Listen to this Eleventh Audio of the “What makes Good Counselling” series and you can also read the accompanying blog post.
Listen/download to my audio: How Feelbetter Counselling works to open doors
Read my Depression Help Blog post: How Feelbetter Counselling works to open doors
1: No Counselling model is better than any other
Audio 2: What makes a good counsellor
Audio 3: Positive expectancy
Audio 4: Trance explained
Audio 5: CBT is not the answer
Audio 6: Normalisation
Audio 7: Human Givens Counselling
Audio 8 Five questions
Audio 9: Depression help by the NHS
Audio 10: Two beginning Principles
Audio 11: Feelbetter Counselling
Audio 12: In praise of Scott Miller
This is the fifth in occasional postings on the principles of my Feelbetter Counselling practice. The first set the scene. The second identified the prime importance of normalising – i.e. having a credible explanation of why your client feels as she does. The third was to establish a positive expectancy of beneficial change – such that both of us (client and therapist) are open to using our resources to facilitate the movement that is needed. The fourth introduced two starting principles – of looking for that tipping point or setting up a motion or movement and to work in the first instance to get arousal down.
After this the focus can then widen – as doors become visible and roads ahead become clearer. All of these essentially shift attention towards supporting a better emotional response to where clients find themselves – both more empowering and involving more useful action. It is as if the therapist’s purpose is to lead to as many doors as possible that can be opened by the choice and instinct of the client. And there are so many doors.
Reframing is at the heart of what the redirection of attention is about and is perhaps the best way to summarise the purpose of all of this heavyweight therapeutic attention shifting. What is needed is a shift or reframe that will facilitate an understanding and interpretation to events that prompts an emotional response that assists better action.
The indirect language of Milton Erickson is designed just for this – presupposing the desired outcome, embedding a helpful suggestion within other words, linking desired change to truisms (and so implying a causal link), double binds and concentrating on positive and congratulatory language and focus.
Attention for many will also be facilitated by metaphors and stories. The therapist may be gently leading the patient or client but the patient is following willingly and with curiosity and openness. You can see what Roth was getting at when she said “If you just set people in motion they’ll heal themselves.”
Being explicit and clear about what I do and how I do is a big part of this Feelbetter Counselling website. And here I am, at it again – emphasising the key principle of reframing.