WE NEVER STOP LEARNING
We never stop learning and being a therapist doesn’t mean you know everything. We have our issues to work through also. When I started training years ago, I hit a stumbling block. Counsellors and Psychotherapists have to be non judgmental in order to listen objectively. To hold their client in unconditional positive regard. We have lives and experiences of our own that leave us with scars, but we have to leave them outside the consulting room. A therapist enters a session with their client as a blank page. So how do we prevent our own issues from showing if a client inadvertently hits a raw nerve in us.
We NEVER stop learning …. about ourselves
It’s easy to climb up on our soap box and judge those around us when presented with what we think is the whole story. That starts in the playground, but why do we carry it on into adulthood. I have tripped myself and a few of my friends up recently when we were presented with the most shocking story. It was about a colleague we all work with. He was accused of something that is highly controversial and the subject was right at the top if my issue list! When I was training to be a counsellor 25 years ago, I aired my issues with this particular subject. The tutor said that I would have to deal with this as it was clearly something, for some reason I could not move past. For several reasons my issue is pedophilia. Let’s face it, unless you are one , we all have an issue with it.
Self awareness is an art form
Mine is extreme and was something the tutor felt I needed to learn to be “less judgmental” in case I wound up counselling a pedophile. I was sure that would never happen and brushed it off. How often do we actually spare a thought for those mental health professionals that not only deal with the victims of such crimes, but the perpetrators also.
Sometimes it’s better to agree to disagree
So why do we automatically feel that if a subject is a real taboo for society, that gives us the right to be judge, jury and executioner? Well, nothing! Not one of us can say we are perfect and have never done anything wrong. We all like to jump on the band wagon and be seen to do the “right “thing. There is nothing like a bit of good ole fashioned persecution to make you feel like top dog. The trouble is it leaves one hell of a nasty taste in your mouth if you are not careful.
Being non judgmental is not about agreeing or supporting something you really feel strongly the opposite about. feeling that if I was presented with a pedophile and left in the room with them that unconditional positive regard would be impossible for me. Recent events have shown me that I do have the strength to put my own views and issues aside.
Ripples on a pond….
When rumours start, it’s like ripples on a pond. The story starts with the facts or the truth. The truth of the matter in it’s simplest form. Then as it goes round the ripples get bigger and the truth becomes a very lose term indeed. Others pass on the original story with their own twist and interpretation. It gets bigger and bigger, just like the ripples on a pond. So why do we feel the need to do that? Why do we crave drama and imaginative stories?
Maybe it goes back to when we were kids and your parents read you bedtime stories. Do we try and recreate the fantastical stories we have read to us before bed. Try writing down your dreams in a dream journal for a couple of weeks. See if there is a pattern to them. Does the subject matter have a string through them? Do you remember all of it? Then look up the meanings, see if there is a trend running through them. It could be that we revisit our childhood state at various times in our lives. Where persecution and bullying are concerned it is more of a contagion than Covid!!