Friday, August 28, 2009

Counselling is like taking a really hot bath

I've spent a lot of time with people who are in or are providing counselling. Listening to their experiences, and walking with them through some painful parts, I've come to view counselling like taking a really hot bath.

Counselling has the potential to clean. Generally speaking, it has no answers itself, but can help people to work out answers for themselves. You might be totally naked afterwards, but at least you can move on (and get dressed!)

So, to the bath; the really hot one! You start out gently, one bit at a time, feet first. You could paddle around at this level for years if you wanted to.

Hopefully you make some progress, it feels OK; to a point. Maybe you clean up some things, but you can't clean up everything, yet. You think of going deeper. You get some courage and get ready to go deeper.

Then a tense moment, just before lowering your self and breaking the surface. You feel exposed and really sensitive (!) You sense the heat; it feels really close. Yet you almost know that it could change everything. Can you face it though? This is make or break.

Sometimes this is the end. Sometimes this is a point that will be repeated at different times in life, each time taking new courage and energy. Sometimes it's the start of the real depth of counselling.

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