitting or how one might be divided within may need attention. Often we split off or compartmentalized certain aspects of ourselves that we believe are unacceptable or shaming. If there is not integration of these parts then symptoms can occur. Trauma in childhood can lead to this kind compartmentalization within. Also issues such as regulating drives, separation-individuation, autonomy, boundaries, distortions and misperceptions in thinking, bonding and connectedness and vulnerability are some important aspects to bring change.
Internal and External Behavior - Defense Mechanisms & the Heart
Many people have developed defense mechanisms to cover, deny or soothe their injuries or pain. However, frequently the defenses they have developed often have created more pain for themselves or their closest relationships it is important to pay attention to the deeper issues within our heart. "The matters of a man's heart are deep waters and it takes a man of wisdom to draw them out." Proverbs Therapy is not focused solely on external behavior. Often there are some very painful realities deep within ones heart that is driving behavior. These hidden underlying feelings and thoughts need to be revealed and processed often before change can be made Just treating symptoms is not enough.
Often, there is pain from ones family of origin that links to pain in the present. No family is perfect and this is not to place blame. Sometimes acknowledging fear, anger, hatred, loneliness, sadness or desire and processing these feelings will free one from defenses. Other times, insight and restructuring ones thinking and distortions or the lens through which one sees themselves and others will bring about change. However, the external, the person's behavior and choices does matter as well. A balanced approach to bring one to forgiveness is important choice.
On the therapeutic path it is necessary that's ones issues are defined and clear goals and a treatment plan is understood. Each different diagnosis requires a different plan. Growth and change takes time and are sometimes invisible at first. Change or shifts may begin in the heart and then the outward change develops. The elements of growth are empathy, grace, truth, confrontation, insight, grieving, internalizing, integrating, time, love, the relationship, and the process. Therapy is powerful and dynamic can bring internal and exchange growth and change which leads to more connected and stronger marriages and families.