Skillful Counselling 6: Finding your strengths

How can we access your Resources?

We all have valuable resources, even though they may be hidden. The uncovering and healing of these are an essential element of good counselling. You can see your resources as your guidance system – and right now it may that it is pointing in the wrong direction or not pointing at all.

It is very easy, especially when trapped in that whirlpool of emotion to focus on what is wrong and then to blame yourself in a way that further diminishes and disempowers you. Indeed this may well be a problem for counsellors as well – to focus on the negative and not see and enhance what is there.

Valuable Resources to be used

  • Memories and past experiences of success. These can be exams passed, jobs done, difficulties overcome or survived, relationships endured or enjoyed and unconsciously used capacities.
  • Lessons learned. You have survived to this time and there will be reasons for this.
  • Dreams and hopes. Even if they are buried deep down, what are they and how can they be resurrected realistically?

These may be your hidden gems, lying by the road side, hidden perhaps underneath rubbish and stones. They can be unearthed, recovered and then shined up.


Resources as understood by the Human Givens

    • Complex long term memory, which enables us to add to our innate knowledge and learn. The counsellor’s purpose here will be to help to uncover what is already there.
    • The ability to build rapport, empathise and connect with others. Rehearsal in trance can often be helpful here and perhaps also help to learn and build social skills.
    • A conscious, rational mind that can question, analyse and plan. You may get value from borrowing the intelligence of your therapist in relaxed conversation.
    • The ability to ‘know’ — that is, understand the world intuitively through metaphorical pattern matching. This is vital and may well need repair and mending – by the use of trance, reframing, story telling skills and the full panoply of what the counsellor has available.
    • An observing self — that part of us that can step back and be aware of itself as a unique centre of awareness.  The fact that human beings can separate themselves from their emotions is a vital human resource. Quite often, a conversation which leads a client to see their problem differently and in a more detached way is very helpful.
    • A dreaming brain that preserves the integrity of our emotional inheritance by metaphorically defusing expectations every night that were not acted out the previous day. We know that dreaming is essential for our emotional health and that lowering arousal is the best way to ensure that our dreaming brain is working well.

A Story – Two Wolves

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, “My son, the battle is between two wolves inside us all. One is Evil. It is anger, fear, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf wins?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “Why, that’s simple – it’s the one you feed.”

This story is as much directed to the therapist as the client. It is where you look that counts because that will determine what you find.

What to do Next

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