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Non directive counselling


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Can counselling be truely non-directive? Or are the ideas you walk away from therapy really your own? Is it usual to resent your therapist for bringing up a certain topic, which leaves you doubting relationships ?. It is all coming from me and I just want to blame him?:confused:

Edit :Ok I was going to delete this post because I feel differently now in the light of day {post was written in the middle of the night when I could not sleep}. But sure I will leave it and write a different question.

I think my real question should be , how come my thinking is so distorted in the middle of the night when I am tired?

Goose

Edited by goose
feeling more reasonable after some sleep!
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Non directive counselling

Can counselling be truely non-directive? Or are the ideas you walk away from therapy really your own? Is it usual to resent your therapist for bringing up a certain topic, which leaves you doubting relationships ?. It is all coming from me and I just want to blame him?:confused:

Edit :Ok I was going to delete this post because I feel differently now in the light of day {post was written in the middle of the night when I could not sleep}. But sure I will leave it and write a different question.

I think my real question should be , how come my thinking is so distorted in the middle of the night when I am tired?

Goose

Good morning Goose,

What you feel is very normal... I have clients angry with me 10-15% of the time-- they don't like my penetrating questions, they don't like that I'm like a pit bull at times, they don't like to hear their own voice once the shades are drawn, they don't like that the truth and that reality is inescapable, they prefer to remain in the dark and hate the sunlight, they hate looking at the roots and the branches of their life... and sometimes they just plain don't like me. Yes, I realize it's hard for anyone to not like me:eek:.

BUT, in the end, they know I care deeply, am always concerned about them, that my heart is all about compassion, understanding, seeing them as whole and not just as that Bipolar or Schizophrenic or Borderline patient sitting in front of me. When they enter my office or when I go into their homes, which I do if you miss 2 sessions b/c I'm now worried about you, they are the only person that counts. Who and what they are is my entire focus and if we must cry, we will... if we must fight, we will... if we must struggle to find solace and healing, we will do this together... if the homework is too hard and painful, we back away a little and go from there... and I'll be there with everything I bring to the table, every day.

My clients occasionally tell me they were angry or hurt b/c of what we talked about-- and this is always a gift b/c it means we have arrived at a point where the relationship and bond supersedes everything else, and this is where so much healing occurs.

Counseling can be nondirective and in fact, a good clinician is one one asks the right questions at the right time, not one who talks and talks endlessly. I tend to bounce between the 2 b/c of who I serve. If you always leave my office happy and complete and not challenged, I've failed you b/c the goal of therapy is to create a healing experience, and this requires change and growth, both of which can be painful for most.

Finally, what we know from research is that humans in general experience change fatigue, and they also experience fatigue in their ability to maintain self control and emotional regulation. In the evening, these limited resources, which really are finite, are depleted and so we tend to become more easily overwhelmed and sensitized-- thereby we have more negativity at these times.

Goose, I hope this long-winded answer somehow answers your question. If not, let me know and I'll write another long-winded response (God forbid).

David

Edited by David O
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Guest ASchwartz

Hi Goose,

I agree with David about counseling being non directive. However, I am wondering why you are asking if the ideas or thinking you arrive at are your own? What is going on and what are you really asking/

Allan:)

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Hi Goose, well how can I not agree with David!!! :(

Yes our brains need sleep and when it doesn't get it, it makes things so distorted as you describe in your nightly writings....

And as far as therapy, there needs to be a good fit between the therapist and the patient. Hopefully the therpaist will lead the session enough to challenge and then yet know when to back down a little depending on the issues at hand so that you are left feeling challenged, thinking and if you are asking yourself more questions about the issues, then the therpaist did their job.

It is what we do with the information processed during and after sessions that helps lead to more questions for the next session.

Well David how was that?? :)

Hope this helped a little Goose?

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Hi Goose,

First, I'm glad you left up both thoughts. They're both "you", even if they were at different times.

I think mild conflict with your therapist is perfectly normal. If there were zero conflict, who would change anything?

Their questions can trigger all kinds of reactions in us, but they can't "cause" you to have a specific idea. For instance, if the therapist (or anyone) asks you a question, a wide range of responses are possible. You might just say, "No, that's not what's happening" and move on to the next question. You might find that "Hey, I just realized that you're right about that", but that didn't change the facts, just your perception of them. Or, you might disagree with an idea, but continue to feel uncomfortable or resentful. In all likelihood, that just means that the idea has more to say to you, and you're not sure what it is, yet.

None of those changes, though, were at the therapist's "direction", or command. Doubting a relationship, for instance, isn't a betrayal; it might end up strengthening the relationship, if all it needed was some change that you hadn't identified, yet. Or, it could lead to the establishment of a new, better relationship with someone else, but it will all by the client's choice.

But I wouldn't necessarily identify the nighttime questions as "distorted". They might just come from a different part of you; one that also needs your attention, too.

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David, my first reaction to your post was to smile, you have a good balance of advice and humour that I like about your posts.

Yes I agree about the need to feel challenged, and how difficult some people (me included) find it to dig deep and acknowledge their true feelings. I know that the Therapist is neutral and has no vested interest (apart from helping me to get well), he was just an easy target for me

Allan, being perfectly truthful I do know that what I think are my own thoughts, this is in relation to my marriage, it is something I have resisted talking about for a long time, consistently denying to the Therapist that I am afraid of my husband. Admitting my feelings just opens a can of worms for me which makes me scared about what happens next. I am in the process of finishing therapy and that scares me also, but I know it is the right time. I have gained so much from this process and the therapist, much more than any counselling I have had before.

Linda, thank you for your post, I agree with you that lack of sleep can increase our negative thinking. I think he is doing his job alright, maybe my avoidant personality is coming through in this instance - I run for the Hills when I don't want to face challenges.

Malign, as always the voice of reason. What you say makes perfect sense. You know I though of you when I was going to delete the message, something you said to me before about all thoughts being valid in their own way - thanks for that.

Goose

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Guest ASchwartz

Hi Goose,

Well, based on what you have written it is my humble opinion that your therapy is not finished. By the way, it's a myth that therapists are neutral. They most definitely have feelings but must be aware of them and use them properly in the treatment. Perhaps you are disappointed with your therapist for believing he is "neutral?"

Allan:)

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